NI Plates

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heart-of-wessex

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I'vd noticed a big trend over the last couple of years of Northern Ireland style plates...that or it's been going on for years and haven't noticed!

I had seen one years ago before and my friend said because it was made in Ireland, it came over with an Irish reg (think it was some Mercedes chassis minibus)

I know first Bath had dual door Eclipses that were Irish reg as they came from Ireland after doing airport duties over there.

Then I was told companies use the NI reg to hide the year and make it dateless.

I work at a coach company, only one in the fleet is three letter-four numbered as it was purchased like it. The others are W and T reg, which are used on schools but once I've cleaned them they don't look as old as they really are ;)

We also have registered plates to match the companies initials but the year is still on there.

I've seen some re-registered to NI style plates from former 2004 or even 2006, is there newer examples? I wouldn't class it as old?

Why do some re-register old coaches to 'hide' the year? Even with a re-registered plate they look old! Not being funny but hiding an A reg Plaxton Panorama is still going to look old as it has that 1960s design, and I suspect joe public would assume its not modern!!
 
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LowLevel

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It's been going on for years. I did a brief bit of work for a coach company over 10 years ago and most of the fleet were on Irish plates. Ironically the exception being the 'old git' of the fleet, a 1982 Plaxton Supreme bodied device which was rather hellfire and only came out on local school services as a stand in for failure, affectionately (not) known by the drivers as 'The Barge'.
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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It has been done for donkeys but mainly on coaches. Most ordinary punters wouldn't be able to identify a 1996 Volvo Expressliner in decent condition from a 2006 Irizar with a dateless plate.

First South West have quite a few elderly vehicles re-registered and it's difficult to tell a 1999 ALX400 from a 2003 one.
 

507021

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I remember Stagecoach Merseyside had some Dennis Trident 2s with Northern Ireland style registrations.
 

carlberry

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The practice of re-registering coaches started in the mid 1980s as the last of the vehicles with 'dateless' registrations were being withdrawn. As the value of these increased companies moved to using Northern Irish registrations instead (Irish plates are different and cannot be used) as they can be picked up for about the same price as the transfer cost.

Most punters cant really tell the age of a coach if it's been well looked after, especially if it's been referbed in any way (the classic Van Hool body is the best example of this). However they'll quickly compain if they can use the registation to date it as they then compare it with a car of the same age and moan that it's 'clapped out' not realising it's been inspected every six weeks of it's life and not just fixed up after failing the yearly MOT!
 

Deerfold

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And of course almost all the Boris buses are LTZ xxxx, specially issued around 10 years early.
 

ChrisPJ

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I thought the Borismaster thing was daft and contrived but then again in later life their age will already be masked.

To be fair the big groups have never bothered with large scale re registrations in the past, though what First are playing at with knackered old Tridents and B6s I don't know, they will surely never get the cost of the exercise back through extra fare revenue.
 

Qwerty133

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I thought the Borismaster thing was daft and contrived but then again in later life their age will already be masked.

To be fair the big groups have never bothered with large scale re registrations in the past, though what First are playing at with knackered old Tridents and B6s I don't know, they will surely never get the cost of the exercise back through extra fare revenue.

probably a local manager who can't think of anything sensible to spend his local budget on but doesn't want it to go unspent...
(either that or a pointless excersise led by the council as I think the Arriva examples were in Leicester)
 

ChrisPJ

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Strange thing is First used to have loads of ex London buses built by Wright and registered in NI when new, and they all went down the scrapyard without being transferred off beforehand.
 

carlberry

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Strange thing is First used to have loads of ex London buses built by Wright and registered in NI when new, and they all went down the scrapyard without being transferred off beforehand.

You can pick up new NI registrations for very little so the hassle of transfering them often isnt worth it. Dateless mainland ones have a value and it's hard to see how companies like Buses of Somerset can justify using them when floggin them all to a dealer would make a useful contribution.
 

ChrisPJ

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Agree, and the NI plates acquired is still money going out of the pockets of an underperforming bus company and into the account of a Belfast scooter dealer.
 

heart-of-wessex

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Interesting! Didn't know it had been going on that long.

On the flip side though, it was interesting to phot a 2007 Plaxton Cheetah with a J reg plate, taken from their former Olympian
 

Tetchytyke

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To be fair the big groups have never bothered with large scale re registrations in the past, though what First are playing at with knackered old Tridents and B6s I don't know, they will surely never get the cost of the exercise back through extra fare revenue.

Go North East have started using personalised registrations on the older buses they have painted up in their flagship route branding. It's not a widespread thing, but they have a fair few with them.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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You can pick up new NI registrations for very little so the hassle of transfering them often isnt worth it. Dateless mainland ones have a value and it's hard to see how companies like Buses of Somerset can justify using them when floggin them all to a dealer would make a useful contribution.

Most of the recent BoS dateless plates have been using NI plates. The others have tended to be inherited - the B6s were already done when they were refurbished for the TavyLinx services (persuading people that they were new buses for KickStart - note the ex Bath/Weymouth ones still have their original plates) and a number of Tridents were inherited with dateless plates too
 

Andyh82

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Go North East have started using personalised registrations on the older buses they have painted up in their flagship route branding. It's not a widespread thing, but they have a fair few with them.

Aren't they just registrations that they've always had kicking around in the fleet, previously would have been used on coaches etc.

If you are talking about the diesels that make up the numbers of the hybrid Angel.
 

richw

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probably a local manager who can't think of anything sensible to spend his local budget on but doesn't want it to go unspent...
(either that or a pointless excersise led by the council as I think the Arriva examples were in Leicester)

Many of the First South West plates came from local operators they've swallowed up over the years. I know several are ex Truronian plates for example. Transferring a plate costs small change and does give a better appearance to the snobby punters who otherwise would comment on it being old


260 ERY being one ex Truronian Volvo B10 coach that springs to mind now on a Taunton B6 I think?
UHW661 was a western national coach in the 90s,

Unsure where the HIG plates came from though
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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Many of the First South West plates came from local operators they've swallowed up over the years. I know several are ex Truronian plates for example. Transferring a plate costs small change and does give a better appearance to the snobby punters who otherwise would comment on it being old


260 ERY being one ex Truronian Volvo B10 coach that springs to mind now on a Taunton B6 I think?
UHW661 was a western national coach in the 90s,

Unsure where the HIG plates came from though

The HIG ones were NI plates sourced by First.

The ones that are carried on the Taunton B6s and other vehicles have also been acquired from a number of sources. Some from Truronian, Fords, Plympton but in the case of 530OHU, it was on a Badgerline FLF trainer so transferred onto a coach. Many WN coaches were so disguised as they were often fairly elderly.

As you say, it really isn't big bucks
 
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61653 HTAFC

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Always thought it was odd that NI or other ageless plates were popular in London after the rules about age were brought in (Borismasters being an exception as they're likely to spend their whole lives working there). Can understand provincial operators going down that route though, especially with coaches. Yorkshire Tiger's last step-entrance Olympian had a former Yorkshire Coastliner plate for a while but when Centrebus sold their stake they took the plate too, I believe it was transferred to a Solo somewhere. It wasn't an ageless plate anyway though, and said Olympian reverted to a generic plate of the same year, though I can't remember which. The bus also lost it's coach seats in favour of standard bus benches for the last few weeks it was in use.
 
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