NEW car buyers were worried about '13' licence plates because they feared they would find it difficult to sell the car on to superstitious drivers.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said research showed car sales were going to drop by 20pc, so the Government came up with the '131' and '132' licence plates.
The minister said superstition around the number 13 did play a prominent factor in research. He said car buyers said they were worried future buyers of the car would be put off by the licence plate because they were superstitious.
Mr Noonan said sales were still down by 20pc in January, but only 8pc in February, with suggestions some car buyers will wait until the second half of the year.