Classic Motors News

Number Plates – Upcoming changes to legislation from 1st January 2021

Introduction of the new standard for number plates : BS AU 145e

The British Standards Institute publishes the technical standards that all number plates are required to satisfy and this requirement is mandated in law. In March 2018, the BSI published an updated standard for number plates, BS AU 145e. This new standard will improve the durability of new number plates and enhance compatibility with on road enforcement cameras.

The new standard also requires that plates only display single shade black lettering removing the ability to use different shades to produce 3D effects or highlighting.

The agency has not seen any evidence to show that number plates displaying raised plastic, acrylic or perspex lettering (3D/4D plates) are able to meet the requirements of either the current or new the British Standard.

To take effect this new British Standard needs to be incorporated into the regulations and will become mandatory from 1st September 2021 but can be used from 1st January 2021.

This means that as a supplier you: must ensure that the number plates you supply can meet all the requirements of the standard and legislative requirements and should contact your component supplier or manufacturer if you are unsure whether the components they supply for you can meet the standard. It is an offence to supply number plates that cannot meet the standard

Changes to the eligibility for black and silver number plates

It will be specified in law from 1st January 2021 that only vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1980 are eligible to display “black and silver” number plates

As a supplier this means you: can only produce black and silver number plates for those vehicles registered prior to 1st January 1980 that have also been licensed in the historic tax class

Removal of the “EU” symbol

As part of the UK’s exit from the EU, government will remove the ability to fix a new number plate displaying the Euro symbol after the end of the EU exit transition period. Those registration plates fixed to a vehicle before 1st January 2021 will be unaffected.

As a supplier this means you: cannot produce a number plate with an “EU” symbol from 1st January 2021

Green Number Plates

Green Number Plates (GNP) will signify that the vehicle emits zero emissions and will consist of a green flash on the left hand side of a registration number plate. They will be non-mandatory and available to new and existing qualifying vehicles.

Regional emblems and identifiers that are currently permitted can still be displayed on the green flash.

Eligibility

Only vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions (e.g. fully battery electric, or hydrogen fuel cell) can display a green number plate. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids (including range extenders) are not eligible.

This applies to all vehicle types – cars, vans, taxis, motorbikes; and buses, coaches and HGV’s

Design

The regulations state that the green flash must be no less than 40mm in width, and no more than 50mm in width it must be retro-reflective and be matching or of an equivalent green to the Pantone 7481c colour reference

Examples

DVLA – Classic Car Tax

Owners of tax-exempt cars who have had to pay to keep their classic cars legally on the road during the lockdown will have their money refunded the DVLA has announced this week.

Since the DVLA suspended most of their paperwork enquiries during the lockdown many owners have not been able to register classic vehicles’ to ‘Historic’ vehicle status and have had to pay hundreds of pounds in additional road tax to enable them to drive their cars legally.

The DVLA announced that classic car owners obliged to tax their historic vehicles from April will be refunded each full month of excise duty paid. Refunds will take place 6 weeks after documents have been processed.

Since staff returned to work on 15th June they have been working through the backlog of documentation needed to change the tax class of cars to ‘Historic’ meaning not everyone has been able to take advantage of their cars new found Vehicle Excise Duty exemption (VED). This has meant that some owners of classic vehicles had no choice but to keep their documents back and tax their cars as usual.

So a nice getsure from DVLA for a change.

Don’t forget if you are looking for a cherished number plate for your classic vehicle we have a huge database to search through. As well as offering private number plates we have cheap bargain number plates starting from £110 all inclusive. Whatever your combination and budget we are sure we have something for everyone.

Please contact our Sales Staff on 0116 235 0116

DVLA Backlog

Most of the country were put into lockdown back in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world. DVLA were just one of the government bodies that closed most of its services as most of their staff were furloughed.

A reduced staff returned to work at DVLA on 12th June after nearly 3 months on lockdown. This closure has meant that many classic car enthusiasts, motor dealers and general members of the public that had sent in paper applications just before the lockdown have been in limbo as nothing has been processed and basically any paperwork has just been lying in the offices at DVLA. Some of the online services which have been crucial for many however have also had problems which have not seen transfers being processed, and mot and car tax exemptions not being able to be declared and sorted online and therefore having to be sent in as postal applications knowing that the backlog could mean further delays in the processing of the applications. A DVLA spokesperson has said that they are processing the applications as quickly as possible but for some people that has also led to them not being able to use their vehicles.

This has also had an effect with number plate transfers. Most applications can be done using the DVLA online facility but for some where they have purchased a cherished number plate and their vehicle is a classic or imported vehicle or there is an issue regarding sorn or car tax then these applications have not been able to be done online and some customers paperwork has been at DVLA for the whole 3 months of lockdown. If you have any queries they are now answering some telephones in some of their departments at DVLA Swansea but it may be worth waiting a few weeks for them to clear the backlog if you have to send in something to them. Remember always take copies of anything you need to send and if you do manage to speak to an advisor then take a reference number to help if you need to make any further corresponding calls.

We at Motor Marks may be able to help with some of your queries so if you need any advice we are happy to try and help.

VE DAY 75 YEARS 1945 – 2020

Well this Friday 8th May 2020 will mark 75 years since VE Day. VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day and is the day we celebrate the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its Armed Forces on Tuesday 8th May 1945.

Germany’s leader Adolph Hitler had committed suicide on 30th April during the Battle of Berlin and Germany’s surrender was authorised by his successor Reichsprasident Karl Donitz. The administration which was headed by Karl Donitz was known as the Flensburg Government and the act of military surrender was first signed on 7th May 1945 at 02.41 in Shaff HQ at Reims and a slightly modified document was signed in Berlin on 8th May 1945. Most countries around the world celebrate the end of World War II on 8th May.

This year should have seen many street parties and gatherings and special commemorations around the world marking the 75th Anniversary, however due to the Covid 19 all these planned events have had to be put on hold until we can all celebrate when this pandemic is over.

We would like to honour this day and pay tribute to everyone that made this day happen.

Part of the Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s VE Day speech as he waved to the crowds from the Ministry of Health balcony on 8th May 1945 was:

“My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not a victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole.

Although we will be staying at home this year to celebrate we shall raise a glass to all those that made VE Day happen we are truly honoured.

We have some cherished number plates that we feel mark the occasion

Cherished Number Plates

Cherished Number Plates – What are they?

Typically cherished number plates are usually dateless registration numbers that are dated pre 1963 and were usually found on vintage and classic vehicles. Nowadays a cherished number plate can be anything! You have the names, the dateless, the prefix and suffix registration numbers and now the newstyle number plates, not forgetting the Northern Ireland registration numbers it can mean absolutely nothing to you but to someone else everything. You can even get your full name.. example NGO 1D if you are called Nigel Gold. Cherished Number Plates are an investment!!

Years ago Cherished Number Plates as they were coined could cost tens of thousands of pounds and many still do just take a look at some of the recent sales in the auctions some numbers fetching over half a million pounds…. but you can get a Cherished Number Plate for you for as little as £116 all in see our cheap page

The ‘Term’ Cherished /Personalised number plate was coined because for these registration numbers to remain in circulation for such a long time ie their ownership had to be passed along, sometimes the registration number remaining in a particular family for generations.

The best example of one such Cherished Number Plate was the renowned A 1 number plate which was one of the first registration numbers given out by London County Council. The number plate was secured by Earl Russell who queued outside their offices in 1903 to acquire the registration number for his Napier and he had it until 1907 when he sold his Napier car with the A 1 number plate on to a gentleman called George Pettyt who was the chairman of the London County Council. He kept the number is his possession and had it transferred onto various vehicles. When Mr Pettyt died in 1950 the number plate was on a Sunbeam Talbot and was left in his will to a Mr Laker who in turn kept the registration number (this was stipulated in the will of Mr Pettyt that he had to retain the number plate until his death) until his death in 1970 .

After Mr Lakers death, Dunlop purchased the number plate for a staggering £2500 which on today’s market would probably be a million pounds plus’ and the money was donated to the Guide Dogs for the Blind as Mr Laker had stated it was his wish for a dogs charity to receive the money from the sale of the registration number A 1.

In the early 2000’s the registration A 1 was sold again and Prince Bolkiah a member of the Brunei Royal Family became the new owner and it was paired with 1 A to be displayed on matching white Bentley Azures. Quite a history !!!

How do I assign a Cherished Number Plate ?

If buying from a number plate dealer, this is usually done for you by them. If the number you are buying is on a retention certificate then the documents required are the current V5C for the receiving vehicle which has to be currently taxed and MOT’d. Most of these transfers can now be done instantly using the online facility via the DVLA website upon cleared funds, however if the application cannot be processed online then it will have to be posted to DVLA Swansea cherished number plate section and the transfer can take up to 10 days.

If the number you are buying is already on a vehicle then this will have to be posted and on most occasions is all processed within 14 days, however this can take longer if the donor vehicle needs to have a DVLA inspection (most pre-1963 vehicles need to be inspected by DVLA and the odd newer vehicle, however we cannot determine which ones).
The DVLA usually send an appointed inspector to come and check the vehicle and its identity. The cost incurred in transferring a cherished number plate is £80.00 which is made payable to DVLA Swansea.

How do I retain a Cherished Number Plate ?

The cost to Retain a cherished number plate is £80.00 which is made payable to DVLA Swansea. When you retain a number plate the certificate will show that the assignment fee has already been paid so you would not pay any further fees when you come to transfer the cherished number plate off the retention certificate at a later date.
A retention certificate is also now valid for 10 years from the date that the number plate is retained by DVLA Swansea.

How do I sell my number plate ?

If you have a cherished number plate that you want to sell, if this is on a retention certificate then all we require is the valid V750 or V778 document which can usually be transferred online using the DVLA website facility. If the number is on an existing vehicle then the rules require that the donor vehicle must have been taxed by yourselves when it had a current MOT and then you have 5 years to sell the number. If it goes over the 5 years then in order to sell the number plate you would have to get the vehicle re-taxed and MOT’d. All MOT’d exempt vehicles however do require a voluntary MOT to take part in the cherished number plate’s transfer rules set out by DVLA.

So a little bit of history for you and some common questions answered.

If you would like any information on a number plate you wish to sell or would like us to find a number plate to suit you then give our Sales Team a call we are always happy to help 0116 235 0116

Alternatively why not browse our huge database of cherished number plates.

MoT’s and Classic Cars

Classic Cars built between 1st January 1960 and 31st December 1977 become MoT exempt from this Sunday 20th May 2018 making the complete responsibility of their roadworthiness placed in the hands of their owners. This may seem a massive change but in fact the situation is business as usual, as keepers of these such vehicles and indeed all other vehicles – have always been responsible for the roadworthiness of their vehicles, the difference is that now such keepers will be persuaded to undertake their own regular vehicle roadworthiness inspections. Pre 1978 cars classed as historic may still be presented for MoT’s but likely that inspectors overtime become fewer and farther between and may lead to failure notices where none should have been issued with resultant difficulties in achieving a pass at the same place or understanding the status of the vehicle. Worse still vehicles could be issued a pass certificate when the car is in fact unsafe.

Large goods vehicles (ie goods vehicles with a maximum laden weight of more than 3.5 tonnes) and buses (ie vehicles with 8 or more seats) that are used commercially will not be exempted from periodic testing when they reach 40 years old. In addition a vehicle that has been substantially changed within the previous 30 years will have to be submitted for annual MoT testing.

How to declare a vehicle for the 40 year MoT exemption.
Vehicle keepers are required to ensure their vehicles are taxed when used on a public road. From May 20th 2018 the keeper of the vehicle can declare their vehicle exempt from the MoT at the point of taxing it if it was constructed more than 40 years ago. You will be asked when declaring the MoT exemption that there has been no substantial changes to the vehicle (a vehicle will be considered substantially changed if the technical characteristics of the main components have changed in the previous 30 years unless the changes fall into specific categories)

Chassis: Replacements of the same pattern as the original, monocoque bodyshells including any sub frames (replacements of the same pattern as the original) are not considered a substantial change.

Axles/Running Gear: Alteration of and/or method of suspension or steering does constitute a substantial change

Engine: Alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines are not considered a substantial change. If the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original it is likely to be but not necessarily the case that the current engine is not alternative original equipment.

The following are considered acceptable NOT substantial changes if they fall into these specific categories:
Changes that are made to preserve a vehicle, which in all cases must be when original-type parts are no longer reasonably available.
Changes of a type that can be demonstrated to have been made when vehicles of the type were in production or in general use (within 10 years of the end of production).
In respect to axles and running gear changes made to improve efficiency,safety or environmental performance.
In respect of vehicles that have been commercial vehicles, changes which can be demonstrated were being made when these vehicles were being used commercially.

In addition if a vehicle (including a motorcyle):
Has been issued with a registration number with a Q prefix, or
Is a kit car assembled from components from various makes and models of vehicle, or
Is a reconstructed classic vehicle as defined by DVLA guidance, or
Is a kit conversion, where a kit of new parts is added to an existing vehicle, or old parts are added to a kit of a manufactured body, chassis or monocoque bodyshell changing the general appearance of the vehicle; It will be considered to have been substantially changed and will not be exempt from MoT testing.

However if any of the above types of vehicle is taxed as a ‘historic vehicle’ and has not been modified during the previous 30 years, it can be considered as Vehicles of Historic Interest (VHI). (Keepers of VHIs exempt from periodic testing continue to be responsible for their vehicles roadworthiness). The guidance is only intended to determine the testing position of a substantially changed vehicle.

How to register your vehicle from MoT Exemption
Where vehicle keepers first apply for the historic vehicle tax class, it must be done at a post office. If you are declaring that your vehicle is exempt from MoT you will need to complete a V112 declaration form, taking into consideration the substantially changed guidelines (as defined above). Further re-licensing applications, including making subsequent declarations that the vehicle does not require an MoT, can be completed online. gov.uk/historic-vehicles

 

Also what better accessory for your classic or historic vehicle, a personalised or cherished number plate. Cheap, Bargain or expensive number plates we have millions to choose from, browse through our database or alternatively give one of our experienced sales staff a call on 0116 235 0116.

MOT Exemption

The Department of Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Swansea has announced that Classic Cars/Vehicles that are more than 40 years old will be exempt from MOT testing. As from May 20th 2018 any vehicle that is 40 years old or more will no longer need to have an MOT, however owners can volunteer for an MOT if they feel that their vehicle needs one.

Currently only vehicles from before 1960 are exempt, which represents 197,000 cars on UK roads, this new ruling will exempt a further 293,000 cars from having an MOT.

This means with no MOT, free tax and cheap Insurance if you don’t already own a classic car/vehicle then now is the time to get one. Once you have one then why not invest in a cherished or personalised number plate, a perfect accessory to your vehicle and not only are they a great investment they will also look fab on your classic vehicle.

If you would like us to assist you with any queries that you may have or would like any help in finding you a private car number plate then please contact one of our sales staff on 0116 235 0116 where they will be more than happy to help.

You can also browse through our huge database of personalised car number plates via our homepage search

If you dont want to spend a fortune but still like the idea of having your own special car number plate then we also have a varied selection of cheap and bargain car number plates that can be fully transferred to your vehicle for £116.00 all inclusive.

So what are you waiting for, happy browsing.

 

 

 

Your Eyesight and Driving

We all know the saying ‘keep your eyes on the road’ but how often do you get your eyes checked ? In the UK once you have passed your Driving Test you don’t have to have any further visual checks. On your driving test you must demonstrate that your eyesight is good enough to be able to drive safely. You do this by reading a clean car number plate of the old style from a minimum distance of 20.5 metres ( approx 67 feet or 5 car lengths).

In some European countries however you are required to have a visual test every 10 years. Do you think this should be the case in the UK?

 

Think your eyesight may be getting worse? Don’t delay act now.

 

We all lead busy hectic lives and might overlook the signs that our eyes are not as good as they once were. You might find road signs harder to read or judging distances may be harder or you may find it more difficult when you drive at night. These could be signs that your eyesight may be deteriorating.

So make sure you stay alert and get your eyesight checked every 2 years. Stay safe when driving.

 

 

Road Safety Advice

Here at Motor Marks although we deal in the sale and purchase of cherished, personalised and DVLA car registration numbers browse our database we also like to inform our potential customers and road users of the need to be aware of the potential dangers that you can encounter on the roads.

We have therefore compiled a Road Safety Advice for you to familiarise with, even if you already know, it doesn’t help to read up on it again.

Driving Too Close – The 2 second rule.

You should always drive with at least a 2 second time gap between you and the vehicle in front; for example:

On a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post or road sign
When the vehicle in front passes that point, say out loud “Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule”
Check your position in relation to your chosen point as you finish saying this. If you have already passed the point, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front and need to drop back.
In wet weather, double the distance between your vehicle and the one in front by saying “Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule ” twice.

One of the key reasons that drivers lose concentration or become stressed when driving is because they are in a hurry.

Remember COAST 

Concentrate on your driving at all times

Observe all around yyou

Anticipate what might happen next

Space give space at all times, it gives you

Time to plan your driving

Tiredness and Fatigue

It is estimated that drivers who fall asleep at the wheel account for around one fifth of incidents on major roads, to avoid this:

Plan your journey to include a 15 minute break every 2 hours
Don’t start a long trip if you are already tired
Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start a long drive
Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when you are likely to feel sleepy anyway
If you start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop
The only real cure for tiredness is proper sleep. A caffeine drink and a 20 minute nap are a short-term solution

Mental and physical fatigue through working long hours, lack of rest and/or not eating properly or getting de-hydrated could lead to a lapse in concentration, reduced reaction time and poor decision making over safety critical issues.

Research shows that almost 20% of collisions on major roads are sleep-related
Peak times for collisions are in the early hours and after lunch
About 40% of sleep-related incidents involve commercial vehicles
Men under 30 have the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel

 

Emergency Vehicles

By following a few simple steps, you can help the emergency services get to the scene faster and safer:

When you hear sirens, don’t panic and stay alert
When you see blue flashing lights scan the road looking for a place that will allow the emergency vehicle safe passage. You should use your indicators or hand signals to let other drivers and the emergency vehicle driver know your intent to pull over
Don’t slam on your brakes or stop abruptly blocking the road or a junction
Do not mount the pavement causing a danger to other road users
Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for more than one. Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before moving back into traffic
Never follow or try to outrun the emergency vehicle. If you do, you will most likely be breaking the speed limit and could also face charges of careless or dangerous driving
Never try to overtake a moving emergency vehicle displaying the flashing lights unless directed to do so by a police officer or emergency personnel

 

When will I be safe to drive?

Do you know what the actual limits are when it comes to having a drink and then driving?

Bottled Lager. Drink five bottles and you should not frive for at least 11 hours. That’s 11am the morning after if you finish drinking at midnight.
Wine. If you drink a bottle of 15% wine (just three 250ml glasses) – you should not drive for 13 hours – that’s 1pm the next day if you finish drinking at midnight
Pints. Drink four pints of lager and you should not drive for at least 13 hours. That’s 1pm the next day if you finish drinking at midnight.
Spirits. Drink four 70ml doubles and you should not drive for 13 hours. Thats 1pm the next day iof you finish drinking at midnight.
Cans. Drink five super-strength cans and you should not drive for about 21 hours – almost a full day later.

 

Know your speed limits

Check your speedometer regularly
Know the limits – look for signs, especially at junctions
Street lighting means 30mph, until signs say otherwise
Remember, speed limits are a maximum not a target, try using 3rd gear in a 30mph limit to help you stay in the limit
Recognise what makes you speed – keeping up with traffic, overtaking or being tailgated
Concentrate – distracted drivers speed
The minimum penalty for speeding is £100 fine an 3 penalty points added on your licence.

Be aware and stay safe.

AB 1 Number Plate

A former chief constable has bought the first number plate AB 1 issued to the county after a police boss put the number plate up for sale.

The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion faced a backlash from ex-officers after he decided to sell the cherished AB 1 number plate to raise money for police funds.

Mr Campion said the car number plate had not been used for six years for security reasons and said the force was unlikely to use the car number plate on any of its vehicles in the future. His decision however sparked an angry backlash from several former police officers including Alan Matthews who launched a petition against the sale and which attracted 895 supporters.

The AB 1 cherished car registration number was traditionally displayed on the staff cars of the Worcestershires chief constables.

Paul West a former West Mercia Police chief constable has reassured retired officers that the piece of police heritage is safe in his possession.

It has been reported that Mr West purchased the AB 1 Cherished car registration number for £160,000 despite estimates that it was worth between £225,000 and £275,000.

‘I strongly opposed the sale’ he said and once I  knew it was back on the open market we made a decision within the family and we decided we had to buy it.

The former chief constable said he is looking forward to once again driving around in a car which uses the historic car number plate. He also said that he will not sell the cherished number plate during his lifetime and that he will pass it onto his family when he dies.

Remember if you are looking for a cherished or personalised car number plate then search through our millions of number online via our website home page or alternatively contact one of our experienced sales staff on 0116 235 0116.

 

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