New French number plates hits the road

NEW French number plates for cars will be introduced tomorrow.

The new number plates will be introduced on all new cars from Wednesday, and for second-hand cars from June 15.

The number will no longer end with a department code. The new number plates have two letters, then three figures, then two letters � a code which will stay with the car for life, unlike the current ones which need to be changed if the owner moves to a new department.

People will not have to keep renewing the plates, and can choose any region � and one of its departments � they feel attached to.

The number plates will also have a logo in the colours of the corresponding region, as well as the current European and country logo.

The move has been hailed as a godsend for French car parts manufacturers, giving the industry a boost in the current economic climate.

Representative of car parts manufacturers� federation Fiev, Pascal Lebas, said: �It�s an opportunity which allows us to better fight the economic crisis.� He added: �It will generate sustained activity mid-term.�

The changes to the logo are thought to increase the costs of the number plates sold by manufacturers to distributors by 20%, however there will be �no explosion in price for motorists�, who will pay essentially for services when the number plate is changed, according to the president of motoring body the Conseil National des Professions de l'Automobile Patrick Bailly.

It is also hoped the move will see a boost in new car sales. Committee of French Car Builders spokesman Fran�ois Roudier said: �There are people who have put back purchasing a new car until the new number plates have been introduced.�

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