Fleet News

Why proper plates are of vital importance...

'I WAS under the impression that when the new numberplate system came in, all plates should be of a standard format, with the spacing of the numbers and letters following exact rules, with no deviation.

But, looking at some vehicles on our roads, this legislation is clearly being broken.

It may be by a tiny minority, but rules are rules and must be adhered to. Somebody somewhere is making these illegal plates, so the first thing to do is find out who they are and stop them.

But invariably the illegal plates do not have a name or postcode for the supplier on them, although by law they must do.

While the rest of us use legal plates that can be clearly read by cameras, some people are simply escaping driving and speeding fines. This should all change on January 1 next year when further new laws come into effect.

From then, all numberplate suppliers have to be registered with the DVLA and will have to keep records of all plate sales.

From January 1, anyone who wants to replace a number plate will have to show the registered supplier documents to prove who they are and also entitlement to the registration mark.

Various documents will be accepted as proof of registration mark, such as the V5 registration document, V11 licence renewal application, or a letter on headed paper from a contract hire or leasing company, including VAT number, or a VE103 vehicle on hire certificate.

For proof of identity you will need passport, driving licence or credit/debit card with a photograph.

In a nutshell, it won't be easy to get a new numberplate, especially for a vehicle owned by somebody else. Getting one quickly will be out of the question. Hopefully this will cut out all the illegally spaced plates and the police will stop any drivers who have them to ensure they get proper ones fitted.

This will reduce the number of stolen vehicles getting new identities and although it will undoubtedly make more work and inconvenience for the honest people, it will at least be more difficult for thieves to move on stolen cars and vans.

Demand wanes for small coupes

THE demand for small coupes, such as Vauxhall Tigra, Ford Puma and Renault Megane, appears to be waning.

This is probably because some of them are no longer available new any more and there are no replacements for them in the offing. But there does appear to be a move towards the cheaper end of the sports car market, both new and used. If you can't get four people in one of these small coupes, why not go for a two-seater instead?

That is exactly what some people are doing and not only are they getting open-top motoring with loads of image and fun, but at a price that is not much more than the cramped coupe.

Cabriolets that have benefited include Mazda MX-5, MG-F and TF and Toyota MR-2, with sales and demand for these continuing to grow.

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