Prefix style number plates

Prefix number plates are one of the most popular choices for private number plates in the UK. They are popular, especially with those seeking private registrations for their vehicles. Not only are they affordable, but Prefix registrations are also great if you want to create short names and initials. For example, 'D4 VES', 'G50 RGE', 'H44 RRY', 'K21 BEN' and 'H6 JSM'.

If you have a specific prefix number plate in mind, you'll be sure to find it at Click4reg. Use our custom-built Prefix search tool below to browse many options. Discover the vastest range of private registrations.

What are Prefix number plates?

Prefix number plates and registrations consist of five to seven characters. They begin with the first letter of the plate, which is also the age identifier. Then, there can be a maximum of three digits between 1 to 999. Lastly, it ends with three letters.

They are also the style of vehicle registrations in use between August 1983 and August 2001 in the UK. The format 'A123 BCD' is a good example of this style. Whereas its Suffix style predecessor followed the 'ABC 123A' format, which is a direct opposite.

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For example, in 'A123 DAN' the 'A' indicates the year 1983. To easily see where a vehicle comes from simply check the last two letters of its registration. In this example, 'AN' means the city of Reading. In 1974, some two-digit allocations were changed to different regions.

Special issue plates 'A' through 'H' only get numbers 1 to 20. These are rarer than those numbered 21 and up. In 1999, they integrated 'T' and 'V' to the yearly pattern. Then, in 2000, they also added 'W' and 'X'.

Prefix style plates do not include the letters 'I', 'Q', or 'Z' within the registrations. This is because they look similar to other letters or numbers such as '1', '0', 'V', and '2'. Additionally, the letters 'O' and 'U' can only appear at the end of a registration mark.

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The Prefix-style format

1983 - 2001

The diagram below illustrates the format of Prefix style plates. See the year letter, digits, and codes for the area of issue.

Diagram of Prefix Style registration layout.

Prefix style issue dates

Registrations issued by the DVLA between August 1, 1983, and August 1, 1984, have a 'prefix' that starts with 'A' . Then, the next year, from August 1984 to August 1985, they began with the letter 'B'.

They continued the pattern each year until 1999, when they began releasing them twice annually. Starting with 'T' and 'Ví in 1999 and 'W' and 'X' in 2000. The UK then started the Current style format, which is still in use today.

Next, learn more with the table of prefix number plates and their issue dates shown below.

A*** 1983

B*** 1984

C*** 1985

D*** 1986

E*** 1987

F*** 1988

G*** 1989

H*** 1990

J*** 1991

K*** 1992

L*** 1993

M*** 1994

N*** 1995

P*** 1996

R*** 1997

S*** 1998

T*** 1999

V*** 1999

W*** 2000

X*** 2000

Y*** 2001

Examples & ideas of Prefix registrations

Look at the examples below, get inspired and see what you can create using these great personalised registrations.


Peter or Pete


Sam, Samantha or Sammy


Tim or Timothy

T121 SHA

Trish or Trisha


Gary or Garys


Dan or Daniel


George or Georgie


Dave or David

A111 SON




Why choose Click4Reg?

Click4reg is here to help you find a Prefix personalised number plate. In fact, our 20 years of experience ensures we are capable of assisting you.

Plus, we're a trusted supplier with the DVLA, with one of the largest selection of private number plates for sale. Buy Prefix number plates online anytime with one of the oldest suppliers of private number plates in the UK. Our team provides the best service and can also help you with the entire buying process of car registrations.

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Frequently asked questions about Prefix number plates

  • What are Prefix registrations?

    Between August 1983 and August 2001, the DVLA in the UK used Prefix number plates for vehicles' identification. Prior to this, the Suffix-style dominated between 1963 and 1982. Since 2001 the Newstyle format is currently the style of registration still used today.

  • What year is the Prefix on the number plate?

    From 1983 and 2001, the letter at the beginning of a Prefix car registration shows the vehicle's age. For Example, 'A' represents 1983, 'B' represents 1984 and 'C' represents 1985. See the issue dates table for more information.

  • Can I put a Prefix number plate on any car?

    You can use Prefix registration plates on any vehicle as long as it does not make the car look newer. It's simply against the Law to make a vehicle look newer than it actually is.