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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:04 Thread Starter
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Explain UK car registration plates to me

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!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:10
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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.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:12 Thread Starter
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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?
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:16
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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!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:16
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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.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 13:19
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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.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 14:38
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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.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 15:42 Thread Starter
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Wow - Did they make it complicated or what?

What was up with the old system that they had to change it?
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 15:43
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Originally Posted by chinacartimes View Post
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.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 18:14
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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
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 20:01
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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!
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 21:59
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Originally Posted by Stu C View Post
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!
I don't, they can't have private plates !
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 27-03-2007, 22:26
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Originally Posted by Stu C View Post
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!

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.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 28-03-2007, 07:57
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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.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 15:56
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how will this work after that

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Originally Posted by sadtosee View Post
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!
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 15:58
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Originally Posted by bud7 View Post
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...ge_identifiers

Last edited by James C; 18-08-2008 at 17:48.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 18:38
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Originally Posted by James C View Post
...

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...ge_identifiers
Yes, 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...
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 18:40
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The 5 bit is quite easy to work out (until 2010) as you can think it's just halfway through the year.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 19:32
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Originally Posted by James C View Post
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!
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 18-08-2008, 19:33
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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

"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
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