Blue and White paper - Plate change

We dive deep in to plate change: causes, consequences and what you can do about it

Published: 21st September 2017

In the second "Blue and White paper" from Cox Automotive Data Solutions, we take a deep dive in to the causes and consequences of plate change, and offer practical recommendations. Read the Executive Summary, or download the full paper below.

A deep dive in to plate change

Author: Dr Shaun McGirr, Lead Data Scientist
Editor: Michael O’Rourke, Associate Data Scientist

Executive Summary

  1. In most countries, a new vehicle model is released whenever the manufacturer chooses to launch it, and this drives what consumers perceive to be the latest on the market. In the UK perceptions are driven much more by the “plate” number, which changes twice a year in March and September.

  2. This steers new vehicle buying towards the months after each plate change, which has a knock-on effect in the used market as new vehicle purchases are usually funded by disposal of a used vehicle.

  3. We show evidence that plate changes immediately trigger excess used vehicle supply, but that March and September are different. How different depends on the change in demand for used vehicles: unless it increases in parallel with supply, over-supply compounds further.

  4. Over-supply peaks about two months after each plate change; at that point buyers start competing for good retail stock.

  5. This happens every year, but some vendors manage plate change better than others. We offer several practical suggestions for making the most of this repeating story.

Note: this is our view based on the data available to us at present. Readers should compare our findings with their own experience before making the decision that is best for their business.

If you have any questions about this paper, please get in touch.

Media contact: Gwen Allen, 07392 082320

Blue and White paper 2 - Plate change - 2017-09-21.pdf


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