April 2, 2010


For many of us our license plate number is there to identify our car to speed cameras and to help us find it in a busy car park. However, there is so much more behind our license number and how much information it can give us.

A normal number plate is made up of 7 figures; two letters, two numbers and three more letters. Most of us already know that the number tells us the year the car was manufactured. But what you may not know is they change twice a year in March and September.

March number plates take the last two numbers of that year – 2008 would become 08 and 2009 would become 09. However, the September plates take the same format whilst adding 50. So 2008 becomes 58 and 2009 becomes 59.

Thought you had the hang of it! Well it changes again now that we are in 2010. It takes a similar format however, you now add 60 for cars bought out in September. So this September will see number plates say 60 and next year in September 2011 it will be 61.

Interestingly the letters at the start of a license plate represent the DVLA office that the car was first registered. The first letter is a wider county or area like London or North.  The second letter is a more local identifier. So if you are out and about, see if you can find a number plate that starts the same as your own.

You will then find the last three letters at the end are a random set to identify the individual car.

U.K. plates will keep the same design until 2051 so if you learn it now, it should see you through most of your driving life.

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