There is likely to be a short term rise in the amount of personal plates being acquired as buyers keen to avoid an unlucky 13 plate, but still wanting a new car, turn to private registrations to avoid the perceived bad luck.
This sort of behavior, fear of the number 13, even has its own specifically recognized phobia, Triskaidekaphobia. The superstitious sufferers of triskaidekaphobia try to avoid bad luck by keeping away from anything numbered or labeled thirteen – especially number plates!
A lot of hotels and other tall buildings avoid the problem by not having a 13th floor at all, going straight from 12 to 14 – which is a bit daft as the 14th floor is still the 13th in all but name.
Now I personally touch wood, salute magpies, don’t walk under ladders, buy lucky heather from gypsy women and throw spilt salt over my shoulder but I am not particularly worried about the number 13.
However I can see why others maybe and until September when it changes again there are sure to be many buyers working out whether they can live with a 13 plate or whether they buy a plate to not take a chance. Whether this has an impact on new car registrations only time (and the SMMT) will tell. At least these anxious car buyers now know how the poor Chinese feel. They are so suspicious about certain numbers that even if you gave them a 50% discount they still wouldn’t buy a car that had anything to do with the number 4.
Whilst we see many examples out there where teams of footballers, cricketers and other sports stars avoid 13 (with notable examples of course – former German footballer Michael Ballack being one) it appears that the DVLA, who dance to their own peculiar tune at the best of times and who think service is a privilege for the public, have decided that 13 will happen whatever anyone says because they probably couldn’t think of a way around it (or let’s face probably couldn’t be bothered).
Let’s be honest they have found some very complicated and confusing schemes to disadvantage and inconvenience drivers in their time so trying to administer all the extra personal plates being applied to cars may just convince them that they got this one wrong!