Americans Aren't the Only People Obsessed With Buying Black, Gray and White Cars

Gray. Charcoal. Something. Whatever.
Gray. Charcoal. Something. Whatever.
Image: Ford Europe

The state of modern car colors in the U.S. is dreadful. People gravitate toward shades of black, gray, silver and white, chanting their chants about “resale value” and how white paint looks decent even when dirty. But we Americans aren’t the only ones with a car-color problem. The UK is bleak, too.

Gray has become the top color for new-car buyers in the UK, according to stats from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. But it’s not just gray that people are after. Out of all of the new vehicles registered in the UK last year, the data said, 59 percent of them were black, gray or white.

Nearly 21 percent of UK buyers went with gray last year, accounting for 495,127 registrations. Black cars made up 478,154 registrations, or about 20 percent of the market, and 432,207 new-car buyers went with white. Blue was fourth, with 381,591 registrations, and red came in fifth ahead of silver. Numbers drastically fall off after that, with silver accounting for 219,840 registrations, and the next color in the rankings, orange, only 26,042.


An actual color hasn’t made the top three in the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual rankings since 2010, but blue and red are often the first to pop up. Here’s the handy chart showing just how much color has been sucked out of the UK’s new-car market in the past two decades, via the organization:

There are a few ways to look at this, such as that it’s nice to know we Americans aren’t the only ones terrified to branch outside of our car-color comfort zones. But it also means that this epidemic is elsewhere, too, continuing to convince automakers that we want the most plain, boring and predictable colors they can make. Soon enough, the world will be overrun with automatic black, gray and white people movers, their differences only discernible by brand badges.

Oh, wait. Most of that has already happened.

[H/t BBC]

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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I’ll never understand how blue got left behind. As with suits, blue is the best and most versatile car color. Want tasteful?

You got it. Want it wild?

No problem.

The monochromes (black/grey/silver/white) are the perfect color for someone who doesn’t think about what they drive. I love my black car, but I would have loved it a little more in blue. Or red. Or green (as long as it is not lime, I am thoroughly sick of lime as the go-to “fun” color.) Purple’s good, too. Yellow? Sure. Teal? Awesome, yes. Magenta? Why not.

So many options, all of them neglected in favor of thirteen shades of sparkly elephant ass.