The History of British Numberplates

A numberplate, also known as a vehicle registration plate, is a sign made from a series of letters and numbers, which are used to identify the vehicle. Since 1904, it has been a legal requirement for almost all vehicles on the road to display a numberplate. The only exception to this rule, is that official cars used by the reigning monarchy do not have to display this information. The article takes a look at the basic history of British numberplates.

The introduction of the law that required numberplates for all vehicles was originally passed by the Motor Car Act. Each number plate had to also be included in the national vehicle register, in order to easily identify people and cars in the event of an accident or crime.

The first ever series of numberplates ran from 1904 until 1932. They were made up of one or two letters, followed by a four digit number. The first two letters were used to indicate what area or region the vehicle was registered in. When the numbers started to run out, three letter codes were introduced for each area. A fun fact is that several three letter words that were seen as potentially offence to some people, and were banned from numberplates, these included the words sex, god, bum and jew!

The combinations for number and letters began to run out again in the 90s, so more codes were introduced in order to alleviate the problem. This also included the use of a new year identification system, and the use of the letter Q. It is also possible to purchase personalized numberplates, which fall outside the traditional coding system. These eye-catching numberplates are a great way to personalize your car, and make it stand out from the crowd.

Below a Picture of Lady Vikki Sharp originally from St Albans in early 1930’s – 0208 144 1715

Buying A Number Plate

What To Look For When Buying A Number Plate Online

When you start to contact number plate companies, you will probably see a vast difference in the costs that people claim to be able to do this for you. What you need to be aware of is that cheapest isn’t always best. You need to be aware of what you are getting for your money and make sure that whatever you buy is the best number plate for you.

Of course the first thing you need to make sure of is that you own the number plate. Getting a number plate made up is not enough – because anyone can do that! You have to be the registered owner of the number plate/vehicle in question. If the number plate company you are dealing with doesn’t take steps to check this, then you should probably steer well clear of them and their services.

Another thing that you need to check is that the number plate you are buying is suitable for use on a roadworthy vehicle. It is easy to get a number plate printed but you need to have one that meets all of the legal obligations that are set in place. What you will find in the small print of many number plate companies terms is that they only deal with ‘show plates’. This means that they are really only made for novelty, and not to be used on a car/vehicle. You can land yourself in trouble if you go ahead and use this on your vehicle – including failing your MOT and even getting a hefty fine!

Of course most companies operate legitimately so you don’t have to worry too much, but just keep your wits about you and make sure that whatever you are investing your money in is something that is going to work for you. – 0208 144 1715

Personalised Registraion Plates UK

Why It Is Important To Get It Right

We all know that personalised number plates can look fantastic on a vehicle. Whether you already have a car that stands out from the crowd or you simply want your everyday vehicle to look better, >personalised number plates could be exactly what you are looking for.

However when it comes to getting these made up, you have to take several things into consideration. At the end of the day number plates are there to fulfil a legal obligation – so you cannot just go ahead and have these made up however you want. You have to bear in mind the legal rules to ensure that whatever type of personalised plate you have isn’t going to get you into trouble.
Of course you also have to make sure it is registered properly, because you can’t just ‘decide’ on your own number plates.
What Should I Bear In Mind?

– You have to have number plates displayed on the front and back of your vehicle
– Number plates should be easy to read
– Front number plates should be black type on a white plate
– Back number plates should be black type on a yellow plate
– They should be printed onto the right material
– Letter size and spacing must be of a set size.

While all of this can seem confusing to get right, if you use a professional number plate company then they take care of this for you. There are different number plate companies that you can use but you must use one that follows the British Standard guidelines. That way you can feel confident that your number plate is not only going to look great, but it is also not going to get you into trouble by being printed incorrectly. – 0208 144 1715

Police Clamp Down on incorrect Number plate spacing

POLICE forces have combined their resources to target those using illegal number plates.

Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police are working together on Operation Dragon for three weeks until August 5.

Illegal number plates are often used on cars and vans involved in crime because they are difficult for officers to read and identify.

So traffic teams are working together to spot the culprits.

Last time about 300 drivers were given fines of up to £1,000 each for the offence. – 0208 144 1715

No more Illegal MR L1ON Number Plate for Brighton Businessman

A businessman has been banned from using his personalised number plate after traffic officials said it was illegal to use on the road.

Police have warned Dave Day, who founded the Golden Lion chain of pubs in Brighton, that he faces prosecution if he continues to use the £8,000 MR L10N plate on his chauffeur-driven Bentley.

For the past seven years the plate has been well known in the city with tourists flagging him down to have their photo taken with it.

But last month the 61-year-old was flagged down again, this time by an unmarked police car on Brighton seafront.

Officers issued him with a £60 fine and told him that Mr Lion had to go because the letters were not spaced out correctly on the number plate.

Mr Day, whose pubs include The Cricketers, The Long Man of Wilmington and The Ladies Mile, admits he did have the L moved a couple of millimetres to make the two words more distinguishable.

He said: “People get plates adapted or altered all the time. You would think the police have got better things to do than chase around after my number plate.

He said: “People get plates adapted or altered all the time. You would think the police have got better things to do than chase around after my number plate.

“We’ve had nine murders in the city in the last year. My plate is just there to make people smile. Children and tourists ask me if they can be photographed with it.”

He said he found the fact that officers acted on the legal technicality of the spacing between the R and the L being illegal “pathetic”.

Members of the Day dynasty are recognisable in the city for their signature plates.

His daughter has MI55 DAY and his son owns L10N LD.

A spokeswoman for the DVLA said: “We make it very clear that registration marks must be correctly displayed. Misrepresented number plates can cause problems for enforcement bodies like the police using automatic number plate recognition cameras.

“The police can issue fixed penalty fines for illegally displayed number plates and offenders could face a maximum fine of £ 1,000.”

A Sussex Police spokesman confirmed that if someone continuously failed to comply with the law regarding number plates they could face criminal prosecution.

The Mr Lion plate has now been replaced with 23 DD – 0208 144 1715

New 62 Reg Number Plates

The new ’62’ series of registration number plates will be released by the DVLA in June of this year. As always, there will be tremendous demand for the best name and word plates from the DVLA ’62’ plates and the chances of securing your cherished registration is slim. However, Plate Master has developed a well tested solution to secure your ideal 62 number plate. Using highly sophisticated software, especially developed for these occasions and as a result of substantial investment, Plate Master has near a 100% chance of securing any new 62 registration plate. No other dealer has use of this technology. Using this system we successfully secured 98% of new number plates the previous occasion a series was released.

You don’t actually need to own a vehicle to buy one of these new 62 registration plates. So although these new registrations can only be assigned to vehicles registered on or after 1st September 2012, they can be supplied and kept on a certificate indefinitely, so you can transfer when you are ready. This makes a 62 reg an ideal gift or a good investment. The range of attractive combinations is extensive and diverse with some spectacular name and word matches. The number 62 can, to a varying extent, – 0208 144 1715

Liverpool Fan with Man Utd Number Plate

A football fan is set to cash in on United’s historic season – with a car registration plate celebrating the Reds’ record-breaking success.

Bilal Chawala, 31, paid just £250 for the registration M19 WON before United secured their 19th league title.

He’s already turned down an offer of £5,000. Bilal himself doesn’t want the plate – he’s a Liverpool fan.

The Reds’ latest title saw them surpass their Merseyside rivals to hold the record number of top-flight league crowns.

But canny Bilal, an accounts manager from Levenshulme, Manchester, said his investment was a simple case of forward-thinking. He said: “I thought of the idea about buying plate when I was watching a United match on television in March.

“I did a bit of digging and researching and just took a punt on it. Now it is a sound investment and a piece of history.

“It would be a great memento. It would look great on a fan’s car or a car belonging to one of the players. It is a great, portable piece of Manchester United’s history.”

Bilal now plans to put the registration plate up for sale on eBay.

He said: “It is hard to put a price on it because its worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

“My mates are all United fans and being a Liverpool fan, I have had lots of stick over the years. It’s just not something I could have on my car.” – 0208 144 1715

Number Plates History – T8

News stories of late have been full of registrations that have been ‘firsts’. The registration M1 was sold in 2006 for a then record fee of £331,500. M1 was the very first registration issued in Cheshire, in 1903, and was sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006 to businessman Mike McComb. Mr McComb made his millions in the mobile phone industry, selling his chain of stores to BT Cellnet in 2000 for £40m before turning his hand to property development. It’s alleged that he purchased the M1 number plate for his then 10 year old son, but it seems dad has borrowed it as it’s currently being sported on a White Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG convertible.

Two years later and at its second attempt to sell, Essex County Council sold their F1 vehicle registration for a whopping £375,000. This smashed the previous record and was bought by Bradford-based businessman Afzal Kahn. Once the VAT had been added Mr Kahn stumped up £440,625 to use this number plate, that for many years had been worn on the Essex County Council Chairman’s Volvo. First registered in 1904, the year that it became compulsory for all motor vehicles to bear a registration plate, it was owned by Essex County surveyor, Percy John Sheldon. It was handed back to the county in 1955 after over half a decade in private ownership where it was used on a series of civic limousines. The money made by the council is to be put towards road safety, by improving the skill level of young drivers in Essex. More recently it has been published in the press that Mr. Kahn has turned down a £5 million offer for the registration, which has been used on a number of different vehicles including a Bugatti Veyron and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren since the Kahn Design founder took ownership.

While these are now both considered private number plates, and incredibly sort-after ones at that, they weren’t issued with that intention. The fact that they are number 1’s is simply down to the number system, and that they were issued before any other registration in their respective counties. They don’t represent a name or a person’s initials and the original owners only came by them by the good fortune of being wealthy enough to own a vehicle in the early 1900s and generally, knowing somebody at the issuing office!

The story of the private number plate is a little different. T8 was probably not the first private number plate as many people think, but is generally considered the first ‘celebrity’ number plate and records only really exist due to its famous owner. The T-style registrations were also brought in during the first decade of the twentieth century in the Devon administrative area and T1 would’ve been the first issued, much like F1 and M1. However it was T8 that was famously owned by music hall comedian, Harry Tate, who later became a film star in the 1930s.

Tate was born Ronald Macdonald Hutchinson in 1872, and before finding fame worked for Henry Tate & Sons – Sugar Refiners, from which he took his stage name. We can assume that it was issued as the eighth registration in Devon, and is known as one of the first registrations to be transferred from vehicle-to-vehicle. Tate’s vehicles proudly wore his newly invented private number plate for many years. Tate sadly passed away shortly after suffering a stroke in 1940 and sometime after the plate was on the move again. T8 was sold to Tate’s previous employers who had since merged with rival refiners Abram Lyle & Sons to become Tate & Lyle. It has since moved into private hands and can currently be seen on a 2002 Alfa Romeo 147 T-Spark thought to be worth around 1-2% of the value of the number plates – 0208 144 1715

Rare 1928 car was buried with original number plates

Rare two-seater 1928 car found buried under a cowshed in Gloucestershire has won a Best Vintage Car award.

All the parts of the 1928 MG MK IV Sports car were found in 1999 on a farm “carefully dismantled” and laid in the ground under two inches of concrete.

Fred Body, from Cheddar in Somerset, has spent over a year painstakingly rebuilding the early MG.

He said: “It’s weird really – most of it was there and most of it was as sound as a pound.”

According to the Early MG Society, only 135 examples of this model were made in 1928 and this car is the sole survivor in the country that displays the correct coachwork.

“When it was found it was completely taken apart, laid out flat and covered in gravel and one or two inches of concrete,” said Mr Body, a car enthusiast who bought the parts when the owner put them up for sale.

Wartime secret

“I think what must have happened was the war was coming and someone thought ‘they’re not taking my car for scrap’.

“They carefully took it apart and buried it thinking they would come back and put it together again.”

It was only when the shed was pulled down and the floor dug up that the car was discovered with all its identification including Guarantee plate and original number plates.

“Some of the original leather from the seats and paint work was there so we could colour match it as near as possible,” said Mr Body.

“But some of the aluminium had corroded where I think the concrete had cracked and urine from the cow house had got in.

“And all the instruments were missing – they probably adorned someone’s fireplace – so they were the most difficult to find.”

At the end of April the resurrected car won the Best Vintage Car award at the Bristol Classic Car Show.

A spokesman for the Early MG Society said: “There is no history on this car until 1999 when it was miraculously ‘discovered’.

“It is now one of the few genuine MGs that has come to light in the last 25 years – it’s been a real “from the ground up” restoration – 0208 144 1715