Huge number plate changes to be introduced today as value of cars may 'decline quite considerably'

A number plate

New '73' number plates will be launched today

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 01/09/2023

- 07:30

Experts are warning that the value of used cars could drop with the rollout of new number plates

September 1 will see the introduction of a new number plate identifier with the “73” plate following the rollout of the “23” plate in March.

This has been the standard system for number plates since 2001, with drivers seeing “24” and “74” plates next March and September.

UK drivers must adhere to a strict set of rules when it comes to their number plates to ensure they are road legal.

A number plate must be made from a reflective material, not have a background pattern, be marked to show who supplied the plate and be marked with a British Standard number (BS AU 145e).

A car number plate

Experts are warning that used car values could plummet


Number plates can have 3D (raised) characters, display certain flags, symbols and identifiers, and display a green flash for zero emission vehicles.

While “new reg day” has historically been a good day for drivers to get a bargain on a new car, it hasn’t been as popular in recent years.

Despite this, experts are warning drivers that the sooner they sell, the more they could make for their older vehicles.

Age is one of the most important factors motorists need to look out for when selling their vehicle, with cars losing value when new number plates are released.

Tim Rodie, driving expert at Motorpoint, said: “It’s well documented that new car prices are heavily impacted by the plate change, but motorists may not be aware that the price of their current vehicle can also be affected.

“Interestingly, it isn’t the new plates themselves that impact the value of your car but rather the influx of brand-new vehicles on the road.

“With newer models entering the used car market and lots of drivers looking to sell, you could see the value of your car decline quite considerably.

“If anyone is looking to sell their car, I would strongly recommend that they do so ahead of September 1.”

Some drivers choose to forego new reg plate day and get a customised plate to reference themselves, their car or one of their passions.

However, the DVLA recently released its list of banned number plates which contain combinations of numbers and letters that could be considered offensive or demeaning.

Some of the banned number plates make use of the new “73” number as it could be made to look like “anti” including “AN73 WAR” and “AN73 LEZ”.

When it comes to flags and other emblems on the number plate, motorists can display the Union Jack, the Cross of St George, the Cross of St Andrew (Saltire) and the Red Dragon of Wales.


A personalised number plate

Drivers must follow rules when creating a personalised number plate


When driving abroad, Britons must display a UK sticker if their number plate has number and letters only, a GB identifier with the Union Jack, an EU flag, or a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales.

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