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.