Nearly a third of AA members said they would think twice about buying new cars with the 13 number plate that comes into effect in March – not because they dread a mishap, but because they fear trying to sell them on.
Early in 2012 the DVLA considered offering triskaidekaphobic new car buyers continued access to the previous 62 plates (for cars registered new between 1 September 12 and 28 February 13) but then dropped the idea.
The AA/Populus survey found that, while a superstitious one in 10 strongly or somewhat believe that buying a new car with an ‘unlucky’ 13 is best avoided, a devil-may-care 66% wouldn’t shy away from having plates like MY13 HEX and SP13 OOK.
Those most nervous about driving around on a 13 plate are likely to be older drivers (10%-11%) and blue collar workers.
The biggest hang-up over the 13 plate comes with trying to sell on the car - 4% of the 20,029 survey respondents firmly believe and 25% somewhat believe that this is where the 13-plate hoodoo is most likely to strike. The concern rises to 33% (4% strongly and 29% somewhat) among AA members aged 65 or more, although only 20% (2% strongly and 18% somewhat) of younger drivers, aged 18-24, see it as a problem.
AA members in the West Midlands have the greatest doubt (32%) although, this time, it is the better-off car owners who most (29%) think a 13-plate will come back to haunt them when it comes to getting rid of the car.
Without the option to extend the previous 62 plate, the only alternatives are to pay out more for a personalised registration or bite the bullet and ride your luck
Edmund King, AA president
“Number plate superstition sounds silly but once they encounter a series of mishaps, new owners may begin to wonder. The flip side is that they drive more carefully and look after the car better,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“Without the option to extend the previous 62 plate, the only alternatives are to pay out more for a personalised registration or bite the bullet and ride your luck. Of course, you could always carry a Saint Christopher statue, patron saint of travellers, and not call it Christine after Stephen King’s ‘possessed’ automobile.”
Populus interviewed 20,029 adults aged 18+ on The AA/Populus online panel between 19th and 26th July 2012. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.populus.co.uk.
(updated 25 February 2013)