What March number plate changes mean for drivers and their cars
Figuring out what all the numbers and letters mean, and what exactly is changing this spring can be very confusing. With that in mind, experts at Cuvva revealed everything drivers need to know about the licence plate changes at the start of this month and how they might affect them.
The changes will impact the first two numbers on the licence plate, known as the age identifiers.
As drivers enter a new six-month period, the numbers will switch from 72 to 23 followed by 73 in September.
The rest of the numbers and letters will be assigned as usual, with the first few letters indicating the region, while the end of the number plate is randomly generated and serves as the unique identifier for the car.
There are several number plate rules to follow, including specific fonts, font sizes, colours, and placements.
Drivers could be fined up to £1,000 and their car will fail its MOT if they don’t display their number plate correctly.
Demystifying number plate myths
It’s a known myth that a car’s number plate alone determines its price. While it’s not strictly true, it does show the car’s age, which affects its value.
Number plates quickly let anyone know roughly how old a car is. A buyer will know a car with a number plate starting with 22, 72 or 23 is fairly new.
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Darryl Bowman from Cuvva said: “While they do indicate the age of the car, it’s a common misconception that number plate changes decrease the value of a car.
“If you’re looking to sell your car soon, and want the best price possible, it’s best to sell before the new plates come out.
“And if you want to grab a bargain for a nearly-new car, buying a car that’s registered one plate back might be a good idea.
“There are ways to lower the depreciation of a car, including regular servicing, MOT checks, choosing a popular model and reducing your driving time to keep mileage low.”
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As the value of a car depreciates year-on-year, newer cars are naturally more expensive, while cars that are a few years old usually become cheaper.
The value of brand-new cars typically drops by 10 percent when they leave the dealership and by another 10-20 percent before the first year has passed.
By the third year, the average car will have lost around 60 percent of its value before depreciation levels out.
Do number plates affect your car insurance premium?
Number plates don’t directly impact a driver’s car premium, but older and newer cars, as indicated by the age identifier, are valued differently.
Mr Bowman explained: “As cars lose value as they age, older cars are typically cheaper to insure as the potential insurance payout would be lower than a new car if a claim was made. Although it’s not the case for classic cars.”
When it comes to personalised number plates, some insurance policies don’t cover them because they are more at risk of possible theft, especially if the plates are funny or notable.
Before purchasing a private number plate, drivers should check with their insurer that they are fully covered and won’t be affected if they need to make a claim.
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