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Can You Make Your Own Personalised Number Plate?

Personalised number plates are popular with car lovers who want to bring a little individuality to their vehicles, but can you use any number and letter combination you want on your personalised number plate?

There are websites that specialise in enabling people to create their own personalised number plates, but most of these sites only allow you to create your private registration numbers within two very specific templates. You must adhere to either one or the other if you want to create your own plates this way.

The first option is two letters, followed by a two-digit number representing the year your car was manufactured, followed by a space and then three letters. This particular style is only suitable for more modern cars - the current plate style, which have been manufactured after 2001, and the number in the middle of the plate cannot make the car appear to be younger than its actual age. You can, however, make the car appear older than its true age by having a number that represents a year prior to the manufacturing date.

The alternative type of plate (prefix plates) is suitable for any car manufactured from 1983 onwards. The plates consist of one prefix letter representing the year of manufacture, directly followed by one, two or three numbers, then a space, and then three consecutive letters. Similar to the first style, the prefix letter cannot make the car appear younger, but there are no limitations on making a car appear older than its true age.

There are further restrictions too. If you have opted for the style containing prefix letters, there is no option for choosing the letter O as one of these letters. The reason for this is because it too closely resembles numerical zero so this would cause confusion for anybody reading your number plate. Furthermore you can’t choose the letter I, as it would be easy to confuse it with the number one. The letters Q, U and Z are also excluded from the choice of prefix letters.

When selecting the last three letters of your personalised number plate there is more choice, but the letters I, Q, and Z are still not available.

Can you make your own personalised number plate?

If you’re not satisfied with the idea of a personalised number plate that adheres to the confines of having date identifiers within the registration number, there is an option for creating a truly unique plate.

Dateless number plates, otherwise known as cherished number plates, do not contain any letters or numbers representing the year in which the car was manufactured. They tend to be far more expensive than the more commonplace plates containing dates, but they are less restrictive and therefore an easier way to create a more customised combination of letters and numbers. This type of number plate is suitable for vehicles of any age, and many people like to assign them to classic cars and other older vehicles. They are also often used by celebrities and VIPs.

Are there any further restrictions when making your own personalised number plate?

There is only one specific font, ‘Charles Wright’, which is legal on UK number plates, although you do have the choice of either a standard or 3D effect. The height and width of the characters, the spaces between characters, and the space between groups must adhere to very strict guidelines as per DVLA guidelines. If your personalised number plate does not meet the legal requirements, you could face a substantial fine.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

It’s widely believed that you cannot add a personalised number plate to a leased car, but as long as you liaise with the lease company and take a few simple steps, you are able to change the number plates.

You can discover certain information about the vehicle that a number plate is on fairly simply, but to find out who it actually belongs to is a little more tricky. Your best port of call is the DVLA.

It is fairly simple to fit a replacement number plate to your car in just a few steps. You can either use screws to fix it in place, or opt for double-sided pads to secure it.

Personalised number plates can be a good investment as they nearly always retain their value and often increase in price. Investing in these plates is not risk free though, so it shouldn’t be undertaken without careful research.

To find out the registered keeper of a vehicle number plate here in the UK, apply in writing to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). However, it will only provide these details if you have a reasonable cause.

Having an illuminated number plate is a legal requirement, so it's important that you replace your number plate bulb if it fails. This a simple process which anyone can complete, and replacement bulbs are readily available in shops and online.

A number plate’s value varies according to how desirable and unusual it is. A number plate featuring a name, word or initials that a lot of people want is likely to fetch a higher price.

If you want to get a personalised number plate made, you must ensure you go to a registered number plate supplier. This supplier will need to see proof of your identity and proof that you’re entitled to that registration number.

You must inform the DVLA if you wish to remove your personalised number plate and replace it with the car’s original plate. It costs £80 to remove personalised plates and this can be done online or by post.

Acquiring a private plate won’t mean your car insurance goes up, but you’ll need to inform your insurer of the plate change and should ask for a letter confirming they have no interest in your private plate.