: Explain UK car registration plates to me


chinacartimes
27-03-2007, 14:04
Ive been away from the UK for so long I dont understand it anymore.

I remember it going J,K,L,M,N,P,R etc

When did it change and how do you which year is which? The posts on MG-Rover confuse me i.e. 'I had a 51 reg....'

Explain it to me - Thanks in advance!

andy
27-03-2007, 14:10
AB 51 CDE Sept 2001 - Feb 2002
AB 02 CDE March 2002 - Aug 2002
AB 52 CDE Sept 2002
....
AB 06 CDE March 2006

I hope that would be clear enough.

chinacartimes
27-03-2007, 14:12
AB 51 CDE Sept 2001 - Feb 2002
AB 02 CDE March 2002 - Aug 2002
AB 52 CDE Sept 2002
....
AB 06 CDE March 2006

I hope that would be clear enough.

I dont get it. ??

Whats the AB and CDE, plus the middle two numbers ? what do they mean?

mattshaw
27-03-2007, 14:16
The second number relates to the last digit from the year. The first number (either 0 or 5) relates to its registration date (march & september respectively).

the first 2 letters vary depending on WHERE the car is registered ie FX/FY tend to be the lincolnshire ones. The final letters are a random combo.


Not sure what will happen in 2010 in regards to the numbers.... ive heard that it will revert to 0-9 again but the march/september numbers will become 1/6 respectively!

andy
27-03-2007, 14:16
The first two letters indicates where the car was registered.
The last three letters are random.
The two digits in the middle indicates the year.
Having just "06" is not enough for all the car registered in a year, so they do a rotation every half a year, with Sept 2001 starting as "51" and March 2002 as "02".
It is much easier to tell the cars registered between March and August because the two digits show the year it was registered.
For the ones registered between September and February, you have to subtract 50 from the two digits to get the year.

murphyzt
27-03-2007, 14:19
Two letters, 02= March to August 2002, three letters - the first two prior to the numbers indicate where registered.

Two letters, 52 = September 02 to Feb 03, three letters
" , 03 = March 03 to August 03, "
" , 53 = September 03 to February 04, "

And so on.

sadtosee
27-03-2007, 15:38
In 2010 the numbers will be 10 and 61 etc.

The system has been designed to last 49 years and then they can reverse the letters/numbers.

chinacartimes
27-03-2007, 16:42
Wow - Did they make it complicated or what?

What was up with the old system that they had to change it?

andy
27-03-2007, 16:43
Wow - Did they make it complicated or what?

What was up with the old system that they had to change it?

They ran out of alphabet, simple as that.

Pip
27-03-2007, 19:14
It's actually a pretty good system for age ID, I don't have to think back to past cars of mine to remember what year a D-reg was!

I think they missed something though by not giving Newcastle the prefix YI :)

Stu C
27-03-2007, 21:01
Obviosuly it works otherwise they would never have implemnted it, but i do like the way the southern Irish do their reg's.

Very simple, the first two numbers at the reg show its year. Easy! :D

NPW
27-03-2007, 22:59
Obviosuly it works otherwise they would never have implemnted it, but i do like the way the southern Irish do their reg's.

Very simple, the first two numbers at the reg show its year. Easy! :D

I don't, they can't have private plates !

oma2la
27-03-2007, 23:26
Obviosuly it works otherwise they would never have implemnted it, but i do like the way the southern Irish do their reg's.

Very simple, the first two numbers at the reg show its year. Easy! :D


Definitely agree with you there. It's pretty easy to understand he way they do it. Two numbers for the year, one or two easily-guessable letters for the county or administrative region, and then a number which can tell you how many cars have been sold in that area up to the date that particular vehicle was registered.

I'm guessing that politically it could never happen, but I wouldn't mind if we followed a similar system in Northern Ireland. But not only would there be significant cultural objections, I think a lot of people --local authorities included, as they hold back plates for sale-- would lose money on selling Northen Ireland plates (which don't show the year) in the rest of the UK.

sadtosee
28-03-2007, 08:57
The reason for the dual numbers for the year is to spread car demand out during the year rather than have a huge surge the industry cannot cope with.

With this system you have three high points of the year: the year change in January, a plate change in March and then a plate change in September.

This also happened with the old system: originally the year letter change in January. This was moved to August to seperate the year of registration and letter change "surges". Towards the end of the old system it was changed again to have the letter change twice a year.

If you have a registration and year change all at the same time you end up with everyone buying their new car in the same month which the supply chain chain cannot cope with and then idle the rest of the year.

bud7
18-08-2008, 16:56
In 2010 the numbers will be 10 and 61 etc.

The system has been designed to last 49 years and then they can reverse the letters/numbers.

I understand how you say it will work in 2010 but how will it work in 2011? It could be 11 for the first registration but what will it be for the second 1? It cant be 61 again!

James C
18-08-2008, 16:58
I understand how you say it will work in 2010 but how will it work in 2011? It could be 11 for the first registration but what will it be for the second 1? It cant be 61 again!

62

You always subtract 50 to get the year.

Edit: Correct in what I said above, but 61 is 2011 as 10 and 60 will be 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_number_plates#Age_identifiers

patpending
18-08-2008, 19:38
...

Edit: Correct in what I said above, but 61 is 2011 as 10 and 60 will be 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_number_plates#Age_identifiersYes, it's complicated because the number currently beginning "5" starts towards the end of one year and keeps going into the next. So the current registration is "08", the next one from next month (!) is "58" and that will keep going into January and February 2009, just as 60 will be Sept 2010 - Feb 2011.

They used to say that people paid too much attention to the registration year of a car. Now I have no idea when a car was registered, nor where! Looking at car numberplates for the latest registration is very hard to do...

James C
18-08-2008, 19:40
The 5 bit is quite easy to work out (until 2010) as you can think it's just halfway through the year.

patpending
18-08-2008, 20:32
The 5 bit is quite easy to work out (until 2010) as you can think it's just halfway through the year.but it isn't, it starts about three-quarters of the way into one year and goes one-sixth of the way into the next.

i mean, my car is a "54" and I had to think hard what year it was registered!

James C
18-08-2008, 20:33
but it isn't, it starts about three-quarters of the way into one year and goes one-sixth of the way into the next.

i mean, my car is a "54" and I had to think hard what year it was registered!

Now you're just making it complicated :lol:

"If" you think of it starting as halfway through the year it's fairly straight forward.

More straight forward than having to workout what number a letter is in the alphabet and what ones they've skipped anyway :lol:

sadtosee
18-08-2008, 22:08
They used to say that people paid too much attention to the registration year of a car. Now I have no idea when a car was registered, nor where! Looking at car numberplates for the latest registration is very hard to do...

To be honest I think it is much easier than the old system. If it is a number <49 it is simply the year. If it is a number >50 then subtract 50 and it is either the year letter left or the early part of the next one. Similarly with the region identifiers.

OK, so I knew M-reg meant 1994-95 and a JN, VX, OO, HJ, TW or AR registration was local but that's because I am a bit sad that way - hardly anyone else did. Now it is easy to work out the year and the region identifiers are far more obvious.

sadtosee
18-08-2008, 22:09
BTW, as a point of totally useless trivia, trade plates still use the old DVLA office two letter ranges used since the dawn of time.

BLMC
18-08-2008, 22:20
Year March September
2001 51
2002 02 52
2003 03 53
2004 04 54
2005 05 55
2006 06 56
2007 07 57
2008 08 58
2009 09 59
2010 10 60
2011 11 61
2012 12 62
2013 13 63
2014 14 64
2015 15 65
2016 16 66
2017 17 67
2018 18 68
2019 19 69
2020 20 70
2021 21 71
2022 22 72
2023 23 73
2024 24 74
2025 25 75
2026 26 76
2027 27 77
2028 28 78
2029 29 79
2030 30 80
2031 31 81
2032 32 82
2033 33 83
2034 34 84
2035 35 85
2036 36 86
2037 37 87
2038 38 88
2039 39 89
2040 40 90
2041 41 91
2042 42 92
2043 43 93
2044 44 94
2045 45 95
2046 46 96
2047 47 97
2048 48 98
2049 49 99

JohnSwitzer
18-08-2008, 22:22
To complete the picture, Northern Ireland plates work on the basis of first letter is part of a successive series from A to Y excluding Q and Z.

The next 2 letters are a regional identifier (e.g. NZ is currently Londonderry City; LZ is currently North Armagh). The 4 digits run from 1 to 9999 - albeit 1 to 1001 is reserved for auction. So my registration of KNZ 809* is the 809*th car of the K series to be registered in Londonderry City. When KNZ 9999 was reached, then LNZ 1 will start through to LNZ 9999 and then MNZ 1 etc. When YNZ 9999 is reached, then a new regional identifier will be issued and the process starts all over again.

QNI is Northern Ireland Q Plates where the age of the vehicle cannot be ascertained and all Northern Ireland plates must have an I or a Z in them.

There have been one or two interesting Northern Ireland plates. The CIG (Co. Fermanagh) sequence was never issued; nor too was KIL (a previous Co. Fermanagh plate for reasons of political correctness ;)

I'm not sure how much longer Northern Ireland will have its own registration system as some of the function of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office are being trasnferred from Co. Londonderry to Swansea - I'm not sure if this includes registrations or not.

Regards

John

JohnSwitzer
18-08-2008, 22:26
Definitely agree with you there. It's pretty easy to understand he way they do it. Two numbers for the year, one or two easily-guessable letters for the county or administrative region, and then a number which can tell you how many cars have been sold in that area up to the date that particular vehicle was registered.

I'm guessing that politically it could never happen, but I wouldn't mind if we followed a similar system in Northern Ireland. But not only would there be significant cultural objections, I think a lot of people --local authorities included, as they hold back plates for sale-- would lose money on selling Northen Ireland plates (which don't show the year) in the rest of the UK.

Speaking with a Garda officer last year, he said the Republic of Ireland system is a disaster when it comes to people remembering numbers at scenes of crime. There are that many numbers on some of them e.g. Dublin, there's no way on earth they can be easily remembered.

Must admit that its a good game to play when driving in the Republic of Ireland... guess the county. I was following an OY car today - took me an age to work out that it was Offaly. Then there's TN and TS, which I only found out recently is Tipperary North and Tipperary South respectively.

Regards

John

sadtosee
19-08-2008, 01:02
I'm fairly sure there is a "reserved" set of letters for NI under the new England/Wales/Scotland system should NI join in a UK wide scheme. I forget what they are although Ux seems likely as Nx is already assigned.

sadtosee
19-08-2008, 01:06
I've just checked: the plan, if adopted, is for IA-IZ to be used for NI.

JohnSwitzer
19-08-2008, 08:48
I've just checked: the plan, if adopted, is for IA-IZ to be used for NI.

Thanks for that.

That actually could be made to work rather eloquently, using the last letter of each county - except for Greater Belfast which uses B, the City of Londonderry which uses D in the interests of political correctness :rolleyes: and which also allows County Londonderry vehicles to stay within the last letter sequence.

IB = Belfast
ID = Londonderry City
IF = County Fermanagh
IH = County Armagh
IM = County Antrim
IN = County Down
IT = County Tyrone
IY = County Londonderry

Would certainly be much better than the system we have at the moment and much more memorable than the algorithm sequence which is on plates in the Republic of Ireland.

Regards

John

steveharvey2001
19-08-2008, 19:49
I wondered what the significance of the "51" digits were to the start of the current date series from 1 Sept 2001.
Then I remember this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany_1_England_5_%282001%29) happened link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany_1_England_5_%282001%29) LOL !!