UK Number Plates Explained - Order Your New 71 Reg Plate Now

UK reg plates change twice a year. Find out why and when the new 71 reg plate came out with our quick guide on car registrations.

UK Number Plates Explained - Order Your New 71 Reg Plate Now

Whether you’re patiently awaiting the upcoming 71 series or haven’t a clue what that means, our quick guide on how the UK number plate system works will get you up to speed in no time.

Ever since the implementation of the Motor Car Act in 1904, it has been a legal requirement for all vehicles to be issued with a unique registration number visible on a number plate.

Thanks to a new year, we’re fast approaching the next batch of car registration plates which happen to be the 2021 reg plate series – makes sense right?

The first batch of reg plates issued in March will always take the last 2 digits of the year we are in (we’re in the year 2021 so the digits used were 21). This is something we call an Age Identifier registration prefix - it will help you identify the age of a car by letting you know when it was registered so you can quickly calculate how old or new it is.

In front of the Age Identifier will be the Local Memory Tag registration prefix. This will tell you where the car was registered. The last 3 letters that appear after the Age Identifier are generated randomly and have no intended meaning. And there it is, you have your very own unique 7-digit registration number.

Curious to know where your car was first registered, or just fancy a nosey on which Local Memory Tags represent which city? View the full list here.

how to read registration prefixes infographic

Now that you know how to read registration prefixes and know what they mean, we can decipher the number plate in the image above to be for a car:

(a) Registered in Stockton (NU)

Here’s an example of a number plate you may see on a newly registered car after September 1st 2021:

September 2021 number plate format

Take a look at the Number Plate chart below to see a list of Age Identifiers over the years:

UK Number Plate chart for the last ten years

Good question. Everything mentioned above refers to the traditional UK number plate format and private registration plates can differ depending on the amount of customisation in question. It’s usually cheaper to opt for a private plate that sticks to the 7-digit format and you can often find ones that are perfect for you without breaking the bank.

For example, if your name was George and wanted to let the world know, you could easily opt for a personalised reg plate in the standard UK number plate format:

You would, however, be able to use GE07 RGE on any car registered after March 2007 because the rule is: you can’t make your car seem newer than it is but an older Age Identifier is fine.

Other restrictions include character alteration, size of character, additions of religious symbols, sports logos and insignia as well as background customisation. Stick to the Charles Wright 2001 font (also available in 3D effect) and you’ll be good to go.

Well there you go, you can now identify where a vehicle was registered, how old or new it is and have some handy tips ready if you ever choose to customise. Next time you’re out, ask yourself "how do number plates work?" and see how many vehicles you can identify.

Yes! You can now order your new car with the latest 21 reg plate at your local Sandicliffe dealership. With choice spread across Ford, Nissan and Mazda, you\'re certain to find your perfect car in no time. Why not browse our latest offers and beat the rush for a speedy delivery?

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