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2013 plate will be parked

Clearly the luck of the Irish isn't up to the year that's soon to be in it.

The Irish government is reportedly set to introduce a new license-plate system next year amid fears that a "13" registration number will diminish new car sales.

Irish license plates show the car's year as well as its home county.

Cars registered between January and the end of June will have a "131" notation on the plate. Those from July 1 to the end of the year will have "132" on the plate.

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The decision, according to an Irish Times report, is based partly on fears that superstition over a "13" plate would affect sales and partly in response to the motor industry's plea to spread sales more evenly across the year.

Up to now, there has been a glut of sales every January to March/April and then a virtual trickle of purchases for the rest of the year. This puts huge financial pressure on dealerships as cash flow dries up, the report stated.

By having a July registration, it is hoped that the sales bulge will be spread out over the year and possibly give a mid-summer lift to buying.

A bi-annual system is used in Britain, the report noted.

A government spokesman confirmed that the Department of Finance was actively considering the proposed change as part of a consultation process with the motor industry.

But the spokesman declined to comment because this is an issue that may arise in December's Budget. The Revenue Commissioners also declined to comment, the report concluded.