The UK’s switch to twice-yearly registration plate changes continues to produce falling ‘plate premiums’ as buyers place less significance on the age identifier, says the price guide company Glass’s.

Last September, the UK switched from a single letter age identifier prefix to two numbers, beginning ‘51’, in between two letters that identify the county of first registration and three random letters. The numbers changed to ‘02’ last March and will change again to ‘52’ on 1 September.

Glass’s says the reduction in premiums buyers are prepared to pay for so-called ‘late plate’ near-new used cars has been accelerated by downward pressure on nearly-new car prices caused by exceptional new car offers – Ford, Vauxhall and Citroen are already offering discounts on new models introduced only in recent months.

“The premium for the ’01 51′ plate has eased back slightly in relation to the ’01Y’ and the monetary benefit for the ’02 51′ over the ’01 51′ is virtually non-existent – perhaps only a nominal £50 to £100 when comparing two identical cars with the same mileage,” said Glass’s managing editor Adrian Rushmore.

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