The number 13 is considered to be an unlucky number in many cultures. Fear of the number 13 is known as Triskaidekaphobia and is a recognized condition. While few people have a true phobia of the number, a dislike of it is so ingrained into our culture that many architects opt to skip number 13 when numbering floors in their skyscrapers, and many athletes request not to wear the number 13 jersey.
In March 2013, the number 13 registration plate will be released. Car dealers and manufacturers have expressed concern that this plate will affect car sales. The DVLA considered allowing those who did not want to use the 13 plate to opt for the number 62 plate, but decided against this because of the potential administrative difficulties.
More Than Just Superstition
It is not just superstitious people who are concerned about the number 13 plate. Some people who are not superstitious have expressed a concern about buying a car with a 13 plate because they believe that the resale value of the car may be affected or that they might have difficulty selling the car on.
In August 2013, number 63 plates will become available. Many people may delay purchasing a car until that date. People who need a car before then, however, are not without options.
A Possible Solution
While new cars come with default plates, there are custom number plates for sale, and it is possible for people to carry over number plates from their old car, for a fee. It costs £80 to transfer a number plate from one car to another, and you can buy cherished number plates online too. The so called “cherished” plates are usually shorter number plates that either spell out, or look similar to, real words or phrases. The price of these plates varies depending on the exact plate, with prices ranging from just £200 for plates with a lot of numbers in them to hundreds of thousands of pounds for ones that have a lot of interesting history to them, or have been owned by celebrities.
Irish Registration Plates
Until recently, cars purchased in Ireland had a license plate that began with the year of registration, the initial of the country of registration, and then the number of the car registered. As an example, the 3,100th car registered in Cork in 2011 would have the license plate 11-C-3100. This system was changed on the 1st January 2013, in part out of concern of the number 13 adversely affecting sales figures in the car industry.
Now, the year has been divided into two halves. Cars purchased in the first half of 2013 will have their plates start with the number 131, while cars bought in the second half of the year will have their plates start with 132. This change has been well received not just because of the superstition surrounding the number 13, but also because dividing the year into two parts will offer a “fresh start” for number plates, and hopefully increase sales in the second half of the year.
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