80’s Cars vs Todays Cars

From the UK desk

In the 80s a number of station wagon were introduced and before the introduction of Coupes and Sedans. The number of strikes in the 80s meant it was a tough time for car factories.

A car which had the power of the Acura is unknown these days. In the late 80s they were considered pretty cool with 118 hp.

The Audi Quattro was truly iconic with five turbocharged cylinders. These hatchbacks took the world rallies by storm. Sadly, not many of them made their way across to the US; most of the cars were rather neutral in comparison. Despite some strong contenders’ acceleration wasn’t as good as today’s vehicles.

Vehicle that did make it across the pond include the Pontiac Firebird and the Ford Mustang GT. The price however has fallen down in recent years due to lack of parts. Who’d have thought red convertibles would go out of style, but everything has its period of glory.

As Chrysler merged with Maserati the Chrysler TC was born. The Chrysler company has created a number of improved vehicles since. They did have a 5-year warranty, including maintenance. In 1987 Chrysler purchased another big player: AMC.

Look at the Dodge Daytona with its dipping headlights. Again, the lack of horsepower let it down.

Although these cars may not yet be known as classic, they show their age.

You could adapt these cars to get a better horsepower but then you’d lose something of the essential flavor of these vehicles.

Too Many Cars or Too Few?

Op-Ed by P. Wimsett and A.R. Bunch

Obviously, there is political pressure discouraging everyone from driving their cars, but is it really going to work? Has it already worked? Or is the answer to simply make cars more environmentally friendly? Do the powers that be want us to buy more cars or less? These are some of the questions we’ll look at today.

Carbon emission problems are discouraging folks from driving yet the need for domestic manufacturing jobs means it shouldn’t affect people’s car buying habits. The answer could be electric cars—that seems to be what car manufacturers are planning to do in response to the situation. The environment seems to be leading car production decisions.

Gridlock & Congestion

One issue with simply reducing vehicle carbon emissions is that it doesn’t eliminate gridlock. Unlike traffic jams, which result from accidents or construction, gridlock is that annoying traffic slowdown created by having too many commuters on the road at the same time. Gridlock is named for the grid pattern of city streets where efforts to coordinate traffic flow breaks down when capacity is reached. Clearly, your city doesn’t need a good grid-like layout in order to have gridlock—London and Rome manage to lockup pretty well and their streets meander about in every direction, seemingly at random.

People dislike gridlock but it doesn’t seem to detour them from going out at the prime times of the day when everyone else wants to go out–commuters for instance. Most people start and end work about same time as each other, which creates high demand. The laws of fluid dynamics come into play and suddenly congestion slows you down.

We reference fluid dynamics because that’s truly what governs traffic flow. It’s worth noting that gridlock and congestion don’t occur when traffic stops, they’re already happening when traffic goes under the posted speed. The simple act of having too much traffic causes the roadways to reduce capacity for throughput. Think of it in terms of supply and demand. Since supply can’t increase to meet demand, the price goes up. What are we paying the price with? Not dollars but time. Time is more precious than gold because when it’s spent, it’s gone forever.

Avoiding Gridlock

If you avoid the busy periods like rush hours you can avoid some of the gridlock.

Another way is to use public transport, although it cannot go exactly where the commuter wants to go and runs on it’s own schedule, and let’s face it, services are often delayed or interrupted. Even a gridlocked road may get you to your place of work quicker than public transport. So if you have a problem paying a lot of time to gridlock you may pay just as much for mass transit.

Peak Car

Traffic seems to be shrinking since 2007, also known as “peak car.” (Peak Car is a term that came from Peak Oil, or the theory that oil will become too hard to pull out of the ground, and at some point, no longer be cost effective.)

We know empirically that there are fewer cars on the roads because traffic cameras count the number of cars on high volume roads. But why? The population as a whole has continued to grow.

One possibility is demand reduction people are moving out of cities to rural places that don’t suffer congestion. We’ll return to demand in a minute. Another possible reason would be people using mass transit, but we also know the ridership levels and while they’re on the rise it’s not enough to account for reduced traffic.

Car Prices

The key way to tell if we’re truly diving less or if it just people not using high traffic roads (where they’d get counted), is if people are buying fewer cars. If we really had a peak car situation then you’d see people avoiding new cars in favor of cheap and plentiful used cars. And that has been a trend since 2016.

But as with everything in this article, Peak Car isn’t the only explanation for people buying used over new. As cars become too expensive, drivers are opting to share a vehicle or find an alternate way to get to work. It especially affects the supercar market but even names like General Motors are decreasing in new car sales.

Automakers are trying to respond to car prices by including high class extras, but the customer still needs to be able to afford these extras. Another possible way to counter the “too expensive” issue some auto makers are trying is to make cars less luxurious, cutting corners but not compromising safety.

This may be linked to the bad economy and people using public transit; however, affordability might not be the reason new car sales are down.

Demand Issues

There are demand issues. The baby-boomers are starting to not be able to drive. More people are working from home and the unemployed don’t need to commute to work. The digital age means people don’t need to drive to go shopping.

A big reason both road use and car buying are down is that millennials just don’t seem to want to buy cars, or even get a licence. In 2008 less than half of eligible drivers had a license when in 1998 two thirds of the population used did.

Is the car no longer a status symbol? It seems to be the case with young people and the trend continues: 26% of US 16 years old had a license in 2017. However, many Americans love having a car, even millennials. Vehicle registrations did go up in 2018.

There are a number of factors which affect car buying, not just finances. Some people think the reduction of cars is cyclical; others think it may be more permanent. This is why e-scooters, e-bikes and mini-motos are trying to gain a foothold.

“Research and forecast firms Cox Automotive, Edmunds and J.D. Power/LMC Automotive expect sales declined about 1% last year to roughly 17 million vehicles compared with 2018. Such results are considered healthy but would mark the lowest sales since 16.5 million vehicles in 2014.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/02/americans-bought-fewer-new-vehicles-in-2019-but-spending-to-hit-record.html

Despite research into this field, no one exactly knows what the future holds regarding the car economy.

The Future of Commuting Based on Current Trends:

The way things are going seems to be moving towards self-driving technology and electronic technology and we are moving into SUV, crossovers, and trucks. The kind of car to get away from the crowd, not the urban dweller.

What about taxis and Ubers? 95% of all trips will be made by taxis by 2030. This could be a piece of the answer, if not the whole, no matter what forces are driving the problem. It resolves the gridlock issue and affordability issue, and even the environmental issue. People are using Uber and Lyft – $20,000 a year and many people feel they won’t go back to a private car. Didi, a Chinese version of this kind of service took 10 million.

When we combine the trend toward larger off road vehicle purchases with the increase in rideshare usage the trend is easy to predict—people in cities will increasingly avoid owning a car and people in rural areas will insist on having them so they can “get away.”

A Rearview of 2020

It would be hard to write the story of 2020 without reference to Covid 19, the unprecedented nature of which caught everyone off guard. Sales were stopped altogether in March and there were difficulties between April-June. The rest of the year could be thought of as “mixed market forces” as everyone looked towards selling online.

Market Forces:

Another problem with the year was the lack of motor shows, the New York show was first to postpone from April to August, later to be dropped altogether.

For the many automakers which relied on the Chinese supply chain both production levels and importing issues affected US supply. This was one of the many reasons that used car vehicle sales increased here – as much as 30%.

New Models:

As with any year there were always the new models, such as the iconic Cadillac OT5 with a 335-horsepower twin turbo. An additional rear camera helps remove the blind spot you sometimes encounter when parking.

Ford introduced a 2020 Mustang and 2020 Fusion, the latter having an Ecoboost engine and driving assist.

Underperforming Sales:

One of the more popular cars was a compact crossover from Hyandai, the Tucson. Sales were still down at 900,00 units. Ford Transits sold 93,000 units which proves that businesses still need vans, even if sales were down.

Although new Jeeps and Cherokees were planned for this year as well as Toyota Highlander what happened was a slight drop; 17% for the Highlander. It could have been a whole lot worse.

The Subaru Forester showed the miniscule increase in sales: 2%.

International Car Sales:

In both May and June sales for passenger cars increased in China. Japan had the strongest sales, even if their sales were down by a fifth. Light vehicle sales were down by a quarter, but they recovered better than Europe for instance. In Russia sales were down by a quarter.

In June, France was the only country that outdid Germany and the UK. September 2020 was a good month for China, USA and Europe as sales increased, though recovery had not quite improved for Europe, it was still down by a third. Brazil had a similar decrease in figures.

There were some difficulties in September when car companies weren’t able to create WLTP** compliant vehicles. Still, Italian car sales increased by 10%, and Germany by 8%, despite the numbers from other countries contracted. Numbers of registrations increased in China for the fifth month running, which shows great promise for the rest of the world after the virus.

November 2020 the VW was the top selling model, the second being the Toyota Yaris.

Conclusion:

Maybe it’s best to draw a line in the sand for 2020, those who run car factories and those who sell cars are more aware of the difficulty but the general conclusion inside the industry is that car sales will resume with a few modifications in 2021. After all, people are longing to get back to normal (not just new normal) as well as getting away. If planned correctly, 2021 will show a big difference, we will wait and see.

**The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) laboratory test is used to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from passenger cars and vans, as well as their pollutant emissions.

Roads in 2030

Will 2030 roads be totally different from those of 2020? More likely than not, no; but here are some of the ideas that futurologists are speculating about, given that every year vehicles will grow by 3% up to 2030 and beyond.

The US has the world’s biggest and largest roadways, with 4.3 million km of paved roads and 2.28 million km of unpaved roads, according to government figures. Uber may at the moment be looking at flying cars, but this seems to be a pipe dream; in 2030 cars will still be confined to the roads.

Predictions

  • A way of communicating with vehicles, so that you know how the lanes are managed, which ones are busy, which ones are closed and so on.
  • In a similar way all road users can operate safely with the bad moves anticipated, though it is still possible to break the rules of the road.
  • The surface of the road will be designed to help the environment, giving it a low carbon use. Electric vehicles can be charged by the roadside. Bike lanes will have their lighting system through LEDs.
  • With 60% of the population living in cities there is an argument for using shared spaces, known as “Tripanel.” How we use the roads will be integrated. Many people believe the way we use the city is wrong–we should be more flexible and open.
  • Companies like Daimler are looking for self-driving trucks in 2030, but this has been in the planning stage since 2014. Many countries such as Denmark are planning to flood the market with electric cars.
  • The numbers of electric cars on the roads can only improve-at the moment it’s only 1% of cars which are electric. By 2025 GM will add another 25 different models to their portfolio, at least according to the Houston Chronicle. During the same period Ford is planning 13 electric models.
  • Apple, Dyson and Google are also planning to dominate the car market, though it is unlikely that they will take over from the more conventional names, even the car of the future will become more tech-savvy.
  • Gas stations may go out of business a number of years after 2030 as we start to use chargers instead, which may be found in such places as fast food places and hotels. It’s likely that net-zero emissions will soon be possible. Another plus for this is size: the charger takes up far less space than a gas pump. It’s not just electric though, some cars will run off sugar beet or flax, though these are not likely to be available at the pump!
  • There will be intelligent transport solutions where all the vehicles will move at the same speed to remove gridlock. However, it is believed that only city roads and the huge freeways will change, with the more rural roads you will have to rely on your natural driving ability. You may also have your new tech to help you in this situation though, which may be helpful.

An Alternative Look At Mercedes

Do we still pray for a Mercedes-Benz and if so, which ones? Though people associate Mercedes-Benz with passenger cars, there are many other vehicles out there, both light commercial and more heavy ones, even buses as far as the German branch of the company is concerned. It depends on whether you want something for you personally or one for your business.

Emil Jellinek raced in an event in 1899 under the name Monsieur Mercedes as a way of an alias, actually Mercedes was the name of his young daughter. Nor would it stay an alias for very long as he registered it as a trademark as early as 1901. A merger between Jellinek with Karl Benz and Gottleib Daimler and the Mercedes-Benz factory was created.

In 1999 the company Mercedes-AMG became the largest division of the company. There are so many individual classes it’s hard to keep track; A class is a subcompact luxury hatchback or sedan and B class is a subcompact MPV and so on.

Let’s say you require a Mercedes van for your brood; Metris is marketed as the ultimate in van building, it can seat between 5 to 8 passengers; so ideal for your family and friends at the same time. They were built in Germany and so unfortunately are subject to tax.

The eVito can be charged for 92 miles or 103 miles for the “extra urban range”, taking approximately 6 hours. It has cargo space for up to 905Kg. In order to be used away from home there’s a special recouping mode. The charge point is free. The vehicle monitoring software can assist you.

The PRO connect monitors the vehicles in “real time,” especially useful if you are running a business. The GPS tracking will make sure that you know where you are. The upgrade includes air conditioning and parking assist (which can also help with reversing).

The Sprinter is a large sized van while the Vito is medium sized. The Citan is the most compact. There is a eSprinter and eVito panel van, a panel van – also known as a sedan delivery van – being one which is based on the chassis of a passenger car but lacking in side windows at the rear of the vehicles.

You can ask for a video demonstration to see what the van feels like to drive. Essential for some businesses, there are chiller vans available. Alternately if you are requiring a van with extra capacity you may like to try the Vita or Citan.

The Mercedes pickup resembles a Misubishi or VW pickup though it hasn’t been all that popular unfortunately so buy it while you can before it is discontinued. It has a dual cab design and acts as either a 6 speed manual or 7 speed automatic.

Maybe this article doesn’t name the more usual suspects, but then again, most people know about the coupes and the sedans, the vehicles you may call “roadsters.” The normal passenger cars may have sealed their reputation but there are hundreds of different types which come under the Mercedes brand.

Car Adverts – Hit or Miss?

Many car adverts in the past may have led you to think “What the Hell?” But surely these days people are more refined, more sensitive. However, controversial car adverts are not a thing of the past. In 2020 a commercial feature a black man being flicked by a giant hand (thanks to a perspective trick). It’s a bit confusing to why they thought the advert was okay.

Why do Car Ads Bring out the worst?

Could the reason be that so many car commercials that agencies are given full reign? It could explain recent sales tactics of showing a car in a huge shopping cart.

Bad Messaging

Starting in the 60’s car ads have drawn some of the oddest ideas for advertisements. Why else did a Ford Focus advert in the 1960’s use the Peanuts characters? One doesn’t think of luxury when they think of Peanuts. It might have given the comic strip some exposure, but what did Ford think they were gaining?

Let’s look at individual campaigns. No one today would ever say, “Women are soft and gentle but they hit things” in a car advert today. However, this was one of the less successful adverts in the 60’s saying that the parts are easily replaceable, so it doesn’t matter if she breaks them.

The difficulty was that all car adverts at the time seemed to be aimed at men. Indeed, until women had disposable income (which is later than you think) there was no reason to market cars at women at all, sad to say.

Nearly everyone knows the Delorean failed but most people don’t know it was advertised by a picture of the vehicle over an image of two whisky glasses clicking. It is of little wonder that drink hasn’t featured in any car advert since. A total disaster.

Bad Execution

A public display by Volvo involved one of their cars being driven towards a truck trailer by remote control. The idea was to highlight its safety level when the auto-brake system kicked in. This could have been a fantastic display only the autobrakes didn’t kick in, the car hit the trailer.

In Spain, large numbers of women received letters with phrases like “You were looking at me funny yesterday.” It turns out that it was meant to have been written by a car. However, it wasn’t clear it was an advert and women felt as if they were being stalked, because evidently the idea that a car has written you a note isn’t the first thing most females think of.

A strange way to advertise a Toyota pickup was getting potential owners to undergo a selection process, which involved eating hot pies at a service station (slightly possible) or moving.sheep away from an electric fence (less possible). This was an Australian campaign which may explain the questioning.

The Lexus IS was compared to a ballerina. A Fiat ad had people running after a car which had Jennifer Lopez in it. Okay, some reasoning here, but not much.

No wonder many commercials prefer a car driving along an empty road in black and white with good music. A bit safe but it has the plus point that the customer sees the car more or less as it is. People always require a good-looking car which seems to handle the road comfortably – why overcomplicate things?

Gifts for Race Enthusiasts

How can you treat your car-mad acquaintances for Christmas? Many people spoil their loved ones with racing car events and supercar events, especially those who love pistons and adrenaline. Use any gift vouchers quickly, even if they may be valid for several months. As with all gift cards, racing gift cards cannot be exchanged for cash.

Another sticking point is to make sure you can use the voucher locally, some of these vouchers are designed to be used in several places around a specific state or even nationally, so have a venue in mind. Many racing tracks allow you to experience racing cars of various vintages; even off-road driving is possible.

Before you can start driving you will need to show a driving license. If you book a time for your drive and wish to change it you could have to pay an admin fee. It’s always dependent on how close you are to the event whether you can alter the date. They tend to supply you with racing gear-but this doesn’t tend to include sensible shoes.

For those who want to continue beyond a single day could look into obtaining seasonal passes, becoming what used to be known as a “gentleman driver” or a “lady driver,” that is, a non-professional one. If your budget is in the four figures you could look into training to drive a speedster over several days. Usually, insurance is included in such activity, but it’s best to check.

It’s not essential for a trainer to be with you in the vehicle, indeed NASCAR trains people via a radio device. For those who only drive on the main roads it can be hard to become accustomed to driving on a track, especially racing at fast speeds on long periods. A trained racing driver may be on hand to assist you in increasing your timings, even if many drivers seem to prefer riding without the instructors. Due to the layout of most racing cars, especially Formula One types, it may be impossible to carry any sort of teacher or passenger.

Not all of these driving experiences are the same; some allow you to pass the slowcoaches on the track, some do not.

For those who don’t want to race there are opportunities to be a passenger on supercars or racing cars. There may be sticking points if you are above average weight or height in fitting in a racing car, it’s best to check these things beforehand.

The look of racetracks can vary. A drag strip is a length of track to test acceleration of vehicles. Other tracks are ovals or “figure eights”. If you are going round in a circle track you will begin and end your journey in the pitstop or the pits. But there are so many terms in driving you will find it hard to remember them all.

Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy your race day in perfect health. Have a great Christmas as well.

Beyond Supercars

Pagani

Op-Ed by P. Wimsett

What exactly is a supercar? It’s one of the big luxury names: Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghi as well as more contemporary names. The name is applied to automakers with a long reputation and a focus on strong engine roadsters. This piece is not talking up the middling cars, so much as talking down what many talk of as “the best of the best.”

There’s a jet-like nature in some of these cars–especially in the headlights (many of these car manufacturers are behind the construction of private planes). No luxury car can ignore its interior, though customers might be divided on what type they want–artificial leather with all the trimmings may be preferred to standard leather style. Chances are, the supercars give you a better choice of interior, but there’s no reason affordable cars couldn’t compete.

Porsche

It’s inevitable that you find these types of cars attempting to break land speed records; not that you should try this on the road, obviously! It’s likely a marketing stunt, but it makes us yearn for the luxury cars.

So, what is my beef with supercars? Is it a permanent version of the “new car syndrome,” the fear of getting damaged so it’s only pulled out on special occasions? Is it possible that they are too much muscle? Is it that they are simply priced beyond what’s reasonable for a budget lifestyle?

No, the problem is one of compromise, you spend all that money and you still can’t “have it all.” Why, if I spend $150,000 and up, should I be making so many concessions.

Fiat and Porsche are defined as mid-engine, meaning that the engine can be found between the front and rear axle, which should improve handling. Usually supercars place the engine under the hood.

Because passenger space is so compromised the mid-engines are no good for family cars, something they have in common with most supercars, it’s just designed in. It does mean that these cars are easier to brake due to the back wheel having much more weight. (Depends on rear wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.)

Other requisites of a supercar is a vehicle which has turbo acceleration (an impressive 0 to 60 rate). That’s what you are buying: an impressive pick-up in terms of speed.

Affordable Supercar-like Cars

Or possibly you could take a look at sedans, at contours, something with a more manageable price than the top of the market cars. It doesn’t mean you should give up the idea of owning a roadster altogether.

Dodge Chargers and Jaguar XE are sedans to look out for as well as Alfa Romeo and the Cadillac CT6-V. On a racetrack these can shift at speeds such as 190-200 MPH, depending on model.

Yet most buyers prefer the higher ticket cars. It comes down to prestige, how a car looks, rather than what a car can do.

One thing you don’t receive with lesser cars is complementary products, the Porsche 911 has just arrived on the market and comes with a free watch, which mimics the 1919 “Globetime.” We’re talking about highly expensive toys here and the promoters will do everything in their power to reel you in. If you’re a prestige conscious buyer then there is a car for you.

Virtual Car Shows for the 2020 Season

With the onset of the pandemic, all in-person, large events have been postponed or cancelled. As upsetting as this is, there are alternatives to these large events. Most companies and businesses have transferred their events to the internet so that people all over the world can still attend, in a way.

If you are a regular at car shows in your area, you are in luck this season. Some of the biggest car shows this year have modified their events to be online. While this may seem like a bummer, it is actually quite a positive. Having these great car shows online gives you the chance to visit shows out of your area that you normally would have to travel many miles to go to. Another perk is that if you missed these events you can still take in a lot of the action even if its less excited recorded than live. We’ll do our best to update this list when the 2021 event calendars are announced, but these links should take you to the 2021 event as soon as those are announced.

Good Guys Rod and Custom Association

The first virtual car show on our list is from the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. This show, that typically takes place in Pleasanton, California, features categories for hot rods, tricked out trucks, and muscle cars, among others. This association has multiple virtual car shows on different days, so make sure to check the events calendar when you get to their website.  These events also have a schedule of events, so if you aren’t interested in watching the entire car show, you can log in for the categories that you want to see.

NASCAR Ford Performance: Virtual Speedway

The NASCAR Ford Performance Virtual Speedway is a virtual performance car show. This show is sponsored by NASCAR and focuses on Ford vehicles. This virtual car show is a playlist of YouTube videos that showcase different aspects of different Ford vehicles. This is a great virtual car show for someone that wants to see cars actually driving as opposed to cars sitting still. This playlist has the ability to keep you occupied for a long time. It consists of almost 200 video clips for you to enjoy.

Gilmore Car Museum: Hickory Corners, Michigan

The Gilmore Car Museum, located in Hickory Corners, Michigan, was established in the 1960s.  It began as a private collection of vintage vehicles by Donald S. Gilmore and grew into a larger collection as he continued to acquire cars. Eventually, his collection was so vast, he had to purchase 90 acres of land in Michigan to accommodate it. Eventually, Gilmore and his wife decided to turn his collection into a museum that opened to the public in 1966. This year, the Gilmore Car Museum decided to create a virtual overview of all their vintage cars for you to peruse. This is a great opportunity to see a quality vintage collection for free.

The Petersen Museum’s Global Cars & Coffee Show

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California has hosted a free Cars and Coffee event once a month for the past eight years. When COVID-19 hit, the museum did not want to cancel their long-standing tradition. Holding this event virtually has allowed the Petersen Museum to host cars from all over the world in their virtual show. Those who wish to participate submit a video of their car where they explain the key features and history of their vehicle. These virtual shows are still happening once a month online.  heck the Museum’s website for the date and time of their latest show.

Dub Magazine: Dub Show Worldwide

Dub Magazine is another car show that has taken their operation virtual due to COVID-19. Their virtual car show Dub Show Worldwide takes submissions in multiple different categories. Browse vehicles in categories like Lifted Jeeps, Lowriders, and Motorcycles. Each vehicle in their virtual event has a place where it can be liked by those who visit the show. At the end of a certain period of time, likes are tallied, and the vehicle with the most likes in each category is placed in their winners’ circle.

If you are a car enthusiast, you don’t have to miss out completely on car shows for the 2020 season. In fact, since submissions are easier, attending virtual events could give you exposure to more cars from all over the world. If the events listed above aren’t what you have in mind and you’d like a closer look at the cars, there is an alternative. Some virtual car shows are just picture images from multiple angles of the cars so that you can zoom in and really see the details of each car closely.

Registration Plates – Possible Problems.

Number plates differ from state to state. Colorado for instance shows the Rockies while Nevada shows the Sierra Nevadas. Many states show rural scenes. In exceptional circumstances the old plates become invalid and requiring a mass replating of the state in order to keep within the letter of the law.

You may also need validation stickers in certain states; sometimes it is shown on the plate, such as North Carolina, sometimes in the front windshield like in Texas and sometimes in rear window, such as Pennsylvania. It’s important to know how your state organizes these things.

Hawaii is a novelty as through the additional letter you can see which island the car was registered in; M means Maui, K is Kaua’i and H is Hawai’i meaning the big island.

Arkansas is especially interesting as it has a diamond logo. The state is famed for its diamond mines. Other symbols could be guessed–Florida plates have oranges for instance.

Not all states require you to have plates on both the front and the rear. These include Alabama and Arizona.

Moving to a New State:

When a person moves to a new state, they are required by law to register all their personal vehicles. One of the exceptions is if you are with the US military who often move personnel excessively.

Foreign cars can only keep a foreign number plate for a year before it requires an alteration. This is due to a number of foreign green card workers who can legally remain in the US for a year at a time.

Exactly what happens when it comes to selling the car can vary. Sometimes the ownership of the plate goes to the new owner, the rest of the time you need a new plate.

Buying a Car:

A temporary registration is allocated to a buyer of a vehicle which lets them use the vehicle while the proper registration plate is released. This may be a form in the vehicle’s window, or a plate made of cardboard, paper or a light plastic material. It may even look exactly like a regular number plate but still needs to be removed after a few days.

In order to register the car, you will need of proof of ownership as well as proof of your identity and date of birth. You may need an emission certificate and safety inspection certificate and completed registration application form. In addition to this there is a fee to pay.

Collector Plates:

There are collector plates, such as those connected to specific universities. In addition, antique vehicles have registrations marked with “horseless carriage” or similar. Exactly what terms are used vary from state to state and it’s always best to check out the regulations!

Novelty number plates give some prestige to their owners, but some may need to be changed, such as the “NULL” plate. Unfortunately, the registration website seemed to no longer accept the novelty name and so a new registration number had to be applied for. So, beware the more confusing names!

When in doubt, do your research and hopefully your registration will go without a hitch.