Fleets need to ensure that new vehicles are being delivered to them with the correct registration plates, according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).

The organisation said it had seen an apparent rise in the number of vehicles being mistakenly supplied with plates showing the wrong registration, or even with different plates on the front and rear.

AFP chair Paul Hollick said: “We’re hearing from our members of an increasing incidence of this problem. It’s quite an easy thing for fleets to miss on delivery and there are reports of cars and vans driving around on the wrong plates for months or even years.

“In some cases, the error only comes to light when fleets find that the vehicle has been stopped by the police. Operators need to start identifying the problem earlier on by making their own checks on delivery.” 

Hollick said that the error was being made by manufacturers or dealers when the vehicles were being prepared for delivery.

He said: “Really, this is something that should be picked up during the pre-delivery inspection but, from what we are hearing, this is happening less and less often.

“If a problem subsequently arises and there is a financial implication, there is then the question of who is to blame? Certainly, in those circumstances, dealers don’t seem too keen to take responsibility.”

Hollick said that the issue was likely to be covered in a revised versions of the AFP’s Dealer Standard, which gives guidance on vehicle deliveries.

He said: “The original Dealer Standard has been pretty successful since it was launched in 2022, having been adopted by several major dealer groups, and we are looking to re-examine the document in the light of newer developments such as the registration plates issue. 

“Certainly, there is a perception within the AFP that dealer relationships with fleets have probably worsened in recent times and could be improved. The Dealer Standard could play a useful role in changing this situation.”