Age of a car
Back in the day, the age of a car was revealed by the first letter of its number plate. ‘A’ meant that the vehicle had been registered between 1st August 1983 and 31st July 1984. ‘B’ was for between 1st August 1984 and 31st July 1985. And so on, all the way to ‘Y’ in 2001.
Twice a year
This system was tweaked in 1999, so that the letter changes happened twice a year, in March and September, to avoid a single large spike in car registrations in August. But then, a couple of years later, the letters were done away with completely and the age of a car was revealed by the third and fourth digits on its number plate – both of which are numbers.
These numbers are more intuitive than the old letters. If a car was registered between March 2002 and August 2002, its number matches that year: ‘02’. If it was registered between September 2002 and the following March, just add fifty: ‘52’. So, for 2003, it’s ‘03’ and ‘53’. Jump to 2010 and the same principle applies, but you just have to remember the extra ‘1’, so it’s ‘10’ and ‘60’. Easy, right?
The new ’70’ plate
The reason we mention all this is that ‘70’ plates will soon be introduced, following with a ’21’ plate in 2021.
Plate Number Date Range of Plate
69 Plate September 2019 to February 2020
20 Plate March 2020 to August 2020
70 Plate September 2020 to February 2021
21 Plate March 2021 to August 2021
The first letter on the number plate stands for the local area (see below) whilst the second letter identifies the DVLA office in the region that the vehicle was registered at.
- A – Anglia
- B – Birmingham
- C – Cymru
- D – Deeside
- E – Essex
- F – Forest and Fens
- G – Garden of England
- H – Hampshire and Dorset
- K – No official region
- L – London
- M – Manchester and Merseyside
- N – North
- O – Oxford
- P – Preston
- R – Reading
- S – Scotland
- V – Severn Valley
- W – West of England
- X – Denotes personal export
- Y – Yorkshire
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