Government Statistics Reveal The Most Common Car Colours On Britain's Roads

By James O Malley on at

Have you ever wondered what is the most common car colour on Britain’s roads? Well, let me tell you: The answer is “silver/aluminium”, and there were officially 6,528,189 - a full 20.3% of all cars licensed for use on the road at the end of 2017.

The data comes direct from the Department of Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, courtesy of a Freedom of Information Request at the end of May.

It’s actually weirdly interesting, and as far as we can tell, this is the first time the data has been published in a form that provides a snapshot of the exact makeup of what’s on our roads.

The list continues in fairly predictable form: The next most popular colours are black (19.93%), blue (17.83%), grey (13.45%) and white (11.39%).

The least popular colour is pink - with just 0.06% of vehicles. Though in absolute terms that’s still 20,873 pink cars out of a total of 32,159,943, which weirdly feels higher. There are sadly only 7207 “multicoloured” cars on the road.

Britain, it seems, like its cars like it likes its Great Bake Offs: Boring. Here’s the full list:

What makes this interesting is that when you compare this to the annual data on the colour of new cars published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders earlier this year. This paints a very different picture, as demonstrated by this nice graphic they made:

What’s shocking is that despite silver still making up the most cars on the road, the popularity of silver cars appears to have collapsed, with black, grey, white and blue finishing ahead in terms of new cars. If this trend continues - silver won’t remain on top for long.

So why is silver on top despite finishing fifth last year? For this we can presumably thank eight years of dominance, between 2000 and 2008:

And if current trends continue? Well, it looks like the roads will be looking a lot more black and white in the future.

And now you know.