Massive new number plate changes to be introduced within weeks
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From March 1, 2023, drivers across England, Wales and Scotland will see the rollout of the new “23” number plate vehicle registration. This will be the first licence plate change of the year, with the “73” number plate being introduced in September.
In 2022, two new plates were launched, the “22” in March and “72” in September, as is now standard practice.
The number plates have to adhere to a number of specifications and requirements to be road legal.
For vehicles made after January 1, 1973, the front number plate must have a white background while the rear number plate at the rear must have a yellow background.
Numbers and letters must be exactly 79 millimetres tall and there must be a space between the numbers that mark the year and the three random letters.
All registration plates must be in a specific “Charles Wright” font which has been in use since 2001.
Characters must be 79mm and 50mm wide (except the number 1 or letter I) and the thickness of the character stroke must be 14mm.
The space between characters must be 11mm and the space between the age identifier and the random letters must be 33mm.
More recent number plates also need to be “BS AU 145e” standard plates which meet the new British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates.
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The plates are made from a tougher material which makes them more resistant to abrasion and other damage.
This change was made to make it easier for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to read the plate.
The new number plates will also have to include the supplier’s business name and postcode, along with the name of the number plate manufacturer and the new standard.
Number plates can now only display solid black lettering as two tone plates that used different shades to create a 3D or 4D effect have been banned.
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The lettering can still be Perspex or acrylic lettering, provided it meets all other requirements.
At the end of 2020, new green number plates were introduced to denote which vehicles were electric.
The green stripe on the left-hand side of the plate indicates the car’s zero tailpipe emissions credentials.
Motorists are also being warned not to change or purposefully obscure their registration plate, as this could lead to a £1,000 fine.
Despite the historic popularity of “new reg day”, research suggests that it has lost its appeal with drivers.
The data found that fewer than five percent of potential car buyers are bothered about the digits on their number plate. Most considered a wide range of other factors much more important when deciding on their next car.
Dean Walker, Director of Stock and Purchasing at Motorpoint, said: “Many of us will remember just how big a deal the launch of a new registration plate used to be.
“Dealerships would open at midnight, with customers queuing up to take delivery of their new car so they could be among the first on the road with the new reg. Our study confirms what we suspected though, that this is no longer a major factor in the decision-making process for car buyers.“
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