23rd December 1903. What Price a Number Plate?

The record for a British vehicle, number-plate, is 233K-in 2015-for KR15 HNA (KRISHNA), sold to an Indian lady.

It was in 1989 that the Department for Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) started to sell ‘Personalized’ Number Plates, so from that time it keeps back any likely to raise money, bearing in mind  any potential impropriety.

The magazine Car Illustrated Today in 1903 reported that Earl Russell queued all night for the first AI Registration.(1)

Whilst AI was the first issued by the London Authority, others had issued registrations before London, in fact the letter identified the issuing authority not the order of issue.(2)

Modern Number Plate.

Modern Number Plate.

In 1932 the first three-letter number appeared in London: AMY I. Post-war the first letter prefix arrived as in ‘AFA’ then the digits.

In 1963 the letter suffix came in after the digits, for example JLK 200 A (to Y in 1982).

Then came the new Prefix A in 1983 (to Y in 2001) eg Y 225 JFH ( 1st half of 2001).

In the New Style 00 and 01 were never released, so 51 was assigned to 2001 (2nd half).

Then 02 first half of 2002: 52 second half of 2002. When we come to the new decade we have 10 for 2010 1st half and 60 for 2010 2nd half.

When buying number plates one can only assign it to a vehicle of the same age or newer than the registration itself.

For example if one selected  an N Reg prefix 1995, one could only display it on a vehicle first registered on or after that date.

One couldn’t put it on an A Reg 1983. One can’t make a car look younger than it is.

(1) The Motor Car Act 1903, in force 1.1.1904, required all cars to have plates and enter the vehicle on a register. (3 Edw c 36).

(2) The first ever registration is probably DYI issued on November 23rd 1903 by Hastings Borough Council. In 2004 it was found on the Town’s Mayoral car.

Ref: bbc.co.uk/news/business. March 2015 Kevin Peachey.

Ref: mirror.co.uk/uk-news/number-plate-sell-for-233k. 15th May 2015. Adrian Hearn.

Ref: nationalnumbers.co.uk/dvla-guide-year-of-issue.

Ref: vehicle_registration_plate/Pic Image.

Ref: regtransfer.co.uk/main/record-breaker.

Ref: Google Images/Pic.


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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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