‘13’ plate spells bad luck

As car buyers are gearing up for the new plate next month (and we’ll be keeping an eye on any super sales as car firms load the market with pre-registered sales which then flood the market and knock the resale values of cars) there’s an interesting question about next year’s new plate.

That’s when superstitious motorists will have to live with the dreaded ’13’ on their number plate if they want a new car next March – or pay for a personal registration to replace it according to CAP, the used car pricing experts.

Despite rumours that drivers could choose to retain the ‘62’ plate after March 1, the DVLA has confirmed to CAP that every new vehicle will automatically carry a ‘13’ plate.

The only escape is to choose a private plate at a cost of at least £250.

The issue also raises questions about reluctance among superstitious people to purchase used cars in future which carry the ‘13’ plate.

CAP’s Martin Ward said: “Believe it or not the trade has been rife with talk about this issue recently but it seems the rumours that superstitious drivers will be allowed to opt out of ‘unlucky 13’ on their car was based more on hope than fact – as our contacts at the DVLA have confirmed.

“While it is easy to poke fun at common superstitions it is a fact that many people really are nervous about many of them and will go out of their way to avoid walking under ladders or insist on throwing salt over their shoulder if they spill some.

“Even if the driver isn’t bothered what numbers are on their car, some superstitious family members might object.”

CAP has received numerous enquiries about the potential impact of Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13 – on demand for 13 plate cars and the impact on their depreciation. However, without hard data on the number of truly superstitious people and insight into how seriously they really take the issue it remains a matter of conjecture.

Martin added: “It’s not often we say this at CAP but we have no idea whether the used values of 13 plate cars will be affected or not, although it does seem unlikely.

“Suffice to say the prospect of a nervous 13 plate driver seeing a lone Magpie through the windscreen on Friday 13th doesn’t bear thinking about and our best advice is to make sure you don’t drive a March 2013 car under any ladders.”

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