Fleet News

Industry in chaos over plate change future

THREE weeks after P-plate day and the belief that the annual August 1 race for a new car with a new registration plate was coming to an end, it emerged that there may be R-plate day on August 1, 1997 and changing the system could be put on hold pending a general election.

The Department of Transport is assessing up to 10 alternatives to the present system, but almost everyone in the motor and fleet industries has a view on what the alternative should be - if, indeed, there should be a change.

The review may lead to a consultative document. But a DoT insider said: 'Don't assume that because certain parties have declared an interest we have to take it forward. One of the interested parties is the public purse and that will be a major consideration.'

And if most fleet operators believe that issuing registrations quarterly rather than once a year would have little or no effect on car buying patterns for business those with doubts were still very easy to find. About 10 different schemes were proposed jointly by the Society Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Retail Motor Industry Federation and while the DoT didn't know what would happen they knew what wouldn't. For one thing there is no chance of seeing the P plates change to R plates in December as has been widely predicted in the press.

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