Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Making 3 an E could boost car sales

While the number 13 scares lots of people and Friday the 13th some even more, come next Ireland’s car buyers will have no choice in their new car having the number 13 on the plate — for every day of its life!, writes Connor O’Rourke.

Many in the motor industry see this as a real problem and expect car sales to suffer as buyers simply put off their purchase until 2014. But Mark Grainger, founder of — the free car sales website — has a suggestion that could turn the problem into a real opportunity for buyers and sellers alike.

The Kildare businessman believes that if we turned around the digit 3 in the 13 plates we would end up with a once-off ‘1E’ registration that would not only solve the problem of the unlucky 13 — it would make the 2013 registration a collectors’ item and, in fact, boost sales next year.

Cleverly, he also suggests that only the number plate would have the 1E designation, as in 1E-D-1234 — with all the car’s paperwork and registration details carrying the normal 13-D-1234 designation.

That way there’s no extra administration needed — just a general consensus that all 13-registered cars will have the 1E plate.

Grainger, who has been working in the motor trade for the past 25 years and is also Sales Director and co-owner of Dunleas of Kilcullen, set up two years ago in an effort to allow people to sell their cars, vans and 4x4s for free.

So far it has enjoyed considerable success and has received more than 200,000 hits already this year.

The site will always offer free advertising for private sellers and — though it will eventually charge dealerships for their advertisements — is allowing dealerships advertise free-of-charge for the whole of 2012.