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Jan 06

Number Plate Know How

Posted by:AutoMoney

Many people like to have a personalised car number plate, making their car more personal to them. However, this can be a costly process. Instead, more and more people are ordering standard plates that include different fonts with images to make the plate more personalised, without the hefty cost. 

But are they letting themselves in for further costs they aren’t aware of?

First of all, how is a number plate created? 

A standard number plate on cars registered after September 2001 contains two letters followed by two numbers and then three further letters, as shown below: 

Care registration plate   British number plate

The first two letters are classed as the ‘Area Code’ or the DVLA Memory Tag. Following on from this, the two numbers identify the age of the car. Finally, the last three letters are generated at random. These seven characters make up your unique licence plate registration, and should not be found on any other car.

Number Plate Font Rules

When you order new plates, you will be given the choice of different fonts; it is important to know which fonts are allowed. Even though the retailer may offer different fonts, not all are accepted by the DVLA and the police. 

As of September 2001, the use of italic font on licence plates was abolished. Instead, the standard accepted font is shown in the image below: 

Front and rear registration plate examples

The specific font standards are as follows: 

  • All characters must be 79mm tall
  • All characters, except I or 1, must be 50mm wide
  • The thickness of the black print (also known as the character stroke) must be 14mm
  • There must be an 11mm gap between characters
  • The space present between the age identifier numbers and the three random letters must be 33mm
  • All margins, top, bottom, and side of the plate, must be 11mm

It is illegal to alter the plate in a way that makes it difficult to read – for example, adding a bolt or screw to a character to make it look like something else carries a fine of up to £1,000. 

It is also illegal to buy and/or use a registration plate to make the vehicle appear younger than it really is. 

What about images? 

Images are allowed on number plates, but only DVLA approved images which are: 
The Union Jack
St George’s Cross
The Scottish saltire
The Red Dragon of Wales

These images are also accompanied by letters, which are: 
GB = Great Britian
UK = United Kingdom
ENG, Eng, England or ENGLAND
SCO, Sco, Scotland or SCOTLAND
CYM, Cym, Cymru or CYMRU
WALES or Wales

Image credits: 

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