A guide to '13' vehicle number plates

As we further descend into the year 2013, the use of the number may seem pretty appropriate, but to some motorists the move may not be understood by some. Nor either may it be clear why the move to register cars under this number only lasts around half the year.

The move to number ’13’ licence plates has also proved somewhat controversial in some circles but this may not be understood by some.

However for those looking to find out more, this Perrys guide is on hand to explain the reasons behind the UK’s move to ’13’ vehicle licence plates, as well as the controversy around it and how some people are looking to work around it.

This Perrys licence plate guide is also on hand to offer advice on how Britain’s motorists can take advantage of the licence plate number change, in terms of saving money on their next new car purchase.

The UK’s number plate procedure

The procedure to have cars carrying the number ’13’ on their licence plate later this year follows the current regulations for the UK vehicle registration. Under these conditions the two numbers act as an ‘age identifier’, in other words they show what year the car was registered.

These two numbers are always located around the middle of the whole licence plate, placed after two letters which identify where the vehicle was registered, and before three separate letters are randomly chosen and allocated to a local dealership when a vehicle is registered.

Currently the registration number used for cars is updated every six months, on March and September every year. This means that from 1 September 2013 onwards, new cars registered in the UK will have the number 63 rather than ’13’ on their licence plates.

This follows a similar trend to other cars registered in years under the current decade, for instance cars registered since 1 September 2012 and prior 1 March 2013 will carry the 62 number plate.

A similar principle also applied to cars registered in the previous decade, from late 2001 onwards. For example cars registered between March and December 2002 used either 02 or 52 as the number on their registration plate.

This whole procedure for how numbers are applied to UK licence plates will eventually be changed by the Driver Licensing Vehicle Agency (DVLA), but not until the year 2050.

The number ’13’ controversy – unlucky for some?

Unlike almost every other number in existence, the number ’13’ carries a rather unique and unfortunate infamy as an unlucky number to use and carry. While this is merely a superstition, it is one many people in the UK are at least aware of even if they don’t believe in it.

The UK motoring breakdown cover provider, the AA, conducted a survey last year with its registered members about the switch to ’13’ numbered licence plates, with 20,029 people responding.

About one in ten of respondents believed a purchase of a car with the ’13’ registration plate would indeed bring bad luck, evidently carrying the fear known as Triskaidekaphobia.

Meanwhile nearly a third revealed that they’d be reluctant to purchase a car carrying the number ’13’, not because they fear it will bring them bad luck but because of potential difficulties trying to sell the vehicle on in later time.

With these concerns in mind, the DVLA has previously been adamant that the ’13’ plate will be applied as originally planned from March 2013 onwards.

However it’s also been reported that the organisation recognises current concerns from motorists, which could lead many to hold off on purchasing a new car up until the start of September 2013, when the licence plate number switches to 63.

This is a potential scenario which has understandably made some car manufacturers nervous as well.

Some of the big model launches expected to occur in the UK later this year will include Ford Fiesta ST, Chevrolet Trax and the Jaguar F-Type. All of these new models are set to be registered with the ’13’ number plate when they first launch across the UK market.

Therefore it’s been further reported across the media that the DVLA is considering giving motorists alternative options to the ’13’ plate.

One rumoured option is to allow UK motorists to transfer the number plate from their previous car and apply it to a vehicle purchased around the time when the ’13’ plates are in place, in exchange for a fee of about £80.

Another rumoured option is that from March this year motorists will be offered to buy a “cherished” personalised number plate from just £200.

No final decision on addressing this controversy has been detailed yet but the DVLA’s eventual decision could have potentially large implications on how the new car market performs during the spring and majority of summer this year.

Prices drop as showrooms look to shift older stock

For British motorists across the country, the switch to a new licence plate number early on in the year represents an opportunity for some to get a cut price deal on a recently registered new car.

As dealerships nationwide start building up a stock of new cars with the ’13’ licence plate, they will also be keen to shift the older stock with previous used number plate designation.

These efforts to cut older stock can often see dealerships take the decision to reduce the price of these cars, by a sizeable amount particularly when the new stock is about to arrive.

So purchasing a new car with a 62 plate just before new car registrations switch to the ’13’ plate, can save you a considerable amount of money when visiting a showroom nationwide including one of the selection of Perrys Dealerships.