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Black is tops among buyers when it comes to the colour of used cars, supermarket finds

Time 1 year ago

Black is the colour of choice for used car buyers across the UK.

That’s what Imperial Cars found when it analysed its sales data, with subtle colours being favoured above brighter, more extravagant shades.

Between June 2019 and the same month this year, the car supermarket sold 4,502 cars in black, making up more than a quarter of the total number it shifted during the 12 months.


Near-second was white at 4,117 cars, with grey coming third with 3,459.

Black is the favourite colour for a used car, according to latest Imperial Cars data

Meanwhile, those used car buyer wanting something other than a monotone opted for blue, with the shade accounting for 2,565 cars sold.

Silver was the next most popular at 1,226 cars, with red a distant sixth on 939.

Least favourite among Imperial’s buyers were pink, turquoise and purple at just three, four and 15 sales respectively.


The trend for subtle colours among used car buyers is broadly reflected by the new car market.

Grey was the most popular colour for new cars in 2019, with 521,273 registrations, according to SMMT data, and that was followed by black (466,756) and white (414,403).

Black, white, grey and silver alternated for the top spot throughout the 2010s and 2000s but none of them dropped outside the top four places. You have to go back to 1999 to find anything different in favour, with that year’s most popular colour was blue, followed by red, silver and green.

Imperial Cars operations director Neil Smith said: ‘Our data shows we are a nation that likes more restrained colour choices.

‘Despite manufacturers favouring launching their new models in bright shades, it would seem we Brits prefer to be a little more subtle when buying new or used.

‘We will continue to offer a broad spectrum of colours for our used car buyers because we believe in choice, but it’s probably fair to say we don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.’

New cars in assorted colours

Online used car dealer Cazoo confirms it has bought used car supermarket group Imperial Cars

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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