On this day in auto history - September 1st

Wed 1st Sep 2021

It was on this day in 2001 that the car number plate system in the UK was completely overhauled.

Having previously used a system utilising ‘suffix' letters and then ‘prefix' letters to donate the age of a car, the DVLA decided those systems had to be phased out as there were no new variations possible.

The new licence plates consisted of seven characters, with the first two letters representing 'local memory tags' which indicate where the vehicle was registered.

This was followed by a two-digit 'age identifier’ which represent either the last two digits of the year itself (if registered between March and August) or else had 50 added to that value if issued between September and February the following year. A random three-letter sequence completed the plate.

The current scheme should have sufficient numbers to run until 28th February 2051.