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Check out our feature on the world's most expensive number plates. To find out more about the alternative investment potential of high-quality personal number plates, please visit our page on number plate investment.

How to use your personalised number plates

What is it that makes someone willing to pay thousands of pounds for their ultimate personalised registration number? The factors that dictate the value of a registration number are many and varied. With initials, it is mostly the number of people who have those particular initials. If that number is large, then the potential demand is considerable and that can make some "initials" plates fairly valuable.

With names and words, the value comes from a combination of potential demand and the quality of the number from a visual point of view. With "number 1" plates, the value is due to exclusivity and prestige. Celebrity customers that use us, in the paper, everybody seems to mention the vans, everybody mentions the number plates. They have offered us a great service which has certainly got us, the company, to the position we are in today as the most known plumbing company in the world.

Fun and sheer enjoyment drive the vast majority of number plates purchases, but increasing number of buyers purchase their private registrations speculatively, with the intention of selling later at a profit; and it really is a serious investment, as serious as investment in stocks and shares, or in art.

Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson is famously quoted as saying that a good personal registration could be "better than money in the bank". The earliest numbers issued in Britain are now much more than years old, thus meeting the widely applied age criterion that defines an antique.

Furthermore, there is an emerging market in private number plates for marketing, PR and branding in business. Sir Alan Sugar and Dragons' Den moguls Duncan Bannatyne, and Theo Paphitis all recognise the usefulness of private plates when it comes to building and reinforcing an image. Tel: Email us. We have to collect some data when you use this website so it works better and is secure.

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Back at 8am, 2nd Jan Lines are closed. Back at 8am Lines are open 8ampm, 7 days a week. Home Info UK's most expensive number plates You are here. Personalised number plates search For best matches please enter at least two or three letters. From until around , in West Germany , private vehicles owned by members of British Forces Germany and their families were issued registration numbers in a unique format initially two letters followed by three digits plus a "B" suffix, e.

This was discontinued for security reasons, as it made them vulnerable to Provisional IRA attacks. Trade licences are issued to motor traders and vehicle testers, and permit the use of untaxed vehicles on the public highway with certain restrictions. Until , two types of trade plate were used. General trade plates had white letters and numbers on a red background and could be used for all purposes, while limited trade plates used red numbers and letters on a white background and were restricted in their use e. Since , all trade plates have used the red-on-white format. According to the traders, the police followed a little rhyme about trade plates:.

The format of trade plate numbers comprises three digits with leading zeros if necessary followed by one, two or three letters denoting the location of issue, using pre format codes.

number plate format

In , a new system was introduced with a number-only format. This is a five-digit number leading zeroes used below in red on white, with a DVLA authentication at the right. This is centrally issued, and there is no regional indicator. Seen a picture recently of a new London bus being delivered on trade plates which are different to that above, so perhaps a new format: 1 letter and 4 digits e. A Since cars operated by foreign embassies, high commissions, consulates and international organisations are issued unique vehicle registration marks.

The distinguishing format is three numbers, space, letter D or X, space and three numbers. The letter D is predominately used for vehicles operated in or around the capital of London with the letter X allocated to vehicles outside London and for international organisations, [ citation needed ] unless otherwise stated by bilateral treaty or arrangement.

The first group of three numbers identifies the country or international organisation.


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The second group of three numbers is a serial number sequence starting at for diplomats, for non-diplomatic staff of international organisations, and upwards for consular or other non-diplomatic staff. For example: D identifies the first registration allocated to the Afghanistan embassy and X is a registration allocated to the Commonwealth Secretariat.

By default, a UK registration plate will accompany a vehicle throughout the vehicle's lifetime. There is no requirement to re-register a vehicle when moving to a new part of the country and no requirement that the number be changed when ownership of the vehicle changes. It is, however, possible for another registration number to be transferred, replacing the one originally issued, where owners wish to have a " vanity plate " sometimes referred to as a "cherished" registration displaying, for instance, their initials.

Registration numbers may also be replaced simply to disguise the actual age of the vehicle. For example you cannot put a Y registration number on a T registered vehicle but you could choose any prefix range from an A to a T. Each registration has an issue date which is what you must check to ensure you don't make your vehicle appear newer than it is. As many vehicles registered before have been scrapped, some of their "dateless" pre registration numbers have been transferred to other vehicles as personal plates.

They can be valuable, and can also be used to conceal the age of an older vehicle. Many vintage and classic cars no longer bear their original index marks due to the owners being offered high premiums for the desirable registrations.

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In addition Northern Irish registrations are also regarded as "dateless" and are often transferred to vehicles outside Northern Ireland. The DVLA however can only offer for sale registrations that have never previously been issued and thus have a limited offering and limited scope. Motor cars used by the reigning monarch on official business, which are as of [update] all Rolls-Royces or Bentleys built to special specifications, do not carry number plates.

Criminals sometimes use copies of number plates legitimately used on a vehicle of identical type and colour to the one used, known as "cloning", to avoid being identified.

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The UK Government introduced on 1 August regulations requiring the production of personal identification and vehicle registration documents when having number plates made by a retailer. Number plates were initially made by the motor vehicle's original supplier, and replacement plates meeting standards could be made by anybody. Some people had street address numbers made up to motor-vehicle standards for their houses.

The supplier needs to confirm that the customer is the registered keeper or other authorised person and verify their identity. These rules are generally described as onerous, particularly to company car drivers who do not hold any of the required paperwork themselves such items usually being stored by a fleet manager or lease hire company. Registered number plate suppliers must keep records including the documents produced by their customers; they can be required to be shown to the police, although in reality this has seldom happened. The Department for Transport holds a full list of suppliers.

Some companies, particularly those based online, sell number plates described as "show plates" or "not for road use", which may not satisfy the requirements of BSAUd. However, if so specified, these products can be identical to number plates sold by approved RNPS registered supplier. Many of these companies do not ask customers to prove ownership of the registration they are purchasing, and try to circumvent the law by placing disclaimers on their websites.

Despite these disclaimers, it is still not legal to produce any registration plates without seeing proof of identity of the purchaser such as a driving licence , and proof of their connection to the registration such as a V5C or retention certificate. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. United Kingdom vehicle license plates.

For British territories outside the United Kingdom, see Vehicle registration plates of the United Kingdom, Crown dependencies and overseas territories. Examples of British style number plate strips. Other vehicles took the remaining numbers, but were, in fact, duplicated. See also: List of country codes on UK issued diplomatic vehicle registration plates. Archived from the original on 14 April Retrieved 28 September Wikimedia Commons.

Retrieved 8 December British Standards Institution. MotorBooks International. Number 1 Plates.

Uncovering as much previous owner information as possible about a used car

Retrieved 17 July Retrieved 9 September DETR press notice of Archived from the original on 28 August Retrieved 16 November BBC News.