Number plates – an ideal marketing tool


Just yesterday as I was driving home, I saw a van with the registration number plate XXX OAK. (For anonymity I’ve blocked out the first three digits). While there was nothing on the back of the van other than a telephone number, I knew that this van  was carrying something connected with wood. It piqued my interest.

As I drove past him, I looked over and sure enough, he was a kitchen provider – the company sold fitted kitchens. He could equally have been a door provider, window supplier or anything else that requires oak.

Even though we supply personalised number plates, I’m always amazed at how many businesses miss this opportunity to brand their vehicles. Some pay a fortune to cover their entire vehicles in their message; others just put their telephone number on a van or car. And mostly everyone forgets their registration number plate.

Our marketing manager is always talking to us about online and offline marketing. While many businesses are moving toward the online route, it leaves a huge gap when offline marketing. And this is a huge opportunity for companies who are willing to invest in marketing.

You see, since since 1904, every vehicle must have a number plate. It can be the perfect place to market your business.

The benefits of using number plates as a marketing tool

There are many benefits of using your number plate as a marketing tool. Here are just five:

  • Perfect way to use offline marketing
  • Raises awareness of your company (especially in a local area)
  • Can be used as a PR tool in terms of press photography
  • Shows your creativity and uniqueness as a company
  • Draws attention to your brand and makes people interested in finding out more.

Marketing is often seen as an overhead but personalised plates branding your business can now be an investment. Many personalised plates have grown significantly in value over the past number of years.

Number plates as a branding tool

If you think that your business can’t benefit from a personalised or branded number plate, think again. Take a look through these examples of businesses who market their business in this unique way.


Pimlico Plumbers, based out of London is well-known for its fleet of personalised vans. Everything related to plumbing from the toilet to drains are included. They have LAV 1, BOG 1 and DRA 1N to mention a few.

Bed & Breakfasts

BNB is the perfect ending to any personalised number plate. You could get the right combination of words and numbers at the beginning of your plate, such as N1 BNB or 500 BNB


Similar to BNB, you could choose the wording ART to your number plate.

Marketing company

Next year when the 12 series is released, a marketing and branding company could take their own advice and use MA12 KET as their number plate.

Company branding

And if you don’t want to promote the benefits or type of business, why not go for your name. Theo Paphitis went for RYM AN  as his plate which is Ryman for his stationery company. You could do the same and you don’t have to be a dragon.

If your business name is your own name, then a personalised number plate is perfect. Take for example, if your name was Patsy or Pat, you could use – PAT 66Y. Or what about if you’re an Ann – you could have ANN IF. And if you’re a Sean, then you could use S435 EAN. (The ‘5’ is a perfect substitute for an ‘S’).

These type of registrations are ideal if you’re promoting your business in a local area and are an  inexpensive way of promoting yourself locally. 

So in summary, using your number plate is an innovate way to market your business. Your business or benefit is on your plate and people will remember it because it’s different. It’s a sure fire-way to get recognised on the road.

The key to successfully using your number plate as a marketing tool is deciding on the right combination that suits your market. Choose well and your number plate will bring you a return on your investment. And for that, your marketing manager will be very happy.