What Age Car Can My Number Plate Go On?

What Age Car Can My Number Plate Go On?

According to the DVLA, your number plate can go on any age car as long as it doesn’t make the car appear newer than it actually is. You can check this based on the year identifier displayed on the number plate.

For example, if your vehicle was registered in May 2016, you cannot assign a personalised number plate that has the age identifier 22 in it. This is because that would make your car seem newer than it is, by implying it’s from 2022. You can, however, use number plates with the number 16 or 86 in it, or any plates issued before 2016.   

However, if your plate doesn’t have an age identifier and is a dateless or Irish registration number, you can assign it to any age vehicle.   

Car Age and Number Plate Laws

The key rule for number plates is that you cannot make a vehicle look younger than it is. This was implemented to prevent misinterpretation of a vehicle’s age, maintaining transparency and compliance with the DVLA guidelines. 

Allowing vehicles to display number plates with newer registration years could create confusion about the vehicle's true age, potentially misleading buyers or law enforcement authorities. It could also impact the vehicle's resale value, insurance premiums, and road tax calculations.

To enforce this regulation, the DVLA closely monitors the assignment and display of number plates – particularly personalised or cherished plates. Any attempt to manipulate or misrepresent a vehicle's age through the use of number plates is considered a violation of DVLA regulations and may result in penalties, fines, or other legal consequences.

However, if your plate doesn’t have an age identifier and is a dateless or Irish number, you can assign it to any age vehicle.   

How Do I Check the Year of My Number Plate?

The quickest way to check the year of your plate is to look for the age identifier within the registration number. Most number plates, except for dateless and Irish plates, have a combination of letters or numbers that shows the year when the plate was issued. Once you have identified the age identifier letters on your number plate, match them with the corresponding registration period provided by the DVLA.

If you’re unsure on what year your number plate is from or how to check it, view our car registration year chart to find all the information you need. 

Why Do UK Plates Have Age Identifier?

In 1963, the first number plates that displayed an age identifier were introduced by DVLA, also known as Suffix Number Plates. Since then, all formats that followed have unique characters that show the cars’ age. 

There are various reasons of why UK plates have age identifier:

  • It ensures standardised record-keeping and creates an easy identification of a vehicle’s age for law enforcement, insurance companies and DVLA. 

  • It contributes to preventing fraud or lying about a vehicle’s age. 

  • For customers, age identifiers offer valuable information to help make informed vehicle purchases, influencing decisions related to resale value and preferences for newer models. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put my number plate on an older car?

Yes, you can, as long as the plate doesn’t make your car look younger than it is. So, if your plate number has a year identifier, you can’t put it on a car that was manufactured before that year. However, Irish and Dateless plates can be assigned to any vehicles, regardless of their age, as they don’t have an age indicator.

How long can a private number plate be off a car?

You can keep your registration number for as long as you wish. However, every 10 years, you need to renew your right to retain the plate. For plates issued before 2015, you must renew it more often. You can check this information on your V750 or V778 document.

 Can you buy a number plate newer than your car?

Yes, you can. However, you will not be able to assign the plate to the older car, as this will make your car look newer than it is. You can, however, keep the plate on retention until you buy a newer car. 

Buy and Sell Private Number Plates from Absolute Reg

Our extensive collection of more than 50 million private registration plates ensures that you will find the perfect fit for your vehicle. The personalisation options are endless: from plates based on your favourite hobbies, name number plates and car manufacturer number plates, to plates based on your favourite football team. With these many options, you can easily bring a unique touch to your car and make it fit your personality. 

Additionally, our private registration numbers could be a good investment if you’re looking for plates that could potentially grow their value over time. 

If you’re looking to sell your plate, just fill in our form with your plate’s registration details, and we’ll make sure to give you the best deal and value for your plate. 

If you’re looking to buy a private number, discover your perfect plate with our number plate search tool today!

Read More

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Car Registration Years Chart: How Old is My Car?

DVLA V778 Retention Form Explained

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