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One-in-four motorists unaware of bi-annual new car number plate change

A car finance agreement being signed

New research from WeBuyAnyCar has revealed that 24% of motorists are unaware of the bi-annual number plate change-over for new cars.

While franchised car retailers eagerly await next week's 70-plate sales event, the survey found that many consumers don't share their sense of anticipation - being unaware of the new offering.

Even among the 76% of respondents that are familiar with the plate change, WeBuyAnyCar found that two thirds (66%) know the first annual plate change occurs in March and 70% know that the second occurs in September.

The WeBuyAnyCar study found that some drivers are confused about when the plate change occurs, with 15% thinking a plate change occurs in August and 12% assuming the first plate change takes places in January.

When it comes to buying a car, over half of motorists (60%) admit that a newer plate makes a car more desirable, however, with almost one-in-four (23%) stating they want a plate that is as new as possible.

And more than half (52%) of motorists stated that an ageing number plate would make them consider selling their car.

Richard Evans, head of technical services at WeBuyAnyCar, said: “As the second bi-annual plate change of the year approaches, every car registered before September 2020 is about to become a plate older.

“When a car becomes a plate older, this typically depreciates the value of the car, as newer, more desirable plates are released.”

Several manufacturers have told AM how the second plate change month, usually the second busiest sales period of the year, will hold the key to helping dealers get through what could be an even more challenging winter.

Retailers are gearing up for a September plate change that will be a further big test for the new car market since businesses reopened following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Amongst the 1,750 motorists polled, more than half (52%) claimed to know someone that has used a private plate to hide the age of their car, with a third (33%) saying they have considered doing it themselves and almost a quarter (23%) admit they have invested in private plates at some point to disguise their aging wheels.

Motorists in Carlisle are the least interested in hiding the age of their car, where more than seven in 10 (71%) say they know nobody at all who has used a private plate to conceal the true age of their car.

Motorist in Portsmouth came out on top, where almost one in five (19%) of motorists say they have bought a new car just to own a car with the latest plate.

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