Ever noticed every car around you on the road is white? If not, it's more likely to happen soon.

More white cars were registered in 2016 than any other colour, according to NZ Transport Agency data.

White was also the most popular colour for new vehicles in January, comprising 24.5 per cent of cars, almost identical to the 2016 figure of 24.6 per cent.

Rob Townshend, dealer principal at Bayswater Vehicles in Napier, said he had noticed the trend.


"White is the new black," he said.

The colour is especially popular for his premium cars, such as Maseratis.

While white dominates the national numbers, there are some curious regional exceptions.

White was the most popular colour in the main centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, although Christchurch buyers chose brighter hues more often.

Christchurch car buyers opted for orange, yellow and blue more than buyers in the other centres, with fewer choosing black and silver.

Some regions, such as Northland and the Bay of Plenty, preferred silver.

In Northland, 34.5 per cent of new vehicles registered in 2016 were silver, and 17.2 per cent were white.

Whangarei man LJ Mackie chose black for his new Toyota Hilux, which was delivered just a few weeks ago.

"I was going to buy a white one but I changed to black."

The model with the extras Mackie chose just looked better in the darker colour, he said.

Mackie is among a select few. Just 9 per cent of new vehicles registered in Northland in 2016 were black.

Northland Toyota general manager Aaron Budrewicz said colour choice is all about personal preference and he hadn't noticed any particular trend.

"It's a very personal thing and each model is slightly different."

New features such as daytime running lights make the relative safety of colours less of a consideration than they were in the past, Budrewicz said.

Bay of Plenty resident Melissa Smith and her partner wanted a slightly more unusual colour for their new Hyundai Tucson, choosing a dark blue.

Blue was the sixth most popular colour in recent registrations, both in the Bay and nationwide.

"All our cars have been silver and we wanted something different," Smith said.

She said she did not consider safety when choosing the colour of her new car, as it was packed with safety features such as reversing cameras and air bags.

She and her partner chose blue solely because they liked the colour.

"We've always wanted a blue car."