Will next year be 'unlucky 13' for the UK motor trade?

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Next year could see a dip in sales of newly-registered cars if superstitious buyers prove to be put off by the ‘13’ on a vehicle’s number plate.

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has confirmed that all cars registered between 1 March and 31 August next year will carry a ‘13’ series plate.

The DVLA move has prompted speculation that it will cause consternation among those potential car buyers who habitually refuse to walk under ladders or step on cracks in the pavement.

According to James Saperia of personalised number plate company Simply Registrations, some buyers could be dissuaded from buying a newly-registered car until September, when the ‘63’ plate comes into force.

“Motorists who religiously change their cars every three years will have been looking forward to their upgrade and may choose to go ahead regardless of the number on their registration plate, while others who may not be superstitious themselves could be concerned with resale values of cars carrying a ‘13’ number plate,” said Saperia.

“They may decide to hold off for six months before buying that new car in order to protect their investment. Then, of course, there are buyers who genuinely feel that the number 13 will bring them bad luck.”

Calls to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders were not returned at the time of writing.