How to Make Your Own Private Number Plate

Have you ever been passed by a car in the street with a personalised number plate and wondered how it was possible for them to get that on their vehicle? It couldn't be easier for you to get your own one.

At Click4Reg, we have over 300,000 unique number plates to choose from, and because we don't share our stock with other dealers, you can be guaranteed that you will not find ours on other dealers' websites.

People want private number plates for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Affordability - prices have decreased over time and are now much more affordable
  • Individuality - it allows you to put your own personal stamp on your vehicle
  • Uniqueness - there is scope for you to have something completely different to the standard issued number plates
  • Can become valuable - the price of private number plates can change and, as some become more rare, their value will increase
  • They hold sentimental value - they can be bought as ideal, personalised gifts for loved ones, which is why they are also known as cherished number plates
  • They can be used for business reasons as a way to promote your business/company.

Things you need to know first before making your own private number plate

How can I get my own number plate?

There are three different ways in which you can obtain a private number plate.

  1. DVLA website or auction
  2. Private seller - however, this can be more expensive, and there is an increased risk of fraud. Although most private sellers are likely to be genuine, you need to ensure that they have the correct documentation, which is open to forgery.
  3. Private registration dealers - like us!

Can I choose anything on my plate?

You can put virtually anything on a personalised number plate, but there are some exceptions you need to be aware of:

  • It has to be unique - if the one you are looking for already exists or is not on the market yet, you have to come up with an alternative or contact the owner and buy it off them.
  • You cannot use the letter 'Q' - the DVLA issues Q registration numbers only to those vehicles whose age or identity is in doubt.
  • The letter 'I' can only be used for Irish-style number plates
  • It cannot be misleading or offensive - so consider who will see your number plate and how it could be interpreted
  • You cannot use numbers to make your vehicle appear younger than it is (for example, you could not put a 70 registration on a car manufactured in 2011).

Am I allowed to customise my plate?

All number plates have basic formatting standards set out by the DVLA, which are strictly enforced.

The law changed in September 2021 surrounding non-standard registration plates. From September 1st 2021, all new number plates must comply with a new British Standard (BS AU 145e) and must adhere to the following:

  • Plates must now be made of a more durable material and pass more stringent durability tests, including an abrasion test against salt and grit.
  • There has been a ban on using two-tone finishes to create a 3D effect, making it easier for ANPR cameras to read vehicle registration plates.
  • The use of raised characters (including 3D gel and 4D lettering) is still permitted.
  • All letters must be the same, uniform shade of black. This will only apply to new plates made after 1st September 2021.

Those vehicles with plates that do not meet these requirements but were made before this date may continue to use them, providing they meet the previous regulations.

Can any registration go on a vehicle?

It is possible to transfer a registration plate from one vehicle to another, but you will be required to complete some DVLA paperwork. It is also possible for you to sell your existing vehicle and park your registration until you are ready to use it on another vehicle. However, you need to bear in mind the age of the vehicle you are buying, so it does not appear newer than it is with your existing number plate.

How can we make it easier for you?

Now that you have the information and knowledge required behind creating a personalised number plate, it is up to us to show you how to make your own one.

Our search tool function is capable of producing results that are tailored to your needs and requirements.

We have the option for you to perform a quick search of our database, which will generate all of the relevant results for your registration inquiry. Alternatively, you can search by specific styles of registration, including:

How to make your own private number plate

On our number plate search tool, you have the option to type directly into the search box a number plate you might already have in mind, with the option to search by prefix or new style.

For example, if your name is Peter, you were born in 1979 and you would like a personalised number plate, you might type PETER79 into our search tool where you will then be presented with a list of options available.

If your ideal number plate is unavailable, a list of alternative suggestions will appear using a similar combination of numbers and letters, or as close as possible based on what is currently available. For example, if 'P3TER79' is not available, you may choose 'P3TER', 'P777 TER' and 'P24 TER' instead.

You will also have the option to filter your results by price (either highest to lowest) or by best result. The provided prices will give you the option of an instant purchase or a monthly financial payment plan.

By clicking on the 'watch' button, we will notify you if the price of the registration changes or is reduced in the future. All you need to do is provide us with some contact details.

Newstyle/current style number plates

These have been issued since 2001 and contain a format of two letters at the start, followed by two numbers to denote the year the car was registered and then three letters.

  • New registrations are released bi-annually between 1st March - 31st August and then between 1st September - 28th February.
  • You cannot incorporate the letters I or Q, and Z can only appear in the last three letters.

This method allows for more creative options and is better suited for longer words. Due to the format, it also allows for a phrase which is four letters followed by three letters such as:

  • BO55 MAN

  • FA57 BMW

  • AN63 LAS

It is also possible to start new style number plates with 'OO' to replicate dateless number plates such as:

  • OOO18 JEN

  • OOO7 BND

How to create your own newstyle personalised number plate

  1. Select the first two letters of your choice - in standard number plates, this would represent the area code for the vehicle. However, you can pick your own.
  2. Choose a number from the drop-down options available
  3. Choose three letters to complete the word/phrase you are trying to spell - these could also be initials or abbreviations of the word/phrase you are spelling.

If you are spelling a word/phrase that requires a space, you can use the letter X or select a number that closely resembles the letter you need. For example:

  • 12 can be used for R
  • 11 can be used for H
  • 4 can be used for A
  • 6 can be used for G

We have a wide range of newstyle number plates available at Click4reg. Browse our newstyle private plates today.

Prefix style number plates

Prefix style number plates were issued between 1983 and 2000, with the year being identified by the first letter (i.e. A = August 1983, B = August 1984 and so on). These contain one letter, followed by either one, two or three numbers, and finished with three letters.

Prefix registrations were initially released annually between 1st August and 31st July of each year. After March 1999, this changed to bi-annually between 1st March - 31st August and 1st September - 28th February.

You are not allowed to include the letters I, Q or Z and the letters O and U can only appear in the last three letters.

This style lends itself perfectly to initials or short words such as:

  • G30 RGE

  • D69 AWN

  • C1 JON

For those who want to represent their names, you can choose shorter registrations such as:

  • J92 LEE

  • S124 MTH

It also allows for combinations in order to spell out words using numbers as well as letters such as:

  • M155 JNS

  • K155 TRY

  • J46 UAR

Please note: Remember, you cannot make a vehicle look younger than it is. You will need to check that the registration you have chosen is suitable for your vehicle. In this example, the age identifier is represented by the first letter of the registration plate.

How to create your own prefix personalised number plate

  1. Select the letter you want at the start of the registration - remembering this denotes the age
  2. Choose one, two or three numbers - if you are looking to spell a word, you may need to use numbers to represent letters such as 3 for E or 5 for 5
  3. Choose three letters - you can always use these as initials if the word you are trying to spell is too long.

We have a wide range of prefix style number plates available. Browse our prefix private plates today.

Suffix style number plates

Suffix style number plates were introduced back in February 1963 by the DVLA due to running out of dateless combinations to use. It also meant that vehicles were now more easily identifiable in terms of age.

They were initially released annually between 1st January and 31st December of each year. After 1st August 1967, this changed to annually between the period of 1st August - 31st July.

It is the reverse of the prefix style number plate where you have three letters at the start, followed by a number and then a letter to represent the age of the vehicle registration.

Similarly to prefix style plates, you are not allowed to include the letters I, Q or Z, but the letters O and U can only appear in the first three letters.

This is often used as an alternative to dateless style number plates, which can be more expensive. They are generally more suited to older models of vehicles and can mask the age of a particular vehicle.

They are generally used for initials or abbreviated words, but they can be used to spell out names such as:

  • EDW 412D

  • JON 3S

  • BEN 1X

How to create your own suffix personalised number plate:

  1. Select the three letters you want at the start of the registration - this could be to represent an initial or the make of the vehicle
  2. Choose one, two or three numbers - if you are looking to spell a word, you may need to use numbers to represent letters such as 3 for E or 5 for 5
  3. Choose a letter to go at the end - known as the age identifier

We have a wide range of suffix style number plates available. Browse our suffix private plates today.

Dateless style number plates

These were introduced by licensing authorities back in 1903. They initially followed a format with a one or two-letter code, followed by a number between one and 9999. In 1932, this was extended to a three-letter code and the option of having a reversed format where the number came first and was then followed by one or two letters.

As the name would suggest, dateless number plates make no reference to the year in which the vehicle was registered. This means they can be re-assigned and transferred to any vehicle regardless of age.

This makes them appealing to anyone wanting to mask the age of a particular vehicle, and they can be more sought-after/rare, making them more expensive.

It is particularly useful for emphasising very short words such as:

  • 1 CEO

  • TOM 55

  • 999 BOB

How to create your own dateless personalised number plate

  • Select whether you want your registration to start with numbers of letters
  • Choose the letters you want on your registration plate
  • Choose the numbers you want on your registration plate - if you are looking to spell a word, you may need to use numbers to represent letters such as 3 for E or 5 for 5

We have a wide range of dateless number plates available. Browse our dateless private plates today.

What happens if my desired private number plate is not available?

When it comes to purchasing a private number plate, it is sometimes good to think outside the box. We will always offer you suggested alternatives if you cannot find the exact number plate you are looking for.

It might be that your chosen combination might not be available on the market right now or that you have searched for a name or word that is common, so you are less likely to find what you are looking for.

There are various tips and tricks for finding the perfect number plate, from playing around with the combinations and using your initials instead of your name. You may even want to try searching for a private plate that reflects your interests, career or favourite sports team.