The new license plate “23” has been launched for vehicles registered since the beginning of this month.
But while a new number plate means – usually – increased sales, it also triggers action by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to ban a host of potentially crude and offensive combinations that can be created using new numbers.
This year D23 UGY, EU23 OFF and UA23 ASE have all been removed from availability, carwow exclusively revealed to This is Money today after making a Freedom of Information request.
Crude and offensive: ’23’ license plates banned, as Carwow revealed to This is Money
Carwow.co.uk, said: “Few drivers are likely to want to be told GO23 HEL or EA23 POO by the car in front of them, for example, whereas no one wants to share the road with a BA23 TRD, PS23 CHO, a TO23 ERR or an AA23 OLE, BO23 OKS and MU23 DER are also likely to cause a permanent violation.
He added: “More recent events have led to the removal of plates such as RU23 UKR, NO23 RUS and YE23 WAR, alongside CO23 ONA and EU23 BAD.”
Senior DVLA members have a bi-annual meeting at their base in Swansea to choose which ones they want removed from sale because they are being too rude.
The team of experts examines all potentially offensive meanings that can be created using the latest registration number and tries thoroughly to prevent anything that could be considered offensive from being available.
Rude number plates that might slip through the DVLA’s net before the change can still be canceled at a later date, but the DVLA said “the vast majority of registration numbers are made available” because most are unlikely to cause an offense.
Speaking to This is Money, carwow editor Hugo Griffiths said: ‘Personalised number plates are a huge business, bringing £2billion to the Treasury since the DVLA started selling them in 1989, with approximately 400,000 darling plates sold each year.
“Despite this lucrative revenue stream, some plates are just too gross for the road.
“And while few would object to the removal of offensive number plates, the bi-annual meetings where DVLA staff sit down and deliberately come up with crude combinations must be one of the highlights of the DVLA calendar. ‘organization.
“Even for those not interested in personalized registrations, changing cars during the plate change months of March and September can be a good idea, both for people wanting to have the latest reg and for hunters of good deals that could get a good deal on a car with the previous registration.’
No more loans to pay for cars
The amount borrowed by UK drivers to pay for cars hit a new record high in 2022, rising by more than £4billion from the previous year, according to a report this week.
Despite a drop in new and used car sales last year and a drop in the number of finance deals taken out, analysis of annual data released by the Finance and Leasing Association shows borrowing soared to 40, £7 billion.
This was partly due to average finance amounts per vehicle reaching levels never seen before for new and used cars, The Car Expert said.
This is despite interest rates soaring in 2022 and rising costs of living, which insiders say are putting worrying pressure on household finances.
To put the rise in borrowing into perspective, in 2009 some £11.2bn was tied up in car finance.
This means that there has been a 263% increase between this date and last year.
New car buyers borrowed £25,325 on average in 2022, up from £23,746 the year before – and more than double the amount committed in 2019, which was around £12,000 13 years earlier.
Second-hand shoppers took on a debt of £15,475, up from £14,113 respectively in 2021, according to FLA data.
Stuart Masson, editorial director of The Car Expert, said this week: ‘The UK’s reliance on car finance has increased dramatically since 2009, and with another record year of total borrowing last year during the cost crisis of life, we could see household finances under increasing pressure.
“Average borrowing for new and used vehicles has also increased again, despite rising interest rates.”
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