Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates? - Renault Forums :: Independent Renault forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 15th May 2010 Thread Starter
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Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates?

Just curious, does anyone know if European countries like Spain and France 'have' private number plates, as in England it's easy to spot a private plate, but whenever I go abroad and watch cars go by, all the plates just look pretty standard with the same lengths of numbers and letters, with no plates standing out as different - so I thought perhaps other countries don't really have or even allow private plates?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 1st June 2010
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Re: Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates?

In germany you can apply for certain sequences of alpha/numerics but it's unlikely they're still available. However most 'car' people there have their main 2 initials in their numberplate. The first 2 letters are regional (I think the car can only be taxed in that region to an adress in the region, but I could be wrong) then the chosen 2 letters then whatever number is next on the list.
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Re: Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates?

Alpineandy's right about Germany - the first block of letters (1, 2 or 3 characters) denotes the city where the car is registered and you must also live there. The more letters, the more "rural"/smaller the city is. It's a gross stereotype, but you can pretty much guess how likely they are to drive aggressively depending on how big the city they're from. There then follows 2 letters (if the car is a non-public registration) and a collection of numbers. You can ask for out of sequence letters and/or numbers and you'll get them if they're still available.

Going back to the original question though, I've wondered the same. In all my travels on the continent, I can never recall seeing a number plate that did not conform to the format of the country concerned. This implies that we're the only country that will let you have a different format string (i.e. other than "Xnnn XXX" or "XXX nnnX" or "XXnn XXX").
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 1st June 2010
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Re: Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates?

All UK personalised plates have been valid formats at some time in history. Perhaps what makes us unusual is that you can have any registration on any car, as long as it doesn't make the car look younger than it actually is.

Until 1990, you paid your money and you took your chance. Every registration in circulation had been issued arbitrarily to a car at some point, and to get one that suited you, you had to buy it off the current owner.

In 1990, the DVLA (it might still have been the DVLC at the time) started reserving current year prefix plates with the numbers 1-20 as cherished plates to be sold off at a premium. They reserved some other desirable combinations too, and did a similar thing with the A prefix (which could be used on cars with A-G registrations.) Since then, they've also started selling off some of the classic (dateless) registrations, that aren't already in circulation, and thrown the B to G year prefixes into the same pot as A and H onwards.

I hope this is clearer than mud. Reading back, I'm not sure that it is.
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Re: Do Euro Countries Have Private Number Plates?

I like the Swiss idea whereby when you obtain a driving licence, you are allocated a number plate which is 'yours' for as long as your licence is valid (truly 'personal'). I also believe there is a directory produced (probably now all online), whereby you can obtain contact details based upon the registration - so if someone cuts you up...(so no-one does).

A fine concept.


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