See the different types of personalised number plates we have on offer and how you can buy them from CarReg
You may have noticed that vehicles on the UK’s roads can have a variety of different formats of registration numbers. Please read on for a brief look at the fascinating history of UK personalised number plates and how it all started. Personalised registrations & plates are the same, just labelled differently depending on who you talk to.
We generally say that a “Personalised Number Plate” is one that is “personal” to the owner or driver of the vehicle, a number plate that contains the users name or initials for example.
Interesting facts about personalised number plates;
- The first vehicle number ever issued was the legendary A 1 back in 1903, the matching mirror image 1 A was not issued until much later on in the late 1980’s.
- J4 MES sold at a DVLA personalised number plate auction for £22,500 back in 1998, J42 MES sold for £80,020 during 2020!
- Over the last 20 years, the biggest gains made are from single letters/numbers. Many one letter with number 1 are now known to have made over £1m!
A small selection of personalised number plates we have available
The different formats explained
Different formats below, tying them to the periods which they were issued. Just click these links to find out more; Dateless Plates: 1903 to 1963 (Registrations without year identifiers, Eg ABC 123). Suffix Plates: 1960s to 1983 (Registrations with a year identifier at the end, Eg ABC 123D). Prefix Plates: 1983 to 2001 (Registrations starting with a year identifier, Eg A123 BCD). Current Plates: 2001 to Present (Registrations used in the UK’s current system, Eg AB12 BCD).Each format above relates to a style issued in the UK during a particular time period, they are in chronological order. Changes to formats were made for different reasons; the most common being simply that all possible sequences in a particular style had been used up requiring a new format – much like the seemingly frequent changes to UK telephone numbers! All registrations in the above formats can be used or called “personalised number plates”.
More Interesting Facts;
- 51 NGH Sold for £201,000 (2006) and S1 NGH Sold for £86,000 (1998) - 151 NGH Sold for £60,000 (2006). KR15 HNA Sold for £180,000 (2015). (All prices were plus auctioneers fee and VAT).
- Personal plates have always been popular with celebrities however, royals are no longer permitted to use them due to security reasons. A7 was used by HRH Queen Elizabeth, 1 ANN used by Princess Anne.
- Maybe the most common celeb plate would be MAG 1C (Paul Daniels), others include AS 9 (Alan Shearer), 76 CH (Sir Chris Hoy), SM 7 (Stirling Moss), AMS 1 (Alan Sugar).
Why did we start using registration numbers for UK vehicles?
The British government decided over one hundred years ago that the fledgling motorised car industry would need to be regulated.
The “Motor Car Act 1903″ introduced number plates, and raised the UK’s speed limit to a scary 20mph!
As part of this new legislation it was decreed that each motor vehicle would need its own identity. Consequently, all vehicles registered in the UK must have unique registration numbers and so personalised number plates were born starting with A1.
Many personalised items make great gifts
Over the years we have found that more and more personalised number plates have been purchased for gifts. Notable birthdays such as a 21st then also 40,50,60,70th birthdays are always popular for families to join together and buy a personalised gift. It is now so much easier to gift a number plate, when supplied on a certificate it is perfect to insert inside a card and also wrap the actual perspex number plates.
CarReg have over 50 million to choose from. Prices starting from only £65 - We also have many held in stock and held on DVLA certificate, ready to transfer quickly.
How to buy personalised number plates:
- We would first recommend that you decide on a budget
- Once you have set an approximate budget, choose your name, initials, sport, hobbies or interests. You could even for for an incognito number plate. (CarReg have allocated pages for ideas).
- Once you have decided a budget and preference, the ideal place to find your number plate would be via a reputable dealer. You may notice that some dealer are members of trade organisations.
- Once you have found your ideal number, you can normally allocate it to your vehicle within a few days. If you do not have a vehicle then you may store your new number on a retention until you are ready to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question; What are personalised number plates compared to the other synonyms used?
Answer; A personalised number plate would be described to be personal to the owner/driver of the vehicle, letters or numbers that mean something such as a name or initials.
Question; How and where can we buy personalised number plates?
Answer; There are actually a few choices depending on how much you would like to spend and which type/style you would like. There are many dealers websites on the internet, the dealers who are members with a trade association are the best ones to look for. CarReg are members of all trade bodies and recognised reseller with the DVLA. Be careful if you see a “bargain” from a seller on Ebay! There are also various auctions like Bonhams which sell special numbers at Goodwood each year. The DVLA hold auctions around the UK and online. Many of the shortest numbers and most desirable personalised number plates have already been issued and sold so will only become available amongst the second hand marketplace.
Question; Can I buy one and not use it?
Answer; Yes, this is now very easy. DVLA created the retention system quite a few years ago. When a number is retained (on a V778 certificate) then it is safe to store away for as many months or years as you wish! Some are issued but have never actually been on a vehicle. These numbers will be held on a Government V750 certificate, again you can store them safely for as long as you wish.
Question; How much do they cost?
Answer; There are so many different variables which would determine a realistic price for each. Prices generally start (with CarReg) at £130. This type of number would be a make your own style which are perfect and ideal gifts. We also have cheap Irish number plates from only £65. Prices rise when you start to look for dateless numbers and names. Names get more expensive the more popular the name and how clear and precise the name is on the plate. Shorter numbers and number one plates also become more expensive the more popular the letters. Single letters with number one (Example; P1) may retail around £1,000,000!