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Private Number Plates

Dateless Number Plates

Dateless private number plates date back to 1904 with the first dateless 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 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 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 Plates

In 1963 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 Number Plates

Prefix plates have proven to be the most popular since the early 1990'S as they were readily accesible and affordable. There have been some great combinations at low prices and the trend continues despite new style private number plates having been introduced in 2001.

New Style plates were introduced in 2001 and their popularity is increasing. 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 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 number plate you need to consult with an established and trusted company.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers

What is a Dateless Registration?

Answer - A dateless registration is defined by the absence of a year identifier within the string of letters and numbers.These registrations were issued to vehicles between 1904 and 1963. They are transferrable to a vehicle of any age = subject to cherished transfer rules. A1 was the first dateless registration and the series developed into AA 11, AA 111, AA 1111, AAA 111 through to AA 99, AA 999, AA 9999, AAA 999. Subsequent letter and number combinations were reversed with the following series; 11 AA, 111 AA, 1111 AA, 111 AAA through to 99 AA, 99 AAA, 9999 AA, 999 AAA running from the late 1940's through to 1963. Dateless registrations were issued to vehicles by regional councils and two of the letters were used together to identify the issuing region.

Question - What is a Suffix Registration?

Answer - A suffix registration is defined by a year identifier at the end of the string of letters and numbers. These registrations were issued to vehicles between 1963 and 1982. Certain letters were excluded from the year identifier and these were the letters; I, O, Q, U, Z. Any suffix registration can be assigned to a vehicle first registered after 1982.

What is a Prefix Registration?

Answer - Prefix registrations are defined by a year identifying letter at the front of the string of numbers and letters. The letter A was first used in 1983 with the letter Y being the last letter used in in 2000/2001 prior to the introduction of new style registrations in September 2001.

What is a New Style Registration?

Answer - New Style registrations are also referred to as current style registrations as they are currently issued to vehicles at first registration. These registrations use numbers as year identifiers with 51 being the first number used in September 2001. When these registrations were first introduced they enabled the 6 monthly registration issue process to be implemented by DVLA.