Dateless Car Registrations
Dateless registrations are the original format for uk car number plates and they can be assigned to any year of vehicle which is the reason why they are referred to as dateless registrations. The first marks issued to vehicles were of a dateless format comprising one letter and one number with the letter preceeding the number. Since 1904 all cars and engine driven vehicles within the UK have had to display number plates as a unique identifier for the vehicle.
DVLA Number Plates have been assigned to all road going motorised vehicles since the 1st January 1904.The Motor Car Act of 1903 required all vehicles to be registered with local authorities and for all vehicles to clearly display number plates of a regulation size.
It is worth noting that car registrations from the dateless era of issue are the most sought after formats for enthusiasts and these early formats have been known to fetch in excess of £200,000. It is worth noting that a recent auction at Sotheby's saw the registration mark F1 going to auction with a reputed reserve of around £350,000 and was sold for £460,000
Suffix Car Registration Numbers
Suffix registrations were first issued in 1960 as an extension to the dateless series. The addition of a year identifier at the end of the string of letters and numbers saw the first issue of car number plates that were of a dated format. The format is very popular and there are many name plates of significant value that utilise the combination of letters and numbers available as a sequence. An example of a name plate created from a suffix registration format would be for instance DAV 1D or DEB 81E
The suffix plate formats continued until 1982 and these formats are available today for assignment to vehicles that post date the year of issue for the suffix registration. It's fair to say that the vast majority of vehicles today meet the criteria for the assignment of a suffix car registration. The rule for assignment is relevant in this instance in that you cannot make a vehicle appear younger than it really is through the assignment of private number plates
Prefix Car Registrations
Prefix Numbers were first issued in 1983 and the basis for the format was for the year indicator to be a letter at the start of the sequence of numbers and letters. The combination of letters and numbers are probably the most popular amongst the general public as they represent excellent value and are deemed within the industry to be a sound investment for the future
Names and phrases created within the prefix formats have been popular and one of the most expensive car registrations auctioned in recent years was a distinctive prefix registration; K1 NGS sold in 1993 to an Arab Sultan at a price of £231,000
New Style Car Registration Numbers
New Style Number Plates or current style registrations as they are sometimes known were introduced during 2001 in response to the prefix registrations running out of number and letter combinations. The new style formats are becoming popular as available combinations of prefix registrations reduce.
Combinations of letters and numbers can produce some extremely desireable cherished number plates with some variations being distinctive, with recent issues for example being RU55 ELS, BA55 ERS and BU55 OMS
Irish Car Registrations
The system for registrations in Northern Ireland is very different from that of the UK mainland in that they are dateless numbers and the combination of letters available includes the letters Z and I. The significance of these letters being included becomes apparent when creating name plates at affordable prices.
Irish number plates have in recent years experienced a rapid increase in popularity on the UK mainland and although transfers can take slightly longer the wait is more than offset by the affordability provided by these dateless number plates.
DVLA Northern Ireland do no operate a retention system and so this means irish number plates have to be transferred directly to a UK mainland vehicle.