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Private Registration Numbers

The UK has had to make various changes to its system of car registration plates over the years. This has been due to a number of considerations: first and foremost, the volume of traffic and the sheer number of cars and other vehicles on British roads has grown far beyond what was ever imagined or planned for when car registration plates were first introduced. Additionally, the issuing authority has decided that various information should be displayed in the sequence of numbers and letters on the number plates our cars bear.

The first generation of registration plates as used by the original system which began in the early 1900s consisted of a letter code which identified the regional authority which issued the plate and a number which identified the individual vehicle. There was no easily recognisable indicator of the date of issue or the age of the vehicle. With the two subsequent forms of mark, the year of issue was indicated by a letter at the end of the sequence (a ‘suffix’ registration plate) or, later, a letter at the beginning of the sequence (a ‘prefix’ registration plate). Although the registration plates format changed yet again in 2001, the same basic information is there to see. There is still a letter code indication the area in which the number plate was issued, followed by a number code specifying the year of issue and finally a unique identifier – three random letters which apply to, and identify, the individual vehicle.

Registration numbers can be great fun and a sound investment – we hope the information above helps you to get the most out of yours.

In order to enjoy a painless introduction to the world of personalised plates, there are a few simple requirements to be taken into account.

Firstly, you’ll need to be able to search available registration numbers to find the perfect number for you. We have taken care of that by providing a wide range of search options for your use – you’ll find a list of searches by clicking the ‘Find a number plate’ link in the main menu.

Secondly, you’ll need to make sure that the registration you have found can be transferred to your vehicle. The most important thing to be aware of is that you may not display a registration plate that would make your vehicle appear younger than it actually is. For example, if your car was originally registered with an ‘M’ prefix number plate you would not be able to buy and display ‘P’ prefix plates (or any other letter that came after ‘M’); nor would you be able to buy and display any of the current style plates which have the year specified in a number such as ’02’ or ’52’. Any of those would make your car appear younger than it really is. So, in short, you must select either from the range of ‘dateless’ personalised plates, which have no year identifier, or you must choose from registration numbers that were issued before your vehicle was first registered.

It’s actually far simpler than it sounds, but if you’re not sure about anything please give us a call on 01526 353 111 or email: we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. You also need to know a couple of things about the actual acrylic plastic number plates we supply. We are able to offer a range of approved national flag emblems and border styles, and we offer a choice of flat or 3D-style lettering. However, like all other suppliers, we must comply with the current regulations governing the display of registration numbers. This means we cannot supply number plates with altered spacing, or plates bearing any other decoration except the approved national emblems. We also have to use the prescribed regulation font – although, as mentioned above, you may choose either flat or 3D-styles.

We advise all our customers to avoid any supplier offering to provide registration numbers on plates with non-standard fonts or spacing. It is illegal to display such number plates on your vehicle, with penalties including large fines and loss of entitlement to your cherished registration. Registration numbers can be great fun and a sound investment – we hope the information above helps you to get the most out of yours.

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