There are a lot of things motorists worry about when buying a car. From whether or not the vehicle is a ‘cut and shut’ or a ‘write-off’, or whether the previous owner paid off the car finance, a range of issues should be asked by buyers, while traders should be completely honest with their customers.
However, new research by Admiral has found some people could be concerned about meaningless issues. For example, the common fear of ‘triskaidekaphobia’, or fear of the number 13, could have led to many people balking at the idea of buying a new car from March to September 2013, as 13 would have been on the number plate.
But people with 13 on their numberplate were actually found to be the least likely to be involved in road traffic accident claims. The riskiest number plate was actually the 54 plate, from September 2004 – drivers of these cars were deemed to be 53% more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than people with 13 plates, and 56% more likely to have to make a claim on their car insurance.
The second-riskiest numberplate was 56, followed by 55, 53 and 04. While 13 was the safest, the second-most safe was 11, followed by 09, 12 and 10.
Managing Director of Admiral Sue Longthorn explained the company wanted to see whether there was any correlation between the famously unlucky number 13 and the number of road traffic accident claims.
She said it was surprising to see that 13 plates are actually the safest plates in the last ten years, claiming this “certainly debunks” the trisaidekaphobia superstition.
Buying a safe car
While personal injury solicitors appreciate the Admiral study is good fun and entertaining, they would advise people not to rely on a car’s numberplate to avoid road traffic accident claims – the findings of the Admiral research are likely based on fluke rather than anything else. People who are buying used cars should buy from used car dealers, as this will provide them with a higher degree of consumer protection should things go wrong, and should never feel pressured into buying a car they are uncertain of. They should also conduct a few tests, such as by checking that the information in the logbook is accurate and that the Vehicle Identification Number is the same as is in the logbook. Vehicle history checks, service history checks and MOT checks are also essential.
Safety features are also important things for people to check when buying cars. There are a huge number of safety features available nowadays, which can reduce the likelihood and severity of road traffic accident claims. Research is essential if consumers are to make an informed choice. It is always best to buy from licensed dealers – people selling their car privately, such as through newspaper ads or by putting a sign in the car window, will not reach the same standards of consumer protection as licensed traders.