New Reg Release Day Has Lost its Appeal
As we fast approach September 1st and the release of the new ‘72’ number plates, a new survey has revealed that few car buyers now care about having the latest age identifier digits on their plates. The majority take a variety of other factors into account ahead of number plates when choosing their next vehicle.
The survey of 1,000 drivers, conducted on behalf of Motorpoint Car Supermarket, found that only 4.9% of possible car buyers considered the newest number plate to be important. The majority of people asked, 63.1%, said that the type of fuel used was the most important factor in their car buying decision.
For 52.2%, price was the biggest factor, while 47.1% considered the running costs most important. Image is an important consideration for some, with 27.4% deciding that the brand of car is a priority. Fifth place was a tie with 20.8% being influenced by the car’s mileage and the same number considering the look of the vehicle important.
Factors such as availability, colour, comfort, safety features and in-car technology were all rated higher in importance than the latest registration number.
Number plates in the UK were first given an age identifier suffix letter in 1963, starting with ‘A’, and it was made compulsory in 1965. Initially, plates with the new letter were released on January 1st each year. However, that led to many car buyers putting off their purchase until the new year, so dealerships suffered a major drop in sales in the months before Christmas. For this reason, the issue date for the new suffix was changed to August 1st in 1967.
For those who remember, getting a car with the new registration was a huge deal. Car dealers would open at midnight, and buyers would queue up to get behind the wheel of their new car and be one of the first to hit the road with the latest registration.
As the numbers for the suffix system ran out, it was change to a prefix letter and started all over again. In 1999 the issue of new age identifiers was change to twice yearly, in March and September. The current number plate system was adopted in 2001, but owning a car with the latest reg doesn’t have the same cachet that it once did.
Dean Walker of Motorpoint said, “It would seem that many people are still unsure how the registration number system works so don’t realise “22” was released in March and that “72” will be launched next month.
‘Those who do understand are either not bothered that their number plate identifies their car’s age or know how easy it is to pop a personalised registration on their vehicle after buying it.”
Personalised Plates Are the Way to Go
With the issue of new registration numbers twice yearly not having the same pull for car buyers, and more drivers purchasing nearly new cars, personalised number plates are growing in popularity. It’s one of the best and most cost-effective ways to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd. With over 60 million private plates to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits you at a price you can afford. Start your search today.