Prefix Style Number Plates


What are Prefix Style Number Plates?

Prefix number plates were first issued on 1st August 1983 after seeing the suffix registration marks expire from the issue. They are most popular across the private number plate market.

Prefix style number plates, like suffix registrations, have the first character indicating the year of issue. For example, if A is the first letter of the DVLA personalised registration, it represents 1983.

To find the perfect prefix plate for you, head to our search page.

Finding the Perfect Prefix Style Number Plate

Our state-of-the-art super search feature allows you to search any word or name. It then shows every prefix style plate that corresponds to that word or name. 

For example, if you search the name “GEORGE” on our super search, here are some results for prefix style car registration options you may get; “G16 RGE”, “G1 RGE” or “G630 RGE”. It’s a lot of fun!

View G16 RGE number plate

View G1 RGE number plate

View G630 RGE number plate

Alternatively, you can find our prefix style number plate search to help you search for private plates.

Prefix Style Number Plate Issue Dates

Prefix Letter 1 Year of Issue
A 1983
B 1984
C 1985
D 1986
E 1987
F 1988
G 1989
H 1990
J 1991
K 1992
L 1993
M 1994
N 1995
P 1996
R 1997
S 1998
T 1999
V 1999
W 2000
X 2000
Y 2001

Why You Should Buy Your Prefix Number Plates from Absolute Reg

Largest Stock

Including the DVLA, we have the most license plates of any dealer – 50 million in all!

Price Promise

Absolute Reg makes sure you get the best deal on the best selection of private registration plates, through our price promise.

Lifetime Customer Service

Whether it is two weeks after your purchase or two years from now, our friendly after-sales team is always ready to help.

Rated Highest On-Time Delivery in 2020

See why our private number plates are so popular by purchasing your private number plate online or by phone today! Our accolades are also available on

Prefix Style Number Plates as Gifts

Prefix registration plates make incredible presents as part of the appeal of buying a number plate as a gift, is you can personalise it.

Absolute Reg has over 30 million prefix-style number plates on our online system. So you have plenty of options to choose from when finding the perfect personalised plate as a gift for a loved one.

Prefix number plates make great gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, mothers and fathers days, and promotions.

Other Styles of Number Plates

In addition to our prefix number plates, we have over 55 million car registrations in stock, along with a variety of other plate styles.

Current / New Style

Current registration plates also referred to as “new-style registrations”, were introduced in September 2001. These number plates identify the year of issuance with a number. For example, 01 = Mar 2001, the first month of issue.

Suffix Style

The suffix number plate was introduced in 1963 and contains three letters and three numbers. The last letter indicates the year the vehicle was registered, for example, A = August 1963.


Number plates can be used on any vehicle regardless of age. Often a prized collector's item owing to its rarity, a dateless number plate contains a combination of 1, 2, or 3 numbers/letters. For example, A1, 123 A, or 123 ABC.

Northern Irish

Over the years, the Northern Irish registration plates have remained the same and are used across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for private plates. Northern Irish registration marks will always contain I or Z to represent the area of Northern Ireland in which they were first issued.

Prefix Number Plates FAQ

What does prefix mean?

Prefix number plates are number plates that use a letter at the start of the registration (or prefix) as an age identifier for the vehicle. Each starting letter refers to the year it was issued. For example, prefix number plates that start with B were issued in 1984.

Refer to the table above for all prefix registration dates.

When did prefix number plates start being issued?

Prefix style number plates were first introduced in 1983, moving on from the old suffix style which preceded it. They finished issuing prefix number plates in 2001.

Do you have to pay to put a prefix number plate on a car?

It is completely free to apply to change your number plate. All you need to do is fill out the application and submit it for review. 

Don't forget to apply to remove your old number plate through, or it will not be deemed valid. Otherwise, you will not be able to replace it with your prefix plate.

Can I put my prefix number plate on any car?

The DVLA is responsible for issuing registration numbers and they must comply with the format they set for all registration plates. The DVLA number plate, for instance, cannot make a vehicle appear brand new.