Private Number Plates
So, whats the difference between a dateless private number plate and a current/prefix/suffix ?
This is a question we get asked a lot!
Since 1963, in England, Scotland and Wales, every number plate has a "date stamp". Letters or numbers that identify what year the number plate was released. When you purchase a private number plate, you cannot use one that makes your vehicle look newer than it is. If your vehicle was first registered in 2010, you can't put a 2015 plate on because it makes your car look newer. Makes sense?
So, whats "Dateless" ?
Before 1963, registrations didn't have a date stamp and so they are referred to as "Dateless". This is great news because any vehicle can have a dateless private number plate on, because it doesn't make your vehicle look newer, it just makes it look great ! This is why everyone looks for dateless number plates first. However as dateless registrations on the mainland haven't been released since 1963, they tend to come at more of a premium price, depending on the letters and numbers.
And whats with "Prefix" and "Suffix" ?
In 1963, the first date stamp was to put a letter at the end of a registration - starting at A and finishing with Y but missing out Q, U, I and O, so 21 releases, at 1 per year. They called those "suffix" plates because the date indicator letter was put on the end of the number plate. When that range finished, they did exactly the same again and put it at the start instead, and so we had "prefix" number plates. They got used quicker than 21 years though because towards the end they changed to the 6 monthly releases that we see today.
And I guess "current" is, well "current" ?
After using a prefix and suffix, the DVLA finally moved to the scheme we have been in since 2001, so we tend to call them "current style" registrations. Nothing if not descriptive! This will have 50 years worth of releases for March and 50 for September. The March releases go from 02, 03, 04 etc and the September ones go from 51, 52, 53 and the numbers are sandwiched in the middle of 5 letters
And where is Northern Ireland at?
Northern Ireland however, has stayed on dateless registrations, which makes them a great buy because they are a dateless number plate that are still being issued today and so that keeps the prices low for your personalised number plate - and the great news is that there is no problem putting a Northern Irish number plate on your mainland vehicle ! This is why Speedy Registrations is the UK's leading seller of Northern Irish numbers - starting at just £40+VAT and the £80 DfT Transfer Fee
Popular Private Number Plates
- BIG ****BSAU 145d
- RIG ****BSAU 145d
- M155 ***BSAU 145d
- GAZ ****BSAU 145d
- SAM ****BSAU 145d
- DAN ****BSAU 145d
|The Different Plate Styles|
England / Scotland / Wales Dateless Plates, released up to 1963Up to 3 letters followed by up to 4 numbers, or up to 4 numbers followed by up to 3 letters.
Northern Ireland Dateless PlatesNorthern Irish number plates, which can be used in England, Scotland and Wales too, are also dateless. The difference between a Northern Ireland dateless plate and a mainland one is that NI plates will contain either an I or a Z whereas the dateless on the mainland don't. Yes, all those BAZ and TAZ and KAZ number plates you see on the road are from Northern Ireland and they make great private number plates!
Suffix style plates, released between 1963 and 19833 letters, followed by up to 3 numbers (1-999), then the indicator for the year of release (A-Y)
Prefix style plates, released between 1983 and 2001The indicator for the year of release (A-Y), followed by up to 3 numbers (1-999), and then 3 letters
Current style plates, released in 2001Two letters, the 2 numbers to identify when it was released, followed by a further 3 letters. This means you have 5 letters to play with and if you pick well, the 2 numbers can look like letters too !