Henry Ford would be pleased. Black threatens to knock silver off the top spot as Britain’s favourite car colour.
Silver remains the most popular choice but black is catching up fast, according to official figures.
The legendary motor magnate is reputed to have told Model T buyers a century ago: “You can have any colour, as long as it’s black”.
Current buyers seem to approve, with 6.4 million black cars on the road last autumn – 20 per cent – compared to 5.9 million in early 2016 and 5.2 million in 2013 (18 per cent).
By contrast, silver cars fell in popularity over that period, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency figures showed.
They were just ahead of black at 6.6 million (21 per cent), but down from 6.8 million in 2016 and 7.3 million in 2013, when they held 25 per cent of the market.
Blue and grey were the next most popular, with red taking fifth place from white.
Next came green and beige, then brown in ninth slot, moving ahead of yellow. The biggest increase was for cream/ivory, up by 36 per cent, albeit to only 26,354 cars.
Company cars account for more than half of new sales but only 9 per cent of all cars, so firms may have the biggest influence on colour.
Simon Williams of RAC Insurance, which obtained the figures, said: “Silver is still hanging on to its title, but black is catching up fast and may well overtake very soon. Blue remains consistently popular but has lost ground on surging black. White is the fastest growing of the really mass appeal car colours.”
Sandy Burgess, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, which represents dealers, said: “Black and dark grey have become very popular, especially with the younger generation who like the high-lustre finish.
“The reason Henry Ford used the colour black was simple – he used enamel paints and black dries quicker than any other colour.”
Neil Greig, policy and research director of motoring group IAM RoadSmart, said: “So black is the new black for fashion conscious car drivers.
“It is clear colour choice does follow trends and it looks like it is blacks turn to have its day in the sun.
“Some canny drivers may be choosing solid colours, such as black and white because they don’t cost so much when buying a new car but, as with so many things, individuals do like to be seen in the latest must-have colour.
“From a practical point of view, black can hide the tar spots from our never-ending road repairs, and it has never been fully proven that lighter cars are actually any safer.”