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Displaying UK Number Plates In The EU

UK Number Plates set to Replace GB Versions

If you’re planning to drive your car abroad after 28th September 2021, you will now have to have a number plate with a UK identifier or display a UK sticker instead of GB. The iconic GB sticker has been proudly displayed by British motorists driving overseas for 111 years, but that’s all about to change.

The British government changed the rules for UK number plates on 1st January 2021 at the end of the Brexit transition period. Until that date, you could drive your car in Europe with a number plate showing the EU flag with ‘EU’ beneath it. The new design featured the Union Flag and the ‘GB’ identifier. While the previous EU and GB designs, along with the identifiers of Scotland and Wales, would remain legal, you would need a GB sticker for driving abroad.

Now, just a few months later, the rules have changed again, with GB number plates and stickers being replaced by UK ones. Those drivers who chose to invest in the new GB plates earlier in the year to be able to drive freely in Europe will now have to either buy a UK sticker or another set of number plates.

The rule change is said to have been made to be “inclusive of Northern Ireland” in the wake of Brexit. Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales, whereas the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Rule Change Causes Disappointment

Not everyone is happy with the change in the number plate legislation. Many classic car owners have classic number plates and a traditional and classy metal GB badge on their vehicles. Now, if they wish to travel abroad in their pride and joy, they’ll have to spoil their car’s looks with a cheap UK sticker.

Many number plate suppliers have stock of the GB Union Flag plates which they won’t be able to sell when the rule change comes into force. Additionally, the AA says it has 50,000 GB stickers in stock that will be rendered worthless.

Drivers who have invested in personalised number plates and chosen the GB design will be forced to update their plates again, or display a UK sticker.

CarReg Can Supply Compliant Personalised Number Plates

At Carreg, we are as baffled as many others at this seemingly pointless change coming so soon after the previous rule change. However, when you invest in private number plates from us, you can be sure they meet all of the legal requirements.

You can still show your patriotism with plates displaying the Cross of St George, the Cross of St Andrew (Saltire) or the Red Dragon of Wales. But if you need to drive abroad from September, you’ll need a UK sticker.