How to Select the Perfect Private Number Plate
Not sure where to start when selecting a private number plate? With literally millions of options to choose from, it can feel like a daunting task.
Perhaps you’re buying a plate as a gift for a loved one, or maybe you’re just looking to customise your own vehicle. Whatever the reason you’re buying, it’s a good idea to properly weigh up your options before you make the purchase.
By taking the time to choose the perfect plate, you can make sure you’re legally compliant. Not only that, you can make buying a plate a worthwhile investment, too.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to select the private number plate. As a result, you can feel more confident when buying your own.
1. Set Your Budget
Firstly, set your budget. These days, number plates can vary massively in price, from under £50 to thousands of pounds. With so many plates to choose from, it’s a good idea to have a price in mind beforehand. Perhaps you can set a maximum budget, so you can rule out any plates over that price.
If you’re on a budget, explore our number plates under £200, £100 and £50. Otherwise, use our search tool to explore plates at all prices. Typically, dateless number plates are more expensive than other styles, so it’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start searching.
2. Research Different Number Plate Styles
In the UK, there are five main number plate styles. Different styles offer varying levels of flexibility with the order of letters and numbers, which can limit how creative you can be. Read more about the different styles below, so you can better refine your search.
With new/current style plates, the first two letters denote the area, whereas the last two digits denote the date.
With these plates, the letter ‘A’ refers to 1983 when they were first introduced, and so forth.
Suffix style plates came before prefix plates. Here, the letter ‘A’ refers to 1963 and ‘Y’ to 1983.
This is the number plate style that offers you the greatest degree of flexibility. That’s because there are fewer restrictions with the order of letters and digits.
These plates are different from all other styles because they have no year indicators. As a result, they can be assigned to any Northern Irish vehicle, regardless of age.
3. Research Different Number Plate Types
In addition to different number plate styles, there are also different types of number plates. For example, there are different plates for different types of vehicles, like motorcycles. Also, if you have an eco-friendly vehicle, you can buy a green number plate, as long as you’re eligible.
4. Consider Number Plate Laws
Once you have a budget, plus an understanding of the different plate types and styles, it’s important to get clued-up on number plate laws. If you don’t follow the regulations, then you could face criminal charges.
You must register your number plate, display it correctly and buy from a registered supplier like Absolute Reg. You can learn more about this in our comprehensive guide to number plate laws and regulations.
5. Get Creative!
Now for the fun part… Once you know about the styles and rules, you can get creative with your plate. Why not try and mix up numbers and digits to create fun combinations? You could try and search for a number plate based on your name, hometown, hobbies or interests.
Some car owners swap digits for letters, and vice versa. For example, the letter ‘S’ can be replaced by the number ‘5’, and ‘3’ can look like an ‘E’. This gives you lots of flexibility to find your dream number plate.
If you’re buying one as a gift, why not theme it around a big life event, like an anniversary? There are quite literally millions of number plates to choose from at Absolute Reg, so you can mix and match endless combinations.
6. Be Flexible
You may have a dream number plate combination in mind. However, it’s important to be flexible. With strict rules and regulations in place, your ideal combination may not be legally compliant. Not only that, your dream combination may be very popular – and therefore very expensive! Always have a few backup options in mind to avoid disappointment.
7. Assess the Investment Opportunity
Trends come and go in the world of number plates. For example, there may be number plates that refer to ‘trendy’ names at that moment in time. However, investing in a plate like this is a risk. That’s because, even though it may seem like a good investment initially, you can’t guarantee that these plates will be popular in the future. Worst case scenario, your plate may depreciate in value over time.
Instead, consider buying a plate that has more longevity. For example, a plate based on a generic name, hobby, interest or location.
8. Buy Your Plate!
By now, you should’ve worked out:
The style of plate you want
The type of plate you need
What laws you need to adhere to
Some ideas for combinations
Next, all you need to do is find your plate using our number plate search tool. Once you’ve selected the perfect number plate, order it online in minutes from Absolute Reg. Then, once it arrives, wait for your documentation, attach it to your vehicle and enjoy!