How new March 2024 number plates impacts car values

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Number plate changes
March 2024 changes
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Number plate changes

In March 2024, new cars sold in the UK will come with new number plates.

But what do all those numbers and letters actually mean, and what exactly is changing this spring?

Here’s everything you need to know about the number plate changes in March 2024 👇

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March 2024 changes

First, a quick reminder of what the numbers and letters indicate:

  • The first two letters on a number plate, known as the local memory tag, reflect the DVLA office that issued the registration. These two letters are not necessarily an abbreviation of the location, but are instead representative of the region and postal area. For example, Norwich would be AO - the region (A for Anglia) and a second letter indicating a more specific location for that part of the city.
  • The first two numbers on a licence plate indicate when the car was registered. The numbers, known as ‘age identifiers’, are split into six-month periods, between March-August and September-February. For the former, the number used is simply the year. So a car registered in March 2024 would have the number ‘24’. If it’s the latter, you add 50. So if it’s October 2024, it would be 74.
  • The other three letters on a number plate are randomly generated and serve as the unique identifier for the vehicle. These three letters can be any combination of letters, excluding the letters "I" and "O" to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 and 0.

So a car registered in Norwich in October 2022 would have the number plate AO 72 ABC, for example.

March 2024's changes will impact the first numbers on the licence plate, the age identifiers. Because we’re entering a new six-month period, the numbers in March will switch from 73 to 24. The other numbers and letters will be assigned as usual.

So the above hypothetical car, if it was registered in Norwich next month, would have the number plate AO 24 ABC.

Number plates are changing in March 2024
Number plates are changing in March 2024
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Do number plates affect car value?

It’s not really accurate to say that the number plate itself impacts the price of a car. But because it indicates the car’s age, it’s a handy barometer for value.

The value of a car will (generally) drop year-on-year. Newer cars are naturally more expensive, while cars that are a few years old usually become cheaper.

Number plates, therefore, quickly let anyone know roughly how old a car is. On the other hand, a buyer will know a car with 23, 73 or 24 on it is new or fairly.

In 2020, Richard Evans of WeBuyAnyCar said: “When a car becomes a plate older, this typically depreciates the value of the car, as newer, more desirable plates are released.”

So if you want to grab a bargain for a nearly-new car, getting a car registered one plate back might be a good idea. Similarly, if you want to sell your car for the best value possible, do it before the new plates come out.

Do number plates affect your car insurance premium?

Again, number plates don’t directly impact the premium - but older and newer cars, as indicated by the age identifier, do get different valuation.

Personalised number plates are a different kettle of fish, however. Many insurance policies don’t cover personalised plates because they are so vulnerable to theft, especially if the plates are funny or notable.

You might be able to get it covered in an add-on policy, but many insurers are reluctant to do so due to the increased theft risk.

Don't forget, no matter your number plate, it only takes a few minutes to get a quote with Cuvva.

Updated on 12th February 2024