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  • 25 August 2015

    A quick guide to UK registration plates

    September is fast approaching and the hotly anticipated 65 registration will soon be on our roads and in showrooms across the country from the 1st September.  But how much do you know about the way the registration system works? Knowing your stuff is handy when it comes to buying a used car and knowing where and when it was registered.

    Registration plates became a legal requirement on January 1 1904 however the first one was issued in 1903 and consisted one of a one or two letter code followed by a sequence of numbers between 1 and 9999. The code showed which local authority that the car was registered in and was initially allocated by population size, with London being the largest and therefore going first with A.

    It wasn’t long before the supply of codes were running dry and by 1932 a serial number was placed before the code to extend the scheme which lasted until the 1950’s. At this point came the longest standing scheme which was in force until the new format came into force in 2001.

    A single letter was used to identify the year followed by one, two or three numbers. The final three letters would identify the area in which the car was registered. This changed in 2001 when the plate as we know it was introduced.

    As we all anticipate the plate bearing 65, we know that the numbers are now split into two separate varieties; 15 and 65 being this year’s variation. As UK registrations are now updated twice yearly, the March plate will use the two letters of the year, and the September plate will simply add 50. This scheme is expected to last until 2051 when a new scheme may be introduced.

    The new 65 plate is expected to arrive at our dealerships on the 1st September and you can be sure to find new models of your favourite cars with their new birthday plates! Check out our stock here to find out which new additions we are expecting this September.

Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd's permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.