Motor Traders gear up for 2014 Number Plate

14 plateAt the beginning of March each year motor traders start planning for an increase in business due to the introduction of a new number plate. This year, March 1st falls on a Saturday, which means that car dealers are expecting even more business than usual from those wanting a 14 plate vehicle. Furthermore, the car market has done extremely well over the past few months, meaning that it is likely that we will see a huge jump in new registrations this weekend.

Even those that aren’t looking to purchase a 14 plate vehicle may also be wise to hit the forecourts this weekend, as many dealers will have great deals on 13 plate cars they want to move in order to make room for newer versions. However, as The Telegraph pointed out in a recent article, this can sometimes have a detrimental effect on the car market. Self-registration has increased rapidly over the past few years, as in order to make their targets numerous dealers register cars to themselves. They then sell on these cars for discount prices, however this can lead to the value of other vehicles on their forecourts depreciating faster than usual.

Discussing the issue, one industry insider said: “It doesn’t matter that the dealership has registered the car to itself, that car will have paid its way. The dealer can then sell it as a low mileage ‘demonstrator’ and they won’t be too fussed if they have to discount it heavily to shift it on because it’s already done its job.” CAP’s Black Book Live market report warned however: “There is now a growing risk of oversupply among younger cars as many manufacturers continue to pursue dealer self-registrations or ‘short cycle’ rental business as ways to gain market share.

“The fear is oversupply among nearly-new cars may ‘ripple down’ through the other age bands as older cars devalue to remain competitive on the forecourt.” Even though it is important for car dealers to hit their targets (profit margins on new cars are generally very low, only between five and fifteen per cent), doing this to the detriment of the other vehicles in their forecourt can be dangerous. This is why many dealers prefer to have fewer, good quality vehicles on their forecourts instead of a large amount of sub-standard ones, and while their vehicles may be slightly more expensive to cover with motor trade insurance, they are usually worth it.

If you are planning on buying a 14 plate vehicle this weekend it is also a good idea to do some research before heading to the dealers, as many manufacturers are offering special deals. For example, if you buy a new Ford Fiesta 1.25 82hp Zetec before the 31st of March you can take advantage of the Ford Personal Lease and pay only £149 per month. Those looking for electric vehicles can get a new Nissan Leaf Tekna Flex on a three-year finance package with 4.9% APR representative, meaning they would only have to pay £319 per month and will also receive a two thousand pound deposit contribution.

However, before you get too excited about the new 14 plates, the DVLA have already released a list of personalised number plates which are banned. The number “14” is often seen as an “A”, “I” or “H” on number plates, which means that some creative types may try to purchase a personalised number plate that could be considered offensive. A DVLA Spokesperson said: “The vast majority of registration numbers are made available but we have a responsibility to ensure that the combinations used do not cause offence.

“We try to identify combinations that may cause offence and having considered the appropriateness of these registration numbers we have withdrawn them as they could cause offence or embarrassment on the grounds of political or racial sensitivities or are in poor taste”.

If you are a motor trader let us know what plans you have in place for the release of the 14 plate this weekend on our Twitter and Facebook pages. We would also love to hear your thoughts on self-registration, so make sure you get in touch!

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