That’s the view of prestige car finance company Bridford who says its clients prefer to be able to drive the latest models as soon as they are released instead of waiting for the newest registration plate.
Bridford owner, Tim Marlow, said: ‘We are asking: ‘is the release of a new registration plate important anymore?’
‘There’s certainly been significantly less enthusiasm and demand from our clients in recent years.
‘With flexible finance packages available allowing people to move into new cars more regularly, our clients want to be driving the latest models as soon as possible.
‘If a car is available in January, they do not want to wait until March 1, before they are behind the wheel. Generally, we have found interest in having the newest plate has been diluted since the introduction of two new registrations a year.
‘Clients used to change cars every year to make sure in August they would be driving a car featuring the newest registration plate because it carries a certain level of kudos.
‘This is no longer the case. It has lost its importance, excitement and exclusivity because people know in six months another new registration will be available.
‘Private number plates personalise a car and help disguise its age; you could be driving the latest model on a 61-plate but in six months your peers could have the same vehicle with a 12-plate.’
Bridford says the key dates in the calendar are the international motor shows when its clients – the majority of which are high net worth individuals – will learn when the new cars will be available.
‘Clients do not look towards August anymore, they look to see when the Frankfurt, Geneva and Beijing shows are taking place because they will find out when the latest cars being launched are going to be released so they can place orders and arrange finance,’ added Marlow.
‘We are expecting a surge in interest after the Geneva motor show like we did after the Frankfurt show in September.’
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