Tips and tricks for finding your perfect private plate
By: Vanessa F
Last updated: 03 June 2021
Searching for your perfect number plate can be a chore in itself, many customers will often search for the obvious such as a firstname or expect to be able to create a custom plate with any number or letters combination they like, unfortunately there are only a certain amount of numbers available for sale at any given time.
Often customers fail to spot the hidden gems as they do not think outside the box, this article aims to give some advice on how you can use some different searching techniques and with things such as additions or changing of letters can help you find some truly great private regs that are available for sale.
Rare and expensive numbers
When searching for private registrations in the first instance many customers will often search for their forename hoping to acquire a unique version of their full name or shortened name for example JAMES (J4 MES), BEN (B3 NNN) or SAMMY (S4 MMY), however many customers soon realise that due to the scarcity and uniqueness of private number plates these kind of registrations often also come with a hefty price tag as these are often limited to only 1 or 2 versions of the particular firstname plates for example the private registration J4 MES would only have a limited number of similar plates such as J14 MES or JAM 3S which may or may not be available in the market at any given time.
These types of unique firstname plates can often be vary sort after and rare and can come with price tags in the many tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.
There are however other ways to find a unique private plate that is personal to you without the large price tag.
Three letter names have the most choice
Within the private plate industry customers with short 3 letter names will often have the most success as due to the way most numbers are formatted and include 3 letters in a row for example S1 TOM or BEN 1S, there are also an endless supply of these numbers due to new numbers being released each year in the new style format for example XX21 KEV XX22 DAN etc
Alternative options for personalised numbers
After the initial disappointment of not being able to find the plate to match your first name exactly, other search techniques can often bring a whole range of search results that customers often miss when searching for their perfect plate.
First/Last name abbreviation, this can include plates such as T SMITH (TS11 MTH) or STEPHEN (ST13 PHN), T JONES (T70 NES) or MATTHEWS (MA17 HWS)
Number/Letter replacement or additional letters
This can often be a trade off that still matches a name but adding additional letters can often reduce the overall cost you will pay, these examples include: LIZZY (LY11 ZZY), BEN or BENNY (B33 NNY), RYAN (RY11 ANN), BRIAN (BR17 ANN), REBECCA (RE13 ECA), HELEN (HE11 ENN) or SIMON (S17 MON or SY11 MON)
These are often the cheapest option for customers looking to acquire a private registration with the a large price tag, depending on rarity and availability these are often range from £250-£1500 and can work well with addition of kisses (XX) or titles such as (BO55) or (MR MR15) average, here are some examples: TOM JAMES SMITH (A1 TJS), AVA ROSE SMITH (XX11 ARS), MICHAEL JAMES ANDERSON (BO55 MJA), SAMANTHA JONES (MR15 SAM or MR15 JNS), or CHRIS JOHN LEONARD (MR11 CJL or MR21 LEO)
Sought after initial private plates & dateless numbers
Although initial plates offers the best range for those looking to obtain a cheaper plate, these types of registrations when associated with dateless more cherished numbers can also be some of the most sought after, for example 1 TJS, 2 BMT, 3 SFT, 4 ALW, the best advise for those looking for more selection and cheaper plate options would be to stick with PREFIX or NEW STYLE registrations in this respect.
Nicknames & shortnames
Many longer names can be shortened and letters changed to bring more search results, this obviously depends on the individual and if they are willing to have a shorter name or nickname style registration, this can often give more choice when searching and would come down to preference for examples: REBECCA (B3 CCA, RE11 BCA or BEX 1A), MICHAEL (MY11 KEX, M1 KKE or M1 CHL), JOSHUA (JO11 SHX or J10 SHH or JO15 HUA), JAMES (J1 MMM or JY11 MMY) or AMANDA (M4 NDY or MA11 NDY)
Our detailed search will often suggest many of these options when searching for your perfect private number plate, however thinking outside the box and how you are able to change or add additional letters can help you find the hidden gems and also save money for those on a budget, try out our number plate search for yourself and try some of this tips.