Since 1987 registration plates in Ireland have been very similar to those in a number of other European countries. A blue Euro badge with black lettering on a white background on the front and rear of the vehicle.
Before that the number plates had letters for the counties in the Republic of Ireland with Black lettering on a white background at the front and on a red background at the rear.
Then in 1987 the new system came in with year (12) the County or City (e.g W for Waterford City) and random numbers.
So it is all change in 2013 because of the "13" factor and the possible effect on the Irish car market. Vehicles registered between January and the end of June will have a '131' registration. Those from July 1 to the end of the year will have '132' on the plate.
In the AA Ireland December blog they said "Motorists were not at all keen on this idea when it first came out. We asked people about it as part of our AA Motorists’ Panel poll and the results were strongly in favour of sticking with the existing system."
Anyway it looks like it is all change now, so when you are hiring a car in Ireland in 2013 you will soon be able to spot how old it actually is. Not only will you be able to tell it is a 2013 registration, but if it is has 131 in the registration it will have been registered between January and the end of June and 132 from July till December.
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February 2013 See New Number Plate system in Ireland
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