Yesterday, March the 1st, was new car registration day and talking to colleagues old and new, it is certainly nowhere near the frenzy it once was.
The fact is that manufacturers no longer have fields full of cars all waiting to be funnelled into essentially one month, sales staff no longer need to arrive at the showroom at 10pm the night before the 1st.
Basically the introduction of two plate changes a year had the desired effect and most of us just aren’t that bothered about being the first on the road with the ‘new’ plate any more.
There were times when more than 150 cars would be collected by eager, excited customers on the first day and the commission earned by sales people accounted for pretty much half their annual wage such was the concentration on that one month.
The last registration to get a full year was the 1997 – 1998 “R” prefix and, Incidentally, I wonder were all those cars that were excitedly collected at midnight are now, my guess is they are pretty much unloved or have been reincarnated as new once more thanks to the scrappage scheme.
Having two months a year of registration changes certainly makes the process easier and far more manageable and, dare I say it, sensible. This smoothing out of new car sales over the year rather than having one enormous spike in August certainly makes sound economic sense but does make you wonder why it took the powers that be so long to come to that realisation.
This spread of new cars evened out over the year obviously means it’s not quite so important to worry about the new registration plate because it isn’t going to last a year before it changes again.
There is nothing but sound, viable reasons for the way it is now, but unfortunately it’s nowhere near as exciting as the organised chaos it used to be and I for one miss it.