Superstitious motorcyclists will have to live with the dreaded ’13’ on their number plate if they want a new bike next March – or pay for a personal registration to replace it.

Despite rumours that drivers could choose to retain the ‘62’ plate after March 1 the DVLA has confirmed that every new vehicle will automatically carry a ‘13’ plate – the only escape is to choose a private plate at a cost of at least £250.

The issue also raises questions about reluctance among superstitious people to purchase used bikes in future which carry the ‘13’ plate.

Martin Ward speaking from CAP (used vehicle pricing experts) said: “Believe it or not the trade has been rife with talk about this issue recently but it seems the rumours that superstitious drivers will be allowed to opt out of ‘unlucky 13’ was based more on hope than fact – as our contacts at the DVLA have confirmed.

“While it is easy to poke fun at common superstitions it is a fact that many people really are nervous about many of them and will go out of their way to avoid walking under ladders or insist on throwing salt over their shoulder if they spill some.

CAP has received numerous enquiries about the potential impact of Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13 – on demand for 13 plate vehicles and the impact on their depreciation. However, without hard data on the number of truly superstitious people and insight into how seriously they really take the issue it remains a matter of conjecture.

Martin Ward added: “It’s not often we say this at CAP but we have no idea whether the used values of 13 plate vehicles will be affected or not, although it does seem unlikely.

Suffice to say the prospect of a nervous 13 plate rider seeing a lone Magpie through their visors on Friday 13th doesn’t bear thinking about and our best advice is to make sure you don’t ride a March 2013 bike under any ladders.

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