Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about license plates in the UK. Their license plate system is currently actually one of the most complex license plate systems out there. Find out how vehicles get license plates and have special meaning under this new system. Or you get a random number.

The current system, known as the Road Vehicle Regulations, was first introduced in September 2001 and replaced a 20-year-old system. This system is in practice in England, Wales and Scotland.

In the current system, vehicles are registered as mixed alphanumeric characters with a specific format consisting of 7 letters, 2 initial letters, 2 numbers, a space and 3 ending characters (eg XX11 XXX).

1- two starting characters

The first two characters indicate a region as a region code or local memory tag. This letter has been assigned based on the DVLA office where the vehicle is registered. DVLA offices are now closed and vehicles are registered using the online system.

Still, the criteria for assigning letters to regions are the same, so if you buy a car from a London dealer, the license plate letters start with L.

For vehicles registered in Birmingham, numbers start with B, for Hampshire H, and so on. I, Q, and Z cannot be included in the area code.

2- Age identifier

Two initial letters followed by two numbers tell the age or year of registration of the car. Each year, two numbers are assigned, one for the period from March to August and one for the period from September to February.

The numbers assigned to vehicles registered from March 2002 to August 2002 are 02 and 03 from March 2003 to August 2003, so from March 2050 to August 2050 up to a maximum of 50.

51 is for vehicles registered between September 2001 and February 2002, 52 for vehicles registered between September 2002 and February 2003, while the maximum is from September 2050 Until February 2051, until 00.

3- Only vehicles without license plates:

In the UK, all vehicles except those used by the Queen have license plates. This exception only applies to the Queen. Other members of the royal family use the license plate evaluation service.

4- Last three letters

The last three letters of the license plate are random and have no special meaning. Unlike the first five letters, the dealer assigns a set of letters once used. A new batch is coming.

As with the area code letters I and Q, they cannot be used as random characters as they can be mistakenly recognized as numbers 1 and 0. However, the letter Z can be used as any letter. DVLA, an aggressive character sequence, doesn’t allow license plates.

5- Country identifier

Having a country identifier is not mandatory for a vehicle. However, while traveling outside the UK, you must always display a separate GB sticker if your license plate does not have a country identifier.

In EU countries, UK vehicles marked with the EU as a country identifier will no longer be accepted after Brexit, so these vehicles will have to be replaced with new license plates with the GB flag.

6- Color of license plate

British license plates made of yellow and white reflective material plates with black text have standard font sizes. White license plates are on the front and yellow plates are on the back of the vehicle.

Only cars registered before January 1973 may have a traditional license plate with a black license plate with white, silver or gray text.

Vehicles registered before January 1979 may also display black and white license plates. DVLA allows such plates. Even cars that are over 40 years old may have these classic black and white license plates.

7- Buy your personal license plate online

You can easily purchase license plates from DVLA online or through auctions. All you have to do is search online which numbers are available and how much they cost. You can get an old number for a new car, but the car doesn’t have a number so it looks newer than it is now.

The cost of these personalized license plates depends on demand and the number of characters on the license plate. There are over 45 million personal license plates, some use them and others keep them as an investment.

8- Shape of license plate

In the UK, license plates are usually rectangular on cars. However, the shape can vary to fit the aperture of the car, and the bike has a square-shaped plate with numbers on two different lines.

9- Standard font

Since 2001, all license plates must use Charles Wright Knew. Prior to this rule, people used different fonts to focus on the visibility of numbers and letters.

10- Most Expensive License Plates:

In 2014, businessman Bradford bought the UK’s most expensive license plate for £518,000 for his Ferrari.

Illegal license plates:

Despite receiving a registered DVLA license plate, it is still illegal if:

  1. Avoid fonts that are difficult to read.
  2. Changing the license plate makes it difficult to read or identify the letters on the license plate.
  3. Use of symbols (e.g. sports or religious symbols)
  4. Use of flags other than those permitted (e.g. Union Flag, Cross of St. George, Saltire or Red Dragon Of wales)

Where can I get license plates?

You can get license plates for expensive cars from your nearest registered license plate supplier. The provider will check the relevant documentation to see if the number is available to you.

Penalties for not displaying license plates legally

Legally not displaying license plates can lead to fixed fines of up to £1,000 and failed MOT tests.

Last word:

The above facts include some interesting rules about the license plate system and some interesting information we have gathered regarding those rules. Now look at the number of the car, I hope you understand more.

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