The top car colours of 2020

Whether purchasing new or Approved Used, deciding on the colour of your next car can be as big a decision as choosing the car itself. Even if it isn’t something we feel particularly strongly about, research suggests that a massive 39% of us are likely to change brands if we can’t get a car in our chosen colour.

A psychological shortcut.

So, why does car colour really matter?

Behind a new home, a car is believed to be the second most important purchase we can make. Our choice is usually down to personal preference (rather than availability, for example) and therefore is a reflection of our individual style and personality. Colour is one of the most important of these defining characteristics and, above even make or model, commands universal understanding.

According to www.littlethings.com here’s what some car colours are thought to say about their owners:

White – Conveys freshness and modernity. A white car reflects a taste for elegance and a driver that strives for perfection.

Grey – Not to be confused with silver, grey is a colour of caution and compromise. Owners prefer life to run on an even keel rather than with big ups and downs.

Black – Black is a powerful colour. If your car is black, you are dignified and striking without being showy.

Blue – If you own a blue car, you are compassionate, optimistic, stable, honest, and serene. You like to be admired for strong sense of self and wisdom.

Red – Red is often the colour chosen by those who have a zest for life. If your car is red, you’re most likely ambitious, impulsive and outgoing.

GLC in colour

For further consideration.

As well as affecting how other drivers perceive us, it is also important to consider car colour for other, more practical reasons.

Research by retailer Halfords concluded that birds are more likely to defecate on red cars over their more subtle counterparts. The study, conducted across five major English cities, recorded the bird droppings on approximately 1,140 cars over a number of days. Red cars came off worst with 18% of red cars receiving the unwelcome mess, closely followed by blue cars (14%) and black cars (11%). Green cars faired best with just 1% coverage.

It has also proven that some car colours are more accident-prone than others. A study by Monash University in Australia analysed crash data from police to determine that black, blue, grey, green, red and silver cars are more likely to be involved in a crash than others. Their research suggested that white cars appear to be the safest option, arguably because lighter coloured cars are easier to see.

If your intention is to sell your vehicle on in the future, it is important to consider the pool of shoppers that may be available to you. To increase the number of potential buyers and make a sale easier, choose a popular colour. That’s not to say that unusual colours will not receive interest. In fact, they may even fetch a higher price. You might just have to wait longer to find the right buyer.

The big three.

With this final point in mind, we wanted to get a better picture of what the nation’s favourite car colours actually are.

The chart below documents the best selling colours of the last two decades. What is clear is that there hasn’t been a great amount of variance, with white, silver and black consistently commanding the top three spaces. In 2019 grey defended it’s title and stayed at the top for another consecutive year.

The latest figures issued by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) highlights that there were different tastes on show at opposite ends of the market – the smallest cars in the mini segment were more likely to be white, while executive and luxury saloon cars were more commonly found in black. Diesel and petrol drivers tended to opt for grey, but the most popular colour for zero emission battery electric vehicles was white.

Preferences at Mercedes-Benz South West.

When comparing this to the analysis of our own sales from January to November this year, we can see that the preferences of Mercedes-Benz South West customers do not differ greatly from those of the general population.


TableCar Colours Chart

This year Black has been the most popular colour for new car registrations, with the proportion jumping from 23.7% of sales in 2019 to 30.6 % in 2020. Black hasn’t claimed the top spot since 2017. Grey and White follow just behind which is no surprise given that Grey was the most popular colour in 2019 and 2018, and also given that White has been in third place for 3 consecutive years. has fallen behind for the first time in two years.

Personalisation perfected.

One of the wonders of the modern automotive industry is the wealth of options open to potential buyers who want a car whose looks suit them perfectly.

The opportunity to personalise your new car does not, therefore, end with colour. As well as a wealth of model lines, comfort packages and technological additions, there are upholstery styles, interior trim options and paint finishes to suit every taste.

Contact your local Mercedes-Benz South West Retailer , or explore our model range to find out more about the new car options available to you.

*A special thank you to The Marketing Society for the use of their image*.