Lotus Elan

British Registration Plates--The theory!

PostPost by: elanman999 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:30 pm

You have a PM as we should not talk about this in open session.
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 443
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Location: N Yorks

PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:20 pm


I had no idea.

Thank you for your efforts to clarify/illuminate. :mrgreen:

Interesting to see a bureaucracy attempt to impose order onto a system over a number of decades and successive governments . . . :roll:

As I hinted in Mike's thread, I can sum up the system in Canada & the US like this:
- it's not federal; strictly the domain of provinces/states
- we don't use individual numbers, or the long & narrow plate size; rather, the North American standard is that short and squat one.
- the numbers/letters on the plate don't mean anything, as far as the car's age, history, location, are concerned,
- though throughout North American you can see which province or state a car is currently licenced/insured in, because the plate is issued by the province/state and has their own pretty colours, slogans, etc.
- plates, and their numbers, come and go almost at random in BC, but down in California where I bought my +2 this spring, the plate does stay with the car across owners (though not when it relocates out of state) and thus you have the phenomenon of the California "black plate" car: a car that has lived it's life in California since the days of the black and yellow licence plate (California's current plate colour scheme is white with blue & red, so the "black plate" cars do stand out).

Now . . . let's all take this opportunity to pause for a moment and have a "good thought" for our governments . . . and may God help us all :shock:

User avatar
Sea Ranch
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 1153
Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Location: West Coast, Canada (Surrey, BC)

PostPost by: hatman » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:51 am

The letters not used in the 'traditional' British registration system were:- I, O, Q, U and Z.

Another and, I suspect, uniquely British quirk in the proliferation of the 'personalised plate' industry is of course the substitution of near-shaped numbers for the missing letter(s) :? that would be required to spell out the name or statement with which the owner wishes to adorn his vehicle, often with the strategic (and usually illegal) misplacement of a suitably coloured mounting screw. :roll: Daft, I call it (with apologies to Wizard Comic, I think - or it may have been The Dandy or The Beano; I'd need deep hypnosis to remember with any certainty). :mrgreen:
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 407
Joined: 05 Oct 2004

PostPost by: bast0n » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:21 am

In the long list of traditional registrations "EU" is attributed to Bristol when in fact it was Breconshire that was.

Go and hang up my anorak now......................


Anarchy Elan S3 SE

Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 298
Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Location: Somerset

PostPost by: Steve G » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:39 pm

John, what a great post, very informative and I especially liked the 'Sheeple' reference, never heard that before...

I will just add that, after having to explain the new system to someone recently (yes, a woman) and realising the widespread confusion it causes, for the second registration in the year, they just add 50. So 61 means registered in September 2011. Very clever really. What I still don't get is why Porsche went from 997 to 991 when they had two more numbers to use up?
User avatar
Steve G
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 314
Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Location: Brighton, UK

PostPost by: MikeC » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:09 pm

bast0n wrote:In the long list of traditional registrations "EU" is attributed to Bristol when in fact it was Breconshire that was.

Both can be correct, it depends on the year.

I have a list (source forgotten) that shows the single and double letter assignments as up to 1962 and 1974-on. EU is Brecknockshire (!?) in the first column and Bristol in the second. I don't think I should post the whole thing here because it's nearly 800 lines long, but if I can remember where the file depository is located I'll put a copy there.

[Edit] It's in the Yahoo! mailing list files section:
http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/EABlTuFqlG ... bw/reg_nos

Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 248
Joined: 11 Dec 2003

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:03 pm

Any existing registration number can be transferred to another car (in effect becoming a "cherished" number) with the restriction that one cannot stick a "newer" number on an "older" car, if that makes sense. DVLA charge ?80 to change numbers and same price for a retention certificate.
There are a huge number of previously unused Scottish (type) registrations which have been applied where the original registration has been used on a different car, i.e. sold. These seem to be most prolific in the ranges _SC, _SK just look out for them at the next classics show you attend.
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 4092
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests