Motorists go back to black


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Black is the new white for car colour according to latest data produced by automotive experts, cap hpi.

Across a range of different motoring sectors, statistics from the industry’s cap Black Book reveal drivers are currently favouring black over any other colours or shades with consumers decidedly going ‘white off’ white cars.

In March, we reported how white cars were topping the popularity polls but at a cost to motorists.

Shrewd car manufacturers were cashing in on the nation's love of white cars and started offering it as a ‘premium’ option. The Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus were the cheapest at £250 extra, followed by the Volkswagen Golf at £260 and then the Vauxhall Corsa at £275 for plain white, but metallic white came in with a hefty price tag of £545.

And perhaps the hike in prices have turned motorists against white cars, with a range of black vehicles now taking the number one spot.

The market analysis paints the following picture when it comes to most popular colours across the different motoring sectors:


  • Black is the most popular colour in the convertibles market with 21.5% of overall market sales
  • A third (29%) of coupe cabriolets sold are black
  • Executive car sector gives black the vote (28%)
  • Black also tops the sales chart in the large executive (28%) and luxury executive (24%) sectors
  • 22% of the mid-range car market favours black
  • 23% of the sports market is geared up for black
  • A quarter (25%) of SUV sales leads are for black paintwork


Exceptions to the rule include the city car market sector with the most popular colours being red (18%) followed by white (17%) and black (16%).

The MPV market favours silver (27%) as does the supermini sector (19%).

Black is the new white

Philip Nothard, retail specialist at cap hpi, said: "Black is without doubt the new white. White had become the colour of choice over the past few years but black seems to be back with a vengeance. Black represents a safe choice for motorists as, along with silver and grey, these so called safe colours consistently maintain their value when sold as used.

"The subject of much discussion, many in the trade believe the popularity of white was down to manufacturer marketing campaigns, while others thought it was a trend that started with other desirable products such as white laptops, smartphones and tablets. 

"Whatever the reason, white seems to have fallen out of favour and black is staging a bit of a fightback – black appears to be appealing to buyers’ financial sensitivities as it represents more of a safe bet in terms of returns later on down the line."

For consumers buying a petrol or diesel car, the bottom line is that middle of the road colours make the safest investment and it would appear this has never been truer than at present. 

"Black, grey and silver have always been in the top five most popular colours, so it’s no huge shock to see white seems to have lost its crown," added Mr Nothard.

"Our data shows middle of the road cars in black are better at holding value than any other colour. Customers are always likely to settle for the safest option and it would appear they are thinking about what they can get at trade-in time rather than taking any risks with brighter or whiter paintwork."

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