Superstitious registration fears
- 19 February 2012
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The number 13 has long been a source of superstition for a lot of people, usually laughed off as being daft but in Ireland it might be the cause of a slump in new car sales for 2013. The current registration plate system which was introduced in 1987 clearly shows the year of the vehicle as the first two digits, it’s an easy system to follow showing the year, county and index number. The ease at which it can be read is the problem, we could be facing registration plates that will start with the number 13, the only way to escape it will be not to buy a new car in 2013.
Car sales are reliant on a good economy, rarely is trading up from a 3 or 4 year old car such a necessity that it can’t be put off for another year, indeed with the lifespan of most cars now exceeding 20 years it has become possible to only need to own a couple of cars throughout your lifetime. This advancement in reliable engineering has also given drivers the confidence to skip occurrences like having to buy a 13 reg car, and judging by some reports there are a lot of people thinking of doing so.
Michael Healy-Rae is quite outspoken on the issue, possibly my reason for initially dismissing the debate, but the more I think about it the more it looks like there could be something to this. While some will treat the story as a news filler, there are quite a lot who are serious about avoiding the purchase of a new car next year. With sales already predicted to fall by 15% over the course of 2012 the outlook for next year would seem even more dismal. The answer to this problem according to some groups is to change the current system, but so far none of the suggestions have been deemed good enough by the Dept. of Transport to warrant any changes.
Could it be that this, probably the strangest reason of all, is the most sensible reason for a registration plate overhaul?