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Dateless Car Registrations

Car registrations to the original format are known as dateless registrations 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 preceding 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. Although the formats have changed over time the principles are the same in creating a unique combination of letters and numbers for every road vehicle.

Registration marks 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. In the 1990's the DVLA marketed the first un-issued registration number plates for members of the public to buy and to have assigned to their vehicles.

It is worth noting that car registration plates 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 400,000. It is also worth noting that an auction at Sotheby's saw the registration mark F1 going to auction with a reputed reserve of around 350,000 and was sold for 460k with its current market value estimated to be in excess of 6 million. This registration is owned by a Bradford business owner and it has been adorned to a range of high value vehicles since its purchase.

Suffix Number Plates

Suffix style 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 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 formats continued until 1982 and these formats are available today for assignment to vehicles that post date the year of issue. It's fair to say that the vast majority of vehicles today meet the criteria for the assignment of a suffix style number. The rule for assignment is relevant in this instance in that you cannot make a vehicle appear younger than it is.

Prefix Number Plates

Prefix number plates 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 Registrations

New Style or current style registrations as they are sometimes known were introduced during 2001 in response to the prefix styles running out of number and letter combinations. The new style formats are becoming popular as available combinations of prefix registrations reduce.

It is worth noting that combinations of letters and numbers can produce some extremely desirable marks with some variations being distinctive, with recent issues for example being RU55 ELS, BA55 ERS and BU55 OMS

Irish Plates

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 registrations 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 private number plates.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers

Question - What are un-issued Car Reg Numbers?

Answer - The term is used to describe registrations not previously issued or assigned to a vehicle. Un-issued registrations are supplied on a V750 certificate of entitlemnt valid for a period of 10 years. The V750 certificate records the purchaser of the registration and their address details. A unique certificate number is used for the purposes of assigning the registration to a vehicle within the 10 year life of the certificate.

Question - What are Personalised Registrations?

Answer - The term is used to describe car registrations that have a level of personalisation associated with the unique combination of letters and numbers. Levels of personalisation can range from an association with the initials of a person to an exact match with the name of a person.The degree of an association with items or features of interest will contribute to the value of a personalised car registration or private number plate.

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