A European Union proposal to introduce a standard design for all European number plates will not be supported by the UK Government. Several national newspapers including the Daily Express and the Daily Mail broke the news claiming British number plates could be axed. The legislation being worked on by a Dutch Liberal Democrat MEP suggests vehicles across EU member states should all display number plates in common colours.
Fears among British motorists, including some who paid large amounts of money for the rights to display personalised registrations, were evident following an influx of telephone calls and emails to cherished number dealers. The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) responded with the following statement:
“We are aware of today’s articles regarding the EU proposal to standardise the design of vehicle registration numbers. The Agency has been advised by Department for Transport that there are no proposals being drawn up by the EU Commission to introduce a European standardised number plate format. Neither the Commission nor any other EU countries are pursuing this idea. It is just one MEP suggesting that the Commission could consider this idea in the future. The UK Government does not support this amendment; the idea is not going to go anywhere.”
Considering sales of personalised registrations raises almost one hundred million pounds of revenue for HM Treasury every year, it is not surprising officials in Westminster are against the proposal. British motorists are legally required to display number plates on their vehicles to comply with The Motor Car Act 1903; one of the main purposes of the Act is to help identify vehicles and their drivers.