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post #4 of (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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