Registration plates, UK registration plates for sale | National Numbers
Why do we have registration plates?
In 1903, with increasing vehicles on the road in the UK, the Motor Car Act made it mandatory to display registration plates from January 1904.
Our article Registration Numbers explains how our registration plates system developed in more detail if you are interested.
Briefly, the logic behind our registration plates system is to indicate the area of issue and year of manufacture as well as providing a record of the keeper (not the owner) for law enforcement purposes.
The main problem facing designers has been the finite nature of any alpha/numeric system, coupled with the ever-increasing number of vehicles requiring registration plates.
A typical reaction to this problem of ever-increasing vehicle ownership was the decision to reverse many series of registration plates so, for example, UXL 921 was re-issued as 921 UXL to cater for a surge after the war.
Another example, is the introduction of a year identifying letter at the end of registration plates in 1963. Then, in 1983, the year-letter identifyer was moved to the front.
Of course, our new-style registration plates currently being issued are of a totally new format, for example NV53 ZPB where NV = NORTH ; 53 = issued between September and February 2003 ; ZPB = 3 randomly allocated letters.
Our system of registration plates has certainly come a long way since Earl Russell was allocated the UK plate A 1 back in 1903.
For more reading matter, you could try our articles DVLA Information or DVLC or, if you think you've done enough homework, why not get onto the "fun" part and use our number plate search to search for literally any kind of registration plate - including words, names, initials, football teams, dates. We probably can't find that gardening glove you lost last summer but anything to do with registration plates and we're your man (or woman). Oh, by the way, we like a bit of fun, but we treat your purchase very seriously, look at our Testimonials for reassurance. Good luck!
Would you dare display a rude registration on your vehicle? See our selection of rude number plates