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Suffix Number Plates
Making your car stand out from other vehicles on the road can be achieved by using private number plates. As a versatile addition to your ride, private plates come in unique formats of digits and letters that you can use to separate your vehicle from other cars on the road.
The Motor Car Act of 1903 required UK drivers to register their vehicles and display number plates to identify their car. In the following years, the motor industry grew rapidly, increasing the need for number plates. As the number of plates that could be generated was finite, additional combinations of digits and letters were needed for car registration plates.
To create more variations an extended format was approved in 1932, and when these car registrations began to run out, the suffix number plate was conceived, starting in 1963. Now, these plates can be purchased, with some limitations, to display on your vehicle and create your own original and private vehicle registration.
What is a suffix number plate?
A suffix number plate consists of seven characters laid out in the following format:
(Example of a suffix style number plate)
Car number plate years are identified by the final letter on the suffix style plate. The letter ‘A’ corresponds to 1963, the letter B corresponds to 1964, and so on.
For example, this plate ending in the letter ‘P’ would have been issued in 1975.
Some letters were not used for car number plate years. To improve readability certain numbers were omitted from car registrations. To avoid confusion, the letters I, O, U and Z were not included.
- “I” could be mistaken for number 1
- “O” could be mistaken for zero
- “U” could be mistaken for the letter “V”
- “Z” could be mistaken for number 2
Even with these omissions, it is still possible for you to find suffix number plates that reflect your name, or indicate a hobby that can be used to make your vehicle stand out on the road. Creative drivers can use this style of number plate to display their name, easily generate a word, or indicate a hobby.
Are there rules for using suffix number plates?
If you wish to use a private plate on your vehicle that is formatted in the suffix style then you will have to abide by the law. Once you have located the car reg plate that you want you can display it on your vehicle - provided that your new registration plate is not making the vehicle appear younger than it truly is.
The DVLA places restrictions on the use of car registration plates but as suffix plates were phased out in 1983 this makes them a great option for modern cars. If you drive a classic car from pre-1983 you may need to check the dates to ensure your new private reg is appropriate for use on your vehicle.
Where to find suffix number plates?
There are various places where you could purchase a suffix number plate, but one of the easiest options is by searching online. The SwiftReg database has access to millions of DVLA car registrations, making your search faster and easier.
Simply enter your information in our registration search engine and view all of the available number plates. We can handle transfers and all the required DVLA paperwork for you to make your private suffix number plate purchase simple and smooth.