Dealerships and the new plate rush

Head into any dealership as summer turns to autumn, and you’ll have heard how busy March and September is.

But why the industry equivalent of Christmas during this time? It’s just swapping some plates over, right?

The short answer is not quite!

  • When a new registration is released - March and September in the United Kingdom - more work goes into preparation than first meets the eye.

    Firstly, whenever the motor trade refers to a ‘new registration’ it doesn’t mean the registering of new vehicles per se.

    It’s referring to selling new stock under the newest issue of registration for that period - which we’ve learnt is twice a year in the UK.


This time coincides with high levels of new stock onsite, so early adopters can have the newest available vehicle and plate.

It means extra pre-delivery inspections on new vehicles, valets where necessary and correctly registering the newest available plates. But what exactly is ‘the newest available’?

That starts with the current series - essentially rules - of registration. Issued in 2001 by the DVLA, all UK plates combine three separate components.

The first two letters represent where the vehicle was registered. The next two numbers represent the year, with the final three letters randomised and individual to the vehicle.

The example registration is a 2023 plate, with the current decade issue of ‘seven’ instead of ‘two’ used to differentiate between September and March.

  • Seen any ‘73’ plates recently? That driver’s been in to get the latest and greatest!

    Typically, this comes with a part-exchange of their old vehicle. With Suzuki, most will fall under Suzuki Approved Used, with a free one-year warranty and AA roadside assistance included as standard.

    Customers who may not want or have the means to get the latest and greatest, can still upgrade to something ‘newer’ at less financial cost.

    But these part-exchanges won’t prepare themselves. This means further health checks, servicing, and valets - all while simultaneously preparing new stock.

    So, if there are any delivery delays in March or September, now you can bet on the reason as to why.

Contact Us