Every six months sees the release of a new registration plate and September 1st marked the arrival of the 66-reg plate, half a year on from March’s 16-reg.
Before 2001, the first letter of a car reg would indicate its age, ascending from A in 1983 right up to Y in 2001. Since the change to twice a year reg changes, a standard car registration has been made up of two letters, two numbers, followed by another three letters.
The first two letters tells you where the car was registered – the first letter represents the region (B is for Birmingham, M is for Manchester or Merseyside and so on) and the second a DVLA local office.
The two numbers in the middle correspond to a half-year. For example, 12 means the car was registered in 2012 between the start of March and the end of August, while 62 appears on cars registered between the start of September through to the end of February 2013, when the 13-reg would have come in.
Those final three letters at the end? Yeah, they are actually just a random bunch of letters.
So in short, any 66-reg plate cars you see cruising around are some of the youngest on the road, and if you want to be driving one of them, you couldn’t go far wrong with one of these.
Ford Focus RS
The long-awaited third coming of the Focus RS finally happened earlier this year and this 350bhp hot hatch is more than worthy of consideration if you’re in the market for a new 66-reg car.
The regular Focus is one of best all-rounders so chuck in the same 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine that appears in the new Mustang and you have a very fierce rival to the VW Golf R and Honda Civic Type R.
Many are already pinning this as a modern classic and you can have one for £30,870 on-the-road.
There are newer Jaguars we could’ve picked, like the new Macan- and SQ5-rivalling F-Pace but it’s possible that by the time Jaguar builds one for you, the 66-reg plate would be long gone. Therefore, the 3 Series-sized XE is a more immediate choice for any Jaguar customer keen to drive on a 66-plate.
It is the most efficient non-hybrid car in its class, returning up to 75mpg and road tax-free emissions of 99g/km. It’s super safe with a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, winning the large family car category at the safety assessor’s 2015 awards.
The XE has also been hailed as a ‘game changer’ by Autocar and has collected Auto Express’ ‘Compact Executive Car of the Year’ award for the last two years running. Prices start from just under £27,000.
VW’s mid-sized SUV arrived in showrooms on September 1 st, the same day that the 66-reg plate became publicly available, so they make obvious bedfellows.
Seriously though, the second-generation Tiguan brings a new level of refinement and flexibility to a segment bossed by the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage with bog-average interiors.
Don’t approach the Tiguan expecting hair-raising driving dynamics because cars in this class tend to be pretty uninspiring to drive. What you can expect though is a very practical, versatile and upmarket car. Prices start from £22,510.
The dinkiest car in our list but for the urban driver looking something funky, affordable and different, the Twingo is the go-to car.
It’s especially inexpensive right now after Renault slashed £1,500 from the Twingo’s asking price, with the entry-level one-litre three-cylinder SCe 70 Expression starting from just under £8,000.
The engine is mounted in the boot which means any noise or idle rumble it makes is less evident than if the unit was under the front bonnet. If you want cheeky retro styling and practicality but not a Fiat 500 then this rear-wheel drive city car is a good call.
The original Prius sparked the whole hybrid revolution back in 1997 and this battery-assisted liftback saloon has been setting the benchmark for fuel economy ever since.
The fourth generation model went on sale earlier this year as the most efficient Prius yet, returning an incredible 94.1 combined mpg.
Previous Prius models lacked somewhat when it came to driving dynamics, but Toyota has addressed this by making the new model genuinely engaging to drive.
Chuck in a lot more aggressive styling than before, with a generous helping of acute angles notably on the lights, and you have undoubtedly the best Prius yet. You can have one on a 66-reg plate for £23,295.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.