New ‘73’ vehicle registration plates for September 2023 - Select Car Leasing
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New ‘73’ vehicle registration plates for September 2023

The Exorcist, Enter the Dragon, The Wicker Man and Live and Let Die - the year ‘73 was a momentous one in the world of Hollywood movies.

And you could have a jaw-dropping cinematic moment of your own when you pick up the keys to a brand new ‘73’ plate car, thanks to the launch of a fresh registration plate this week.

Whenever a new car is registered with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), it gets given a unique registration code in the form of a number plate.

In the UK there are two big dates for new reg releases - March 1st and September 1st.

As of Friday 1st September 2023, any new cars registered with the DVLA will feature the number ‘73’.

Why the number 73? And why is a brand new plate so desirable in the first place? Read on to find out.

New registration plate 73

Having a brand new ‘73’ plate car can be a winner for lots of different reasons.

Firstly, it tells the world you’re driving the most up-to-date version of your chosen car, complete with all the latest driver assistance and safety technology, as well as modern creature comforts.

If you’re buying a vehicle outright, as opposed to choosing an affordable lease, it also means your car will have a better resale or trade-in value than a car bought just a few days earlier with an older plate.

The whole ‘new registration plate day’ system in the UK also gives manufacturer’s a great excuse to launch new models and to get customers excited about leasing cars - which means you’ll always find something exciting and fresh to enjoy, even if a vehicle just gets a minor facelift to coincide with the occasion.

Don’t need a brand new 73 reg plate?

Some lease customers aren’t really interested in the rush to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ by jumping on the latest reg plate release. And that’s absolutely fair enough, especially when you’ve got a tight household budget to work with.

That’s why you need to check out our Select Car Leasing nearly new, used lease car offering.

These are vehicles that have already been leased for a two or three year period by a previous lease customer, so they’ve been well maintained, serviced and looked after.

It could put you behind the wheel of a car from a manufacturer you might not have been able to afford previously. And these are cars just a couple of years old with around 20,000 miles on the clock.

How the registration plate system works

The vehicle registration process in the UK is slightly confusing, so here’s a brief explainer.

When you lease a new vehicle, it needs to be registered with the DVLA before you can legally drive it on public roads.

And every registered vehicle in the UK is assigned a unique registration number, often referred to as a ‘number plate’ or ‘licence plate’.

These plates consist of a combination of letters and numbers and are used for identification purposes. The format of the number plates typically follows a specific pattern defined by the DVLA.

The old system

Before the year 2001, you could tell how new, or old, a car was based on the first letter displayed on the registration plate.

So, a car with an ‘B’ plate (like the stonking VW Golf GTI above) was registered between August 1st 1984 and July 31st 1985.

The latest system

As more and more cars were registered for the roads, the old system buckled under the weight of vehicles and the Government had to introduce a new way of issuing plates.

So, since 2001, a method has been adopted where you get seven ‘characters’ on your number plate, being either letters or numbers.

The first two letters are an ‘area code’, which signifies the region and local DVLA registering office. If your plate begins ‘AU’ the registration was handled by the DVLA office in Norwich, or if it begins ‘ES’, it was registered with the office in Chelmsford, Essex.

The next two characters you’ll see on a registration plate are two numbers. This is the ‘age identifier’, and in this case the new age is ‘73’.

The last three letters are just random characters that distinguish your car from others registered locally at the time.

Vehicle registration plate age identifier - ‘73’ explained

As of September 1st 2023, all vehicles registered in the UK will have a ‘73’ age identifier.

Why 73? When it comes to the second reg plate release of the year, the DVLA came up with a system which adds 50 to the given year. So, 23 - taken from the year 2023 - plus 50, equals 73.

In September of next year, 2024, we’ll be looking at ‘74’ plates.

Why do we need licence plates at all?

Licence plates are a fundamental component of the UK's vehicle regulatory and law enforcement system, playing a crucial role in maintaining order on the roads, ensuring public safety, and facilitating various administrative functions related to vehicles.

The police and other law enforcement agencies use registration plates to identify vehicles involved in crimes, accidents, or other incidents. Stolen vehicles, vehicles used in criminal activities, or those violating traffic rules can be identified and tracked through their licence plates.

Plates are also used in various traffic monitoring and management systems, such as toll collection, automated traffic cameras, like speed cameras and red light cameras, and congestion charging systems.

Meanwhile UK licence plates are linked to a vehicle’s tax status. This helps ensure that vehicles are properly registered and taxed, contributing to the maintenance of roads and other infrastructure.

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