Fleet News

Registration plate residual values erode

THE 3% residual value premium traditionally associated with the arrival of a new registration plate over the previous letter will be partially eroded with the September launch of Britain's new number plate system. The March edition of Glass's Information Services' AutoProVision suggests that, under the new system, the importance of the registration plate will fade - with the year in which the car was first registered becoming more important in determining a car's value.

The shape of the new registration plate - a two-letter regional identifier, a two-number age identifier and three randomly selected letters - means the plate that identifies a car as being new will be less obvious in the future and, according to AutoProVision editor Bill Carter, will lessen in importance. He said: 'These initial September plate cars will therefore be worth slightly less than the 3% premium normally experienced by a new plate.'

Both Glass's and CAP Network agree that only fleets operating short-term replacement cycles - typically rental fleets - will see any adverse residual value impact. This week Carter said: 'When the first wave of ex-rental cars come back into the marketplace at around a year old, there is still likely to be a considerable ignorance among used car buyers about the new number format. These cars will need to be marketed carefully to ensure the right return is obtained.'

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