Sign of the times: new car registrations

I recall the 1st of August in years gone by, as the day that new car registrations would be released – in the UK, if you didn’t know, car registration numbers are centrally issued and every year, the prefix or suffix letter used to advance. For a young boy, it was really quite exciting to spot the first cars with the new registration, and people buying new cars would wait to take delivery on the 1st August, so their pride & joy would have the latest ‘plate.

A few years ago, the system changed (to try to smooth demand out a bit more, so there wasn’t a huge spike in new car registrations in August, but a dearth in June/July…), to being twice a year, on 1st March and 1st September. The prefix/suffix letter scheme also changed to be a numerical advancement, based on the year.

It’s now the 12th March and I’ve yet to see an “09” registration, even though I’ve been travelling on the motorways most days, and for the last few (since realising this), I’ve been actively looking, but found nothing…

Is this a barmoter of the economic slowdown?

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