Since number plates were first introduced on UK roads in 1904, there have been many different systems in place in order to differentiate one vehicle from another. As one system runs out of combinations, it has been the job of the DVLA to create a new system that will be sustainable over a long period of time and contain no crossover with older plates.
In Northern Ireland, it has been several decades since there has been a change to the system, but we are currently coming to the end of the alphabet, so the DVLA are putting their heads together to bring a new system. There are just UIG, VIG, XIG and YIG left to be released, therefore things will be changing pretty quickly.
What will be the new system?
Like in the UK, the system has to change every few decades to ensure that no two number plates are the same. This is essential to ensure your vehicle is unique so that it can be identified by cameras or if your vehicle has been involved in an accident or theft. Therefore, in Northern Ireland they have decided to reverse the current format, meaning that the numbers will be preceding the letters on the number plate.
With this new system, the plates will start again at the beginning of the alphabet which means there will be a wide range of new number plates available in future years to get through the next few decades.
Will the new plate devalue an original NI private plate?
Like all markets, the number plate business fluctuates dependent on a lot of internal and external factors. At first, you may see a small devaluation in your older number plate, however, there is nothing to worry about as it is likely this won’t last. Original number plates are always more sought after and with the new system, there will only be one number plate similar to your own. This means there is still a big market for a unique piece.
Do you prefer old-fashioned?
If you’re still not convinced by this new system then that isn’t a problem, as you can still have your vehicle fitted with the older plates. If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, or you just want to customise your current one, then private number plates are a great way to do this. Therefore, if you don’t want the new plate on your new vehicle, you can purchase an older private plate and have this fitted. So long as the plate follows the DVLA regulations and does not make the vehicle appear younger than it is, then you have the possibility to do so.
What do you think of this new system? Are you ready for a change or do you prefer things the way they are?