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Private Number Plates - A Brief History from an Enthusiast

Charles has been an avid fan of private plates since 1960 and he has a wealth of knowledge in the industry.

I have seen all the format variations introduced by the DVLA over the years and I have to say that a dateless format has to be my preferred style says Charles.

Dateless formats for car number plates date back to 1904 with the first registration issued to a vehicle being A1. 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.

The first series of dateless number plates ran for 28 years until 1932. From 1932 onwards a 3 letter series were issued on a regional basis with the second pair of letters being used to identify the region of issue. These dateless registrations formed the basis for the first private plates and the low number combinations are the most sought after by enthusiasts.

From 1950 onwards the combinations were reversed as the number of combinations with letters first were running out. In some popular regions the 3 number combinations were then added to with 4 number combinations.

Suffix Style Registration Number Plates

In 1963 the dateless formats comprising 4 numbers and 2 letters were reaching their limits with permutations being depleted on a regional basis. A national scheme was subsequently introduced with the addition of a year letter to the existing 3 letter and 3 number combinations. From 1963 the suffix number plate format was introduced and suffix private number plates were born with some incredibly attractive formats now available as name plates.

The popularity and availability of motor vehicles during the 60's and 70's placed a huge demand on car registrations and eventually suffix combinations became exhausted in 1982. Prefix Number Plates were launched in 1982 and these have formed the basis for what we know as the core of the popular private plate market.

Prefix and New Style Registration Numbers

The prefix formats have proven to be the most popular as they are readily accesible and affordable. There have been some great combinations at low prices and the trend continues despite the new style formats having been introduced.

New Style number plates were introduced in 2001 and their popularity is increasing slowly. The new style formats can provide some interesting combinations and members of the public don't yet fully realise what is on offer with these formats. There have been some recent high value sales of the new style registrations and these have been name related with RU55 ELS reaching around 75,000 at auction.

In order to establish the real value of your private registration you need to speak with one of our experts or request a valuation from our website where there is a valuation service request page available.

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Our staff will co-ordinate the transfer of your personalised number plate with DVLA Swansea and provide updates on transer progress for your convenience and peace of mind. Our cherished number plates can be purchased securely on-line from our website or alternatively by telephone. Premier Plates UK sell cherished numbers owned by clients, government stock and our own stock. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (rules on cancellation H6) we must notify all our clients that our service begins immediately upon placement of your order and subsequently no cooling off period or refunds are given. Please refer to our terms and conditions page for detail relating to the purchase of a uk registration. Premier Plates UK is in no way affiliated to the DVLA. We are a DVLA recognised reseller of personalised number plates and use of the term 'DVLA' is only for the purposes of describing the goods and services offered by Premier Plates UK. DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency

Premier Plates are a DVLA recognised reseller of DVLA number plates and we are a registered supplier of acrylic and classic number plates for cars and motorcycles. We buy personalised registrations from auctions and from members of the public. We are brokers of dvla registrations for members of the public and we provide our marketing service for owners of high value and low value private number plates. We have custom search facilities on our website which allows our customers to search quickly for their ideal number plate. If you are looking for a dateless or a modern style of registration then you will be able to find it and enquire or buy securely online. We also have a sales team available to deal with your enquiry or alternatively to take an order over the phone should you feel nervous about ordering online. Before choosing your ideal plate you need to check on the age of your vehicle and the year qualifier for the new plate in order to make sure it is a transferable number to your vehicle. In purchasing your ideal plate you will need to ensure the vehicle displays the registration in accordance with DVLA regulations and it is recommended that you buy your number plates from us as part of your order.