New 64 reg plates: What it means for buyers

September the 1st will mark the release of the new 64 registration plates, meaning good news for car buyers in the UK.

The release of the new plates means that any potential buyers who want to keep up with the latest trends and who are in the market for a new car will be able to order a model with the new plates from next week onwards.

It’s also good news for buyers looking for a deal on a used car, as those that come with older numberplates will become cheaper once the 64 plate is released.

From 1999, the registration plate format was changed from having just one change a year to two. Currently, numberplates change at the first of March and the first of September.

As well as this, the plates were also rejigged in 2001 to make the car’s age easier to identify.

Current number plates are split into three sections: the local memory tag, the age identifier and the random letters at the end which makes each car’s identity unique.

The local memory tag is the first two letters of the plate. Representing where the vehicle was registered, the first letter refers to the region and the second to a local DVLA office.

The middle two numbers refer to the car’s age, with the second number reflecting the last number of the year the car was registered and the first denoting which period of the year it was.

For instance, in 2014, registrations at the start of the year were marked 14, while the new plates from September will be 64. Next year, the plates will change to 15 and 65 respectively and so on until 2050.

If you want more information or need guidance on how to tell the age of a car registered prior to 2001, you can refer to the government’s official website or get in touch with your local DVLA office.

So what’s the benefit of a new car with the 64 numberplate? Well, as well as being able to show off your shiny new motor and registration in public, a recent numberplate can benefit you if you choose to sell the car on after a short period of time.

On top of that, for fans of personalised numberplates it’s good news. For instance, if your surname is McGarry, you might be interested in a MC64RRY registration plate. Likewise, if you’re due to get married, you might like to opt for something like EN64GED.

Unfortunately it also means cruder drivers can also spell more unsavoury words, but the DVLA has taken precautions and pre-banned certain registration numbers.

Around 120 registration plates had been banned as of the end of June, including plates like OH64LLS and SH64GGY. But we’ll say no more on that one…

What, then, about buyers looking for a used car deal now that the older registration plates will become cheaper?

It can present a great opportunity for buyers who are looking for a used car, but as always, the pitfalls of buying a used car are ever-present, even if the registration appears to be recent.

Here’s a list we’ve put together of some of the things to look out for if you’re in the market for a used vehicle.

Buy from a trusted source

Cars can be bought from dealerships or private sellers, as well as through internet sites such as eBay. However, it can always be risky buying cars online or from private sellers, as there’s never any guarantee that you’ll get what you’re paying for.

Reputable dealers like Perrys are the best option for used car buyers in order to avoid being scammed by dodgy sellers.

While many private sellers can offer tantalisingly low prices, you should never be fooled by a price tag. By buying from a recognised and critically-acclaimed dealer, your chances of splashing your money on a turkey greatly decrease.

Set a realistic budget

Running costs should always be factored in when buying a used car. Even if the price is low, insurance and servicing can add up in the long run, particularly for older cars or for rare and high-performance vehicles which may be difficult to source parts for.

Check that everything adds up

If you do choose to buy from a private seller, always make sure that you view vehicles in daylight and insist on checking the inside, as well as under the bonnet and keep an eye out for any potential faults that aren’t listed in the description.

It’s worthwhile taking a friend as another pair of eyes, particularly if you aren’t confident in your evaluation skills, which can help to identify potential risks.

Also it’s advisable to check that the documents match the vehicles; look for any discrepancies in service records, MOT certificates and the logbook. If you’re in any doubt about the validity of the documents, do the right thing and walk away.

Again, it’s always advisable to buy used cars from a reputable dealership. Perrys strive to ensure that everything is listed and described as it should be.

Take it for a spin

Even if everything seems to be in order, the only way to really tell if the car’s in working order is by actually taking it for a run.

Make sure that you push every switch and activate every feature and take your time driving at various speeds and in different gears to make the most of it.

It’s also worth to take into consideration practical issues while in the car. If you have a family, will they fit inside? Is it easy to put child car seats into? Can you fit in all of your luggage if you’re a frequent traveller?

Finally, you should never feel hassled or pushed for time while on a test drive. If it seems as though the seller’s pressing you to make a sale, walk away and consider your options. At the end of the day, it’s your money and you want to get the best deal you can.

If you would like to read more tips, you can check our full guide to buying a used car.

For anyone interested in buying either a new car or a used one, get in touch with your local Perrys dealership today.