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A Guide to Current Style Number Plates

In each UK country except Northern Ireland, newly purchased and registered vehicles are issued seven-digit number plates that adhere to the formatting specifications set forth by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Association (DVLA) in 2001. These default number plates are most commonly referred to as current style number plates.

Given that many more vehicles have been bought (and that many additional number plates have debuted) since the DVLA’s overhaul went into effect, a wide variety of appealing character combinations have come about. From names to places and phrases to puns, and much else in between, certain current style number plates offer drivers a simple, straightforward, and affordable way to differentiate their automobiles.

To help prospective number-plate customers make the best possible purchasing decisions, here’s a one-stop guide to current style plates.

What are Current Style Number Plates?

As was mentioned, current style number plates are the standard plates in all UK nations besides Northern Ireland (which has its own licensing agency and number-plate formatting; even so, NI plates can be transferred to any UK vehicle).

Current style number plates consist of seven characters: two letters (a memory tag), issued based upon the vehicle’s registration location; two numbers (an age identifier), issued based upon the vehicle’s year of registration/purchase; and three randomly selected letters.

In terms of the age identifier, vehicles registered between the start of March and the end of August are assigned digits that directly reflect the year; vehicles registered between the start of September and the end of February are assigned digits that reflect the year plus 50. For instance, the number plate of a car registered in August of 2015 could read “WD15 BAH,” and the number plate of a car registered in September of 2015 could read “AK65 LGE.”

Additionally, the memory tag derives from the originally licensed vehicle’s city of registration and specific registration office, respectively. For example, the memory tag of a London number plate could be anything from LA to LY, excepting unused characters and depending upon the exact DVLA office wherein registration was completed.  

What Makes Current Style Number Plates Special?

On a given day and a given drive, one’s unlikely to encounter a current style number plate with more aesthetic significance than cherished or dateless number plates. However, that’s not to say that stellar current style plates don’t exist; it’s all about knowing what to look for.

Quite a few current style number plates boast intriguing number-letter combinations. Consider some of the many possibilities: HP60 MUM (Happy 60-Year-Old Mum); AM16 YAY (I’m 16, Yay); and DG13 LUV (Doggie Love). For an outside-the-box thinker, the seven available characters can be made to tell a story and impress onlookers.  

Why Are Current Style Number Plates Worth Purchasing?

Current style number plates are worth purchasing for a few key reasons.

First, they’re comparatively affordable. Cherished number plates–those which were assigned long ago and have been “cherished” from generation to generation–can sell for staggering sums. Of course, these plates are more than worth owning, from the buyer’s perspective. But for casual number-plate fans (and/or those operating on a limited budget), tailored current style plates may well be the best option.

Current style number plates are also appreciating. Though cherished plates can fetch awe-inspiring prices today, they sold for far less 20, 10, and even five years ago, generally speaking. Demand is always increasing, and supply is always becoming scarcer, for number plates; there’s no telling which current style combinations will gain worth with time. Quick-moving buyers might just nab a current style plate that looks great and sees its value expand in the future.

Lastly, SwiftReg is a reliable and easy-to-use number-plate marketplace. Our world-class website allows you, the customer, to expediently filter more than 50 million options; the perfect number plate is never more than a few clicks away. Checkout takes seconds to complete, and purchased number plates are expertly packaged and rapidly dispatched. We pride ourselves on concluding transactions in less time than it takes the competition to process transactions.

With ample choices available and immense value guaranteed, there’s never been a better opportunity to invest in an appealing current style number plate.

Thanks for reading, and remember to trust us, SwiftReg, for all your number-plate needs.