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The Story Behind Personalised Car Registration Plates

Car registration plates were introduced in 1903 enabling vehicles and their owners to be identified on the road. The Motor Car Act made it compulsory for cars to be registered with the local council where the owner resided. Each council was assigned specific letters which were displayed on car registration plates along with a number to create a unique identifier for the vehicle and the number plate phenomenon began.

Fast forward a century and registration plates are the most popular accessory to the modern motorist. Nowadays people are choosing to replace their standard car registration with their very own personalised car registration plates. Thousands are being sold each week to customers ranging from young professionals with a high disposable income to middle age motorists making a savvy investment for retirement.

Since their introduction car registration numbers have been issued in several formats to cope with the growing number of vehicles on our roads. The first format is known nowadays as a dateless registration number. With no character to clarify the age the number plate was issued, dateless number plates can be worth several thousand pounds. Suffix car registration numbers were released in the early 1960's with the introduction of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre (DVLC). Suffix registrations added a distinctive format to registration numbers with three letters followed by up to three numbers and a final letter denoting the year of issue. When the suffix series ran out in 1983 the format was reversed to provide what is known as prefix car registration numbers. These account for the majority of personal number plate sales in the UK, with low prices being a major draw card to potential buyers. In 2001 the format was changed once more to give our current style of car registrations which have two letters followed by two numbers and finally three more letters.

You can buy car registration numbers by contacting a private number plate supplier who offer access all formats of registrations and will complete any relevant paperwork for you. Their websites allow you to search for your ideal registration plates at your leisure and order online. When searching for car registrations look for ones that have you name or initials. Name plates are generally more expensive as there are fewer on the market however a personal car registration with you initials can be a more cost effective with prices starting under 300 pounds.

When you find a new car registration you can have it transferred onto your vehicle. Shop with a dealer who will do this free of charge. You will need your complete V5 logbook, MOT certificate if applicable and your car must be taxed. An 80 pound government transfer fee is payable on all registration numbers sold however this is usually included in the purchase price.

All car registration numbers can be held on a DVLA certificate. These certificates are valid for 12 months and can be renewed annually for 25 pounds. This feature is popular with number plate collectors and investors or people who buy a personal number plate who do not have a car to put it on. Car registrations that have never been assigned to a vehicle before are issued on V750 certificates of entitlements. Registrations that have previously been on a vehicle are issued by the DVLA on V778 retention certificates.

When buying number plates remember that a vehicle can never be made to look younger than it is. For example a 57 registration number could not be assigned to a 02 registered car. If in doubt contact your number plate supplier otherwise you could end up with a registration number that you cannot use.

About The Author Ross O'Donnell writes for Cape Plates, a family run business who supply personal car registrations across the UK. Cape Plates will transfer your registration numbers free of charge and can supply plastic number plates to complete your order.
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