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Swinton warns motorists to be vigilant when buying registration plates

One in ten motorists face fines of up to £1,000 for driving with registration plates that do not conform to DVLA regulations, according to Swinton, the UK’s leading high street car insurance retailer.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment failed to recognise 12% of vehicle registration plates in a five month period due to defective number plates. This means that up to 12% of vehicles do not comply with DVLA regulations leaving drivers vulnerable to on-the-spot fines.

With the growing use of automated speed cameras and surveillance equipment, police are being extra vigilant towards number plates which do not conform to strict guidelines issued by the DVLA which specify the typeface, size, distance between the lettering and colouring of the characters on the plate.

An online survey of 1,764 Swinton motor insurance customers found that 68% of motorists did not know if their number plate conformed to DVLA regulations, and a worrying 21% believed that their plates might not conform to correct standards.

Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager, for Swinton said: “Many drivers are unaware of the strict guidelines imposed by the DVLA on registration plates. If you are in any doubt it is best to take your car to one of the 35,000 businesses registered with the ‘The Register of Number Plate Suppliers’ which was set up in 2003 to regulate number plates across the country and reduce criminal activity.

“If you are thinking about buying a new registration plate, make sure it is purchased from a reputable dealer and ensure that it conforms to the correct guidelines which can be found at DVLA website.”

“Although it can be quite costly to buy personalised number plates, such as Ronaldo’s recent £150,000 purchase of registration CR7, it is relatively inexpensive to replace an existing plate, costing as little at £8.”

One motorist, Heather Price from Manchester, said: “I got stopped by the police on my way to work. They told me that the letters on my private number plate were not spaced correctly and that I was breaking the law. Fortunately I got off with a warning but I have had to get my plates replaced.”

ENDS

For more information contact Anoushka Foster, Michael Travers or Sarah Challinor at Spinoza Kennedy Vesey PR on 0161 838 7770.

About Swinton

• With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK’s largest high street insurance retailer

• Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

• Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

• With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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