What are the Different UK Number Plate Styles

How to read number plates

Funny and Rude Number Plates

Current style number plates consist of two letters, a two-figure age identifier and finally three letters. Good examples of quality registrations are DE51 RES, PR05 PER and HU55 LED plus many more of course!

Prefix personalised number plates contain the year identifier at the beginning of the registration. A quality selection of cherished prefix registrations includes R4 NDY, S73 VEN and R4 CHS - great registrations, we think you'll agree!

Suffix DVLA Number plates contain the year identifier at the end of the registration. These number plates were issued to vehicles manufactured between 1963 and 1982. Good examples of these types of registrations are EXC 173D, BLO 550M and JEN 11E.

Dateless car registrations do not contain a year identifier and can consist of a number combination followed by a letter combination and vice versa. Some of these registrations such as JON 321 and Y 1 are seen as the crème de la crème within the number plate industry.

New Style Dvla Licence Plates

After releasing 21 plates in March 2021, Some thought that the current car number plate system – as well as the old one – would have been a bit confused and you could calculate your car's age quickly.

The current system of numbers
The present system was launched in 2001. The plates were replaced two times a year – on the 1st of March and on the 1st of September. They are composed of the following three parts:

Example: MH21 BEF current example.

1. Where it was registered are the first two letters of your plate number. The first letter concerns the region and the second letter concerns the local DVLA office.

2. The following two numbers are an age identifier, changed at the beginning of March and September every 6 months. March is the year and September, more than 50; March 2021 = 21; September 2021 = 71.

3. The final three letters are randomly selected and give a unique identity to the vehicle.

Please note: this system is scheduled to run until 2051.

Suffix system
Prefix system
Current system
1963 A1983 Y/A2001 X/Y/51
1964 B1984 A/B2002 02/52
1965 C1985 B/C2003 03/53
1966 D1986 C/D2004 04/54
1967 E/F1987 D/E2005 05/55
1968 F/G1988 E/F2006 06/56
1969 G/H1989 F/G2007 07/57
1970 H/J1990 G/H2008 08/58
1971 J/K1991 H/J2009 09/59
1972 K/L1992 J/K2010 10/60
1973 L/M1993 K/L2011 11/61
1974 M/N1994 L/M2012 12/62
1975 N/P1995 M/N2013 13/63
1976 P/R1996 N/P2014 14/64
1977 R/S1997 P/R2015 15/65
1978 S/T1998 R/S2016 16/66
1979 T/V1999 S/T/V2017 17/67
1980 V/W2000 V/W/X2018 18/68
1981 W/X2001 X/Y/512019 19/69
1982 X/Y 2020 20/70
1983 Y/A 2021 21/71

What are the Different UK Number Plate Styles?

There are 5 different numerical plate styles, and we have made a short video about each of you to recognise each one. For more information, click on the video below.

A list of our other articles relating to each registration style is provided for your reference here. Further information on each style can be found on the following pages:

• Prefix Style Car Registrations
• Current Style Car Registrations
• Suffix Style Car Registrations
• Dateless Style Car Registrations
• Irish Style Car Registrations

Dvla Personalised Registration

Find your  cherished plate

Start Search
Beef Registrations, was established in 1990 and has been selling cherished plates for over 30 years. Since then the company has grown from strength to strength, and thanks to the enthusiasm of the British public, Beef Registrations Plates have become a brand leader within the personalised plates industry.

Beef Registrations
Watling Farmhouse
Watling Street
LE10 3AR

T: 01455 882885
F: 01455 221174
M: 07836 798888

tap to call us
tap to Whats App
facebook messenger
Tap to Email