Learn about different types of personalised number plates

Check your car's number plate details before buying

What are personalised number plates?

There have been several formats in UK for registration plates, namely prefix, suffix and the one being used currently is the infix format. Now, you can also create personalised number plates for your vehicle, they are also called custom plates or private plates, but it’s all the same.


There have been many number plates that have made history, such as A1 and 1A, both have raised a lot of money in the DVLA auctions. Custom number plates are often harder to buy, due to the demand. It is a good practice to number plate check before you opt in for a used car.


One of the most popular personalised number plate is the “F1”.

Different reg number formats in History

There have been different formats such as:


Registrations without year identifiers – these plates happened to be around the years 1903 – 1963 period in which they were issued. Dateless number plates like X1, C11, MG 1 etc.


Suffix Plates - these plates were found around the years 1960s to 1983 (Registration numbers with year identifier, e.g. ABC 123D).


Prefix Plates - These plates happened to be around 1983 to 2001 (Registration numbers starting with a year identifier, e.g. A123 BCD).


Infix Plates - This is the current format that is still in use, from 2001 to Present (Registration numbers being used in the UK’s current system, e.g. AB12 BCD).


Each format comes from a different time period, fulfilling a particular need for utility and ease of use, the current format is much easier to identify than the previous ones. Changes to those formats were made for specific reasons; simply all possible sequences in a particular style had been used up and a new format was required for better recognition. Car registration history can let you in on many things, people often wonder on how to find my car registration history?

How much do personalised number plates cost?

There are many things to consider before determining a price for each number plate. Prices can start from anywhere around at £130. Having a custom number plate would be a style statement which is perfect for gifting. If you want to buy a personalised registration number, find your favourite registration among the DVLA Personalised Registration Service

learn about personalised number plates

Personalised number plates make great gifts

Almost everyone in the UK owns some type of vehicle and it is easy to gift a personalised number plate, this seems to be an ongoing trend and would continue over the years, it is something that can’t change over time, maybe the methods might, but the core idea is the same. There is a recent study that states the increase of custom number plates being purchased as gifts.


Notable birthdays such as 30th, 40th and so on till 70th are some of the occasions where custom number plates have been gifted. It is now much easier to gift a number plate, with the perspex plates that can be inserted inside a card. Dateless number plates are expensive and are usually found on cars that are considered classic, although this is not mandatory, it has only been found to be so. As far as used cars are concerned, it is best to take a free car history check before you make a decision.

How to buy personalised number plates?

  • Decide on a budget around which you would like to buy your number plate.

  • After setting an approximate and affordable budget, choose something that suits your personality or that can be identified as you, your hobby, your interests, initials, maybe your nickname, or your favourite sport.

  • Find a reputable dealer with a lot of options for fail-safe, including payment options and what to do if you want to change the custom plate afterwards.

  • After finalising the number plate, you can normally allot the number plate onto your vehicle, if you don’t possess the vehicle yet, then you can keep the number plate in retention until the vehicle comes.

Can I buy a number plate and not use it?

DVLA created a retention system for number plates a few years ago. If a registration number is retained (via a V778 or a V750 certificate), then it is good to be stored away for as long as 10 years. Some registration plates are issued but have never been used on a vehicle, those are held on a V750 certificate. Whereas the V778 is done for number plates that have already been on a vehicle before. Your personalised number plates can be safely held for 10 years and renewed for another 10 years at the end of the duration for free of charge.

Overview: Personalised Number Plates

Personalised Number Plates are rather common and mostly it shouldn’t be a problem while buying a used car, but do take a car check to make sure that the car is authentic. Currently, we use infix style and it is always good to check a car’s number plate history check free before you end up buying it.

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