Car Number Plates Explained

Handling cars every day at the airport means that I Love meet and greet deal with a wide range of car number plates and our drivers are always excited to see who can be the first one to spot a car at the airport with a new registration in March and September.

Vehicle registration plates are the registration mark of a vehicle and have existed in the UK since 1903. The Motor Car Act 1903 requires all motor vehicles to be entered on the official vehicle register and to carry number plates.

Within the UK there are two numbering systems; one for Great Britain and another for Northern Ireland. Both systems are administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the current number plate system in Great Britain has been around since September 2001.

British number plates consist of seven characters and are arranged in the format of two letters, followed by two numbers, followed by three letters.

The first two letters are an area or region code, which represent the ‘local memory tag’ where the vehicle was originally registered. For example, A is used as the first character in all registrations issued in the vicinity of East Anglia. LA to LY represent vehicles registered in London.

The two numbers are an age identifier. They change twice a year, in March and September and they represent the period in which the car was first registered. March codes are easy to remember as they follow the year of registration, for example cars registered between 01 March and 31 August 2010 would have a number plate with the digits ‘10’. 50 gets added to the September codes, so for example cars registered from 01 September 2010 through to 28 February 2011, so the registration plate would be ‘60’.

The last three letter sequence is randomly chosen and is allocated to a dealership when the car is registered. These give the car a unique identity. The letters I and Q are excluded from the three letter sequences.

The current system should have sufficient numbers to run until the end of February 2051 where the number code will be 00. Personal plates do not follow this system.

And whatever your registration plate of your car is I Love meet and greet will guarantee that car will be cared for when you choose us for your airport parking.

By Sarah Anglim at 8 Apr 2016

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