From March 1st new cars sold across England, Scotland and Wales will be supplied with new number plates. Figuring out what all those numbers and letters mean and what exactly is changing this spring can be very confusing.
The changes affect the first two numbers on the license plate, known as age plates. As we enter a new six-month period, the numbers change from 72 to 23, followed by 73 in September. The rest of the numbers and letters are assigned as usual, with the first few letters indicating the region, while the end of the license plate is randomly generated and serves as a unique identifier for the car.
There are several license plate rules that must be followed, including specific fonts, font sizes, colors, and placement. You could be fined up to £1,000 and your car will fail MOT if you don’t display your number plate correctly.
Flexible temporary car insurer Cuvva shares everything you need to know about the license plate changes early next month and how they could affect you.
Demystifying license plate myths
It’s a well-known myth that a car’s license plate alone determines its price. While not entirely accurate, it shows the car’s age, which affects its value.
Number plates quickly reveal how old a car is. A buyer knows that a car with a license plate that starts with 22, 72 or 23 is fairly new.
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Cuvva’s Darryl Bowman said: “Although they state the age of the car, there is a common misconception that changing a number plate will reduce a car’s value. If you are planning to sell your car soon and want to get the best possible price, it is best to sell it before the new number plates come out.
“And if you’re looking to get a bargain on an almost new car, it might be a good idea to buy a car with a license plate on the back of a popular model and reduce your driving time to keep mileage down.”
Of course, as the value of a car depreciates year on year, newer cars are more expensive, while cars that are a few years old usually get cheaper. Brand new cars typically drop in value by 10% when they leave the dealership and another 10-20% before the first year is up. By the third year, the average car will have lost around 60% of its value before the depreciation stagnates.
Do License Plates Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?
License plates do not directly affect your car award, but older and newer cars are rated differently, as indicated by the age designation.
Bowman explains: “Because cars depreciate in value as they age, older cars tend to be cheaper to insure because the potential insurance payout in the event of a claim would be lower than for a new car. Even if that is not the case with classic cars.”
When it comes to personalized license plates, some insurance policies don’t cover personalized license plates because they are at a higher risk of theft, especially if the license plates are funny or remarkable.
Before purchasing a private license plate, check with your insurer to ensure you are fully covered and will not be affected if you need to make a claim.
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