New number plates released this month

New number plates releasedThis month, the big news in the motoring world is that the new number plates for UK vehicles have been released.

As ever, 1 March saw the changeover to the latest vehicle plate range, with the next change set to happen in September. The new number plates have knock-on effects for those looking to buy a used car.

In this post, AA Cars takes a look at how and why our vehicle plates change and just what the effects on used car buyers are.

Making sense of the new number plates

The registration plates changes on 1 March and 1 September were first brought in back in 2001. UK plates will now always read as:

  • Two letters – which reference the area where the car was originally registered
  • Two numbers – used to show the age of the car
  • A space and three letters – these letters are unique for the car

When the new number plates come in, it’s the two numbers that change to reflect the most recent date. From March 1 these will read as ‘16’ for the first cars of 2016. In September, these will then become ‘66’ as the system works by adding 50 to the first new plates. For example, last year we had ’15’ and ‘65’ and in 2017 we will see ’17’ and ‘67’.

The subsequent effects

Now this change has happened, the main knock-on effect is that the value of vehicles with older plates will drop. What’s more, even older used cars will depreciate further. This is something you can take advantage of when looking for your next vehicle.

Using this to make savings

You might find that you can negotiate with dealers on the particular used car you’re interested in around this time of the year, as dealers are aware that their value will now be lower. Equally, if a manufacturer has introduced a new generation of a specific model with the new plates, you could again use this to get more money off.

So, with this in mind, if you are looking at buying a used car then be sure to take the above factors into consideration. If you do, you could make a good saving on your next vehicle.

Image courtesy of iStock


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