car news

Does the Netherlands finally dare to choose cool car colors?

October 18, 2022

The most popular car colors in the Netherlands

Well, we can answer that question directly. No. Of the total 8.9 million passenger cars counted in the Netherlands on Jan. 1, 2022, as many as 3 million cars are gray. Then again, that ties in nicely with another trend in the Netherlands: because not only the cars, but also their owners have aged in recent years, figures show. More on that later in this article, first more on the most popular car colors within the Dutch fleet.

Substantial numbers

Besides gray, black (2.1 million) and blue (1.2 million) are also very popular car colors in the Netherlands. Adding up the colors of the top three, we already have 6.3 million passenger cars on hand.

Car colors in the Netherlands in order of popularity 2022

Nice and original

What can we conclude from these top fourteen? Well, in any case, that nothing has changed in the Dutch fleet since 2016. When it comes to colors, at least. Indeed, the top list of most chosen car colors in the Netherlands has looked (almost) the same ever since.

Residual values affecting color

By the way, there is a valid reason why the color list has been led by the same body colors since time immemorial. This also has to do with residual values. Leasing companies and car dealers in particular are looking closely at what the market demands. Which the average car buyer is less likely to choose a bright yellow or bright green one. Especially with the knowledge that the car in question will probably have to be resold someday. People therefore prefer to play it safe by choosing black, gray, blue or white.

Why always play it safe?

But as a private citizen, you could take quite a cool color right? After all, why always play it safe? White, gray, black, we know it by now. Dare to take a gamble by choosing a pop of color. At online casinos, you sometimes go all-in, don’t you? You can always find enthusiasts who also want a cool color for their car.

Most popular car colors: gray, grayer, grayest

Speaking of which, gray has been the most common car color for 18 years, but in 2000, gray was still number three, after red and blue. Then there were 1.1 million gray cars; 18 percent of all cars.

By early 2022, the passenger car fleet had aged considerably and 34 percent of cars were gray. The colors red and green are becoming less and less common, unfortunate as that is. Red dropped from first place in 2000 (with 22 percent red cars) to fifth in 2022 (6 percent). The share of green cars declined from 14 percent to 3 percent during that period.

Car owners getting older

CBS figures further show that most passenger cars (9 out of 10) are privately owned. Those car owners are getting older, with the average age rising from 46 years in 2000 to 52 years in early 2022.

“More and more cars are owned by the elderly. The number of cars owned by people over 65 in 2022 reached 2 million, a threefold increase from 2000,” CBS said. “In the same period, the number of cars owned by people over 85 increased sixfold to 115 thousand. Older people are somewhat more likely to have gray cars. At the beginning of 2022, 39 percent of the cars of those over 65 and 32 percent of those of 65-year-olds were gray.”

Average age of passenger car Netherlands

And how is a passenger car average in the Netherlands? That question, too, provides
Netherlands in Figures edition 2022
answer. The average age of passenger cars increased from 7 years in 2000 to 11 years in 2022. In early 2022, the Netherlands had nearly 2.3 million passenger cars aged 15 years or older, compared to nearly 400 thousand in early 2000. In the same period, the number of young cars actually decreased. By 2022, there were 1.2 million passenger cars under 3 years old, up from 1.6 million in 2000.