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Private Number Plate Ideas


Making your car stand out with a private number plate design is an excellent way to add your own personality to a vehicle. You can use your name, hobby or favourite football team to make your own private number plate. If you are really creative you can come up with cool number plate ideas by combining letters and numbers to make a statement or a funny message.


Your private plate design can be styled in different formats and options are limited only by your imagination and creativity. Also, depending on what you want your number plate design to say, using different plate formats can help you to come up with more private reg ideas. To make your own number plate use the SwiftReg engine to search the database and see if your personalised number plate ideas are available to purchase.


If you need a bit of inspiration on how to come up with your own creative number plate ideas, then these guides & articles will help you with your private registration design.


Letters, numbers and plate styles


Unfortunately, some of the best number plates can be limited, and once the plate has been bought, no duplicates can be made. However, there is a trick you can use to create your own number plate. Creative number plate buyers use numbers in place of letters to create a plate that is very close to the one you want. 


This is a great way to create a personalised number plate for words or phrases that may have already been taken. Here are some examples of creative number plates that have used numbers used to effectively substitute letters: 








Generally speaking, you can design your own number plate to display any word or phrase that you want, but there are some private number plate rules that must be followed. When making your personalised number plates they must be designed to DVLA specifications, and the age of the car must not appear younger than it is. Using a plate that makes the car look younger than its real age is illegal. 


Number plate formats


The format of the plate can also help with letter placement and readability when searching for your private plates ideas. The formats that can be used to create a private plate are:




98 KAY


Dateless number plates are the most sought after which makes them the most expensive private number plates. Their format consists of 1-4 numbers followed by 1 -3 letters. Or with letters first followed by numbers.


GAZ 554


Suffix style




The suffix style plate was issued from 1963 until 1983 and was formatted as 3 letters, followed by a number that could be 1 - 3 digits, and 1 letter.

Prefix style



From 1983 to 2001 prefix number plates were styled as 1 letter, followed by 1-3 numbers, and 3 letters.  


Current style




Since 2001 the format of number plates, or current style has been 2 letters, 2 numbers, and 3 letters.


Any of these formatting styles can be used for personalised number plate ideas that reflect your personality or to display a unique message. People that are proud of their vehicle often choose to make their private number plate reflect the make or model of the car. So by using the prefix style you could easily search personalised reg ideas like  ‘JAG 1’ or ‘BMW 3’ to match the type of vehicle you are driving. 


Making your own private number plate using different plate styles means that you can design any number of creative messages like:












Finding your private plate


With all the prefix and suffix style plates it can be difficult to remember what private number plate ideas you are legally permitted to use. Fortunately, Swiftreg has a personalised number plate search engine that does all the work for you. Simply enter the word, name or term you are searching for and our search tool will return all the personalised registration plates that closely match your choice. 


For example, if you want to search for a personalised number plate that reads ‘BIG RON’ or close to it, entering it into the search box will return hundreds of options including the following results. 








For those that have very specific requirements, the Advanced Search feature may be used to individually select letters and numbers on prefix and current style plates and search our database for availability. If your chosen number is available the search engine will display and confirm the match and we can help you make your own personalised number plate.


Prices for each plate will vary depending on their rarity and the combination of letters and numbers that you are looking for. Some plates can cost high amounts while others are relatively cheap to buy. 


 Top Tip: sometimes just altering 1 letter or substituting a letter for a number can reduce the price substantially.


Use the Swiftreg search engine to find your own creative number plate designs. 

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