Cycling and motor specialist retailer Halfords have surveyed over 2,000 UK drivers to understand how much the public really knows about number plates. The survey released a shocking lack of knowledge around the subject:
- 77% of UK drivers don’t know how much they could be fined for driving with an illegal number plate
- Young drivers are six times more likely to buy an illegal number plate than those over 45
- 1 in 20 UK drivers think they can legally use a football club crest on their number plate
- 1 in 20 motorists admitted to previously buying an illegal number plate from an unregistered supplier
- 85% of drivers don’t know what documents they need to provide when buying a number plate
This lack of knowledge appears to be driving a rise in illegal number plate penalties across the UK. Halfords gained data from 49 UK police constabularies regarding the number of drivers being fined for an illegal number plate between 2016 and 2017.
The FOI requests showed that number plate crime rose by an average of 18% between 2016 and 2017, according to data provided by UK police forces. They detected 7,876 non-roadworthy plates in 2016, which increased to 9,031 in 2017.
Several areas in the UK showed particularly dramatic rises. Warwickshire, Dorset, Gwent and Northumbria were the highest, increasing by 179%, 161%, 96%, and 94% respectively.
Katie Sexton, number plate expert at Halfords explained more about the research “The study proves that there is a lack of understanding of the legalities surrounding number plates. With number plate crime on the rise, it is important that motorists get their replacement number plates from a reputable registered supplier, such as Halfords, and are asked to provide proof of identification and entitlement to show that they have the right to use the registration.”