Fleet News

September registration change sparks residuals fears

CHANGES to the vehicle registration system are set to take place in September next year with the present R-mark running for 13 months, according to new Government proposals, sparking residual value fears. Following last week's motor industry anger that the Government had decided against introducing the hoped for changes in March next year.

Transport Minister Gavin Strang has now written to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, the Retail Motor Industry Federation and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders outlining the Government's plans for change. The Government plan would see plate changes from September next year followed by March 1999 and six-monthly thereafter with a new registration format to be introduced following the expiry of the current system or just before.

But, the BVRLA fears a residual value crisis if the change takes place in September next year. Secretary general Norman Donkin said it would prefer the change to be postponed until March 1999 as the Government had ruled out March 1998. A spokesman for the RMI said the organisation was happy with the new plan but a spokesman for the SMMT said: 'There are several issues on the agenda which need to be resolved. We will talk to our members about the logistical situation.'

All three organisations will talk to their members before formally answering Strang's letter, with the Government expected to make an announcement before Christmas.

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