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Deciding what Number Plate to Buy

By: Rami

Numbers, numbers everywhere! Which one is right for you? With over 30 million registrations numbers available the choice of which number plate to purchase can be overwhelming. To begin with its best to have an understanding of the various formats that registration numbers are issued in. The first registrations issued are commonly known as dateless number plates. These registration numbers have no age identifier letter and are the oldest form of car registrations. The first number plates ever issued were over 100 years ago.

Suffix registrations display 3 letters followed by up to 3 numbers and a final letter identifying the year the number was issued. These were first issued in 1963 with the A suffix series. An example of the format of a suffix registration is ABC 123A

Prefix registration numbers were first issued in 1983 when the suffix series ran out. The format is the reverse of suffix number plates with a letter identifying the year the registration was first issued at the beginning of the number plate. This is followed by up to 3 numbers and then 3 letters. An example of the format of a prefix registration is A123 ABC.

In 2001 this series was replaced with our new, current style number plates. These display 2 letters followed by 2 numbers and then 3 letters. The numbers relate to the year the registration was issued and act as an age identifier. An example of a new style registration is AB02 ABC.

With so many formats of registration numbers, the different combinations available are vast. To help you choose and give you some inspiration here are some common ideas to find you perfect plate!

Who is the Number Plate for?

If you are purchasing the registration for yourself or a loved one why not incorporate a name within the number plate? Registrations which read your name are extremely eye catching and attract a great deal of attention on the road. RO 55 (Ross), M477 HEW (Matthew), RU55 ELL (Russell), KAT 13S (Katie s) and ROB 1N (Robin) are classic examples of such number plates.

Name plates offer the highest level of personalisation on a registration but can command some of the highest prices. The registration 51 NGH (Singh) sold at a DVLA auction in 2006 for a staggering 254 000! MR51 NGH (Mr Singh) and S1 NGH (Singh) were also both big sellers, each fetching over 100 000.

Don t worry if you are after a name plate but don t have this sort of budget in mind ..there are many cheaper options available! And if you can t find the name you are looking for why not try to find the initials?

What Numbers are significant?

Buying a number plate for a birthday or anniversary present? Why not use the numbers from the special day! Incorporating the day, month or even year of an anniversary or birthday is a popular choice when it comes to buying a number plate. If the number plate is for a birthday how about the age of the recipient? 18, 21, 30, 40 and 50 are popular numbers when it comes to birthday plates and are always happily received! Lucky numbers are also all the rage and added a certain lucky charm to your vehicle.

Hobbies and Interests

Music fans have been known to declare their devotion to their favourite singers with the number plate ELV 1S selling at an auction for 75 000! Fans of sport have also been known to buy car registrations relating to their favourite sport or team including F4 CUP (FA CUP), TEN 15 (Tennis) T33 OFF (Tee Off), and AR53 NAL (Arsenal). Even animal lovers have bought number plates dedicated to their furry friends including DOG 1E , PU55 CAT, and ROV 3R.


Going one step further it is possible to combine some of these ideas to personalise the number plate even more. Some of the best examples of these can be found in Irish number plates. Here you could chose a registration with your name and birth year. GIL 1962, BIL 1982 and BAZ 1973 speak for themselves!

So as you can see there really is a number plate out there to suit everyone. Popular names and numbers are becoming increasingly scarce and can demand high prices when they are for sale. However with some many combinations available you are sure to find a plate that s fits your budget! If you are serious about buying a registration plate, find it now .before someone else does!

Bob O'Donnell is MD of Cape Plates ( www.capeplates.co.uk ) and has a passion for all things number plate related. He started the business with only one number plate to sell, and now has a portfolio of over 30,000,000 on offer.


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