Launch of the new license plate ’23’ for vehicles registered earlier this month.
But while a new license plate usually means increased sales, it also sends the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency into action to ban a host of potentially rude and offensive combinations that can be created with the new digits.
This year, the likes of the D23 UGY, EU23 OFF and UA23 ASE have been withdrawn from availability, carwow exclusively revealed to This is Money today after placing a freedom of information request.
Rude and offensive: ’23’ license plates prohibited, carwow reveals to This is Money
carwow.comsaid: “Few drivers will want to be called GO23 HEL or EA23 POO by the car ahead, for example, while no one wants to share the road with a BA23 TRD, a PS23 CHO, a TO23 ERR or an AA23 VIEJO. BO23 OKS and MU23 DER is also likely to cause perennial crime.’
It added: “However, more recent events have led to the suppression of plaques such as RU23 UKR, NO23 RUS and YE23 WAR, along with CO23 ONA and EU23 BAD.”
Senior members of the DVLA have a biannual meeting at their base in Swansea to choose who they want removed from the sale for being too rude.
The team of experts scrutinizes any potentially offensive meaning that can be created using the latest registration number and painstakingly tries to prevent anything that could be considered insulting from being made available.
Rude license plates that could leak through the DVLA’s network before the change can still be rescinded at a later date, but the DVLA said “the vast majority of registration numbers are available” as it is unlikely that the most cause offense.
Speaking to This is Money, carwow consumer editor Hugo Griffiths said: “Personalised number plates are big business, bringing in £2bn for the Treasury since DVLA started selling them in 1989, with around 400,000 prized plates sold each year.”
“Despite this lucrative revenue stream, there are some license plates that are simply too rude for the road.
“And while few would argue against abolishing offensive license plates, the biannual meetings where DVLA staff sit down and deliberately come up with rude combinations should be one of the highlights of the organization’s calendar.
Even for those who aren’t interested in custom registrations, trading in your car during the license plate months of March and September can be a good idea, both for people wanting to have the latest registration and for bargain hunters. that they could get a good deal on a car with an old registration.’
More loans to pay cars
The amount UK drivers borrowed to pay for cars hit a new record in 2022, rising by more than £4bn compared to the previous year, according to a report published this week.
Despite fewer new and used car sales last year and a drop in the number of finance deals made, analysis of full-year data published by the Finance and Leasing Association shows that loans ballooned to £40.7 billion.
It has been driven in part by average vehicle finance amounts reaching levels never before seen for both new and used cars, The Car Expert said.
This is despite skyrocketing interest rates in 2022 and rising cost of living, which experts say are putting worrying pressure on household finances.
To put the rise in indebtedness into perspective, some £11.2bn was tied up in car finance in 2009.
That means there has been a 263 percent increase between then and last year.
New car buyers borrowed an average of £25,325 in 2022, up from £23,746 the year before, and more than double the amount incurred in 2019, which was around £12,000 13 years earlier.
Used purchases incurred £15,475 of debt, up from £14,113 respectively in 2021, FLA data shows.
Stuart Masson, editorial director of The Car Expert, said this week: “The UK’s addiction to car finance has grown significantly since 2009, and with another record year of total borrowing last year during the cost of living crisis, we can see household finances under increasing pressure.
“The average new and used vehicle loan has also risen again, despite rising interest rates.”
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