Once upon a time the great car registration plate change was a time for celebrations and street parties.
Every 1 August there would be much jubilation throughout the nation as Bs turned to Cs. The alphabet was never more interesting and probably contributed to the numeracy and literacy of several generations.
Spotting the latest plate was a tremendously exciting thing to do, especially for youngsters in the days before the Internet, smartphones and easy availability of recreational drugs.
So far though – I was out in the dark on 1 September and did some general errands early today – I haven’t seen one 63-plate vehicle.
I have extensive motoring to do tomorrow, so I am pretty certain I will see something on my motorway travels . Three days is too long, but more to the point I couldn’t care less. The whole system is utterly uncharismatic.
I understand why the whole system was changed, but I can’t fathom why it had to become such a dreary and often confusing alignment of digits and letters that don’t mean anything to anyone anymore. It does seem that the best registration is undoubtedly a personalised one.
During my career as a car salesman I did a few 1 August events and that was fun. Taking cars on trade plates to install in a householder’s garage so that their spouses could wake up to the ultimate start of the month was a thrill.
Later, as a writer, I was always asked to do stories about the implications of the new registration. Obviously there are younger, prettier, cheaper and more talented journalists who do that sort of thing now.
The registration system is broken and it needs a kick up the bumper. Why on earth couldn’t we have a cheery engraving of a national hero on the plate? Imagine Churchill and his ubiquitous cigar for all 2014 registered cars.
Just imagine it: "How many Churchills have you seen today?" and "I’ve just picked up my Churchill Qashqai".
So is my suggestion mad? Do you care about the latest registration at all? Oh and have you seen a 63-plate yet?