- Automotive

What Are Dateless Number Plates?

Although number plates are an integral part of any vehicles, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t options available when it comes to purchasing number plates.

Many people will have heard of personalised plates, but what are dateless number plates?

With standard number plates, there are age identifiers that show the six-month period the car was purchased in.

Although considered a personalised number plate in the current era, the use of dateless number plates was commonplace prior to the 1960s.

The Inclusion of Age Identifiers in Number Plates

The first-ever registration number was first created in 1903 and would consist of nothing more than a prefix of one or two letters and a number ranging from 1 to 9999.

The unexpected popularity of motor vehicles meant that the issuing of registration numbers was soon being issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Realising that this wasn’t feasible, the original registration process was reversed to offer more registration numbers, but by 1960, registration numbers would once again be in short supply.

From 1962 a new registration process was introduced that ensure that registration numbers were easier to issue and allowed councils to keep up with the demand of new vehicle owners.

The current system was introduced in 2001 and is made up of three parts. The first is the local region, so registration numbers in Essex would start with an E, whereas those in Hampshire begin with an H.

The second part indicates when the vehicle was registered, and this changes every six months. 51 was used in September 2001 and 02 replaced it in March 2002. September 2002 and March 2003 used 52 and 03 respectively, and this system continues today, albeit with different numbers.

Why Are Dateless Number Plates So Popular?

Dateless number plates have been popular since the late 1980s, and the DVLA has played a major role in the selling of dateless number plates and has raised £1.8 million for the Treasury as a result of their popularity.

Dateless plates are desirable for all sorts of reasons but are often used for those that have a fondness for a vehicle without showcasing how old the vehicle actually is. Another reason for the high demand of dateless number plates is because they can be used on any vehicle.

There are several ways of seeking out dateless number plates. The DVLA has its own dedicated portal that allows those searching for dateless number plates to search the millions of options available.

There are also several brokers available online, but it’s important to carry out some research before using purchasing a number plate, simply because of the high cost of dateless number plates.

Although many are happy to pay a premium for such a desirable number plate, using a broker that’s not experienced with the issuing of dateless number plates could mean that those purchasing the registration numbers are misadvised, and could end up spending more than they need to for dateless number plates.