The AA has become embroiled in a row with the Government over a new requirement for motorists to display the letters “UK” while driving abroad.
From September, motorists can no longer display “GB” on number plates or stickers while driving outside Britain.
It marks the second change this year – after Grant Shapps announced a new style of number plate on the 31st of January, featuring GB under the Union flag. However, the Government has now notified the UN that it plans to change the letters needed abroad from “GB” to “UK” claiming that the change is “inclusive of Northern Ireland” and “promotes the whole UK abroad”.
The move, which was decided in May but was not announced, has prompted the AA to complain of being “left in the lurch” by the Government as their stocks of some 50,000 “GB” stickers are now worthless. Number plate suppliers have also complained their stocks of “GB” plates are now obsolete, while they may have to wait up to six months to order in new “UK” versions.
Edmund King, the president of the AA, described the decision to scrap the GB insignia from number plates as a blow to Britain’s motoring history.
“From a heritage point of view, we have lots of classic cars, such as Bentleys, Jaguars, Rolls Royces and so on, that have metal GB signs on the rear of the car. Now I don’t propose that they take them off but what they will now have to do is have a tacky plastic UK sticker alongside it. So from a historic perspective, we have lost the tax disc on the windscreen and we are now losing another element of British motoring, the famed GB sticker.”