The Rules and Regulations for Private Number Plates

Private number plates are the new big thing in the world of motoring. Not only do they add originality to your vehicle, but you can purchase plates that have a special meaning to you too.

On top of this, if you are looking for a way to buy and sell then you could make some extra cash as the number plate market is growing. If you know your stuff and you’re willing to be patient then over time there is certainly money to be made.

If you are looking to buy a private number plate, although it is an exciting time, there are certain rules you need to be aware of. The DVLA regulate the private number plate market, therefore there you must follow their procedures and make sure your number plate is legal.

Number Plate Format

All number plates under the new system follow the same format. The number plates we know and use now were first launched in September 2001 and show two letters followed by two numbers, then proceeded with a space and another three letters.

To break the plate down into parts, the first two letters represent the location that the car was first registered. For example, a plate with the letters ‘BD’ highlights that the car was registered in Birmingham, and cars registered in London might have the letters ‘LA’.

Secondly, the two numbers that follow identify the year that the vehicle was registered. New number plates come out twice a year, each March and September. If your number car was made between March and August 2019 it would have the digits ’19’ and if made after September it would be ‘69’.

Following this, the last three characters are random letters that are assigned to the number plate in order to make sure it is not the same as any other.

How Is a Number Plate Displayed?

Whether normal or private, all number plates must follow a certain set of rules in order to be classed as legal:

  • The front plate must be a white background with black font
  • The rear plate must be a yellow background with a black font
  • The plate must be made from reflective material
  • No patterns are allowed to obstruct the characters

How to Purchase a Private Number Plate

If you’ve decided you want to buy a private number plate then you have several options of where to buy one. One of the easiest options is to go online and look for the plate you want. There are several websites that will allow you to buy private number plates and usually offer good prices. If you want other options then you could go to an official DVLA number plate auction, or check out local ads on buy and sell websites and newspapers. Whichever option you choose, you should be able to find a suitable plate for your car and tailored to your needs.

Rules on Private Number Plates

That being said, be wearing when it comes to buying a private number plate that it is legitimate in order to stay out of trouble. If your private number plate was made after September 2001, then it must display the standard ‘Charles Wright 2001’ font. The only other font allowed is a 3D version of this. If the font is displayed in Italics or with another font style it must be removed.

There are also other rules the number plate must comply to:

  • Characters must be 50mm wide (except 1 and I)
  • The stroke must be 14mm
  • The characters have to be 79mm tall
  • The margin between the characters and the edge must be 19mm

As long as you comply with the DVLA rules on number plates, your options are varied when it comes to getting a special private plate.

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