British Car Plates

I have always wanted to know why car placard numbers were different in Great Britain. I have found it out, but it turned out to be more difficult to understand than I thought.

Basically, the whole sequence of numbers and letters is divided into three sets:

  1. What I’ll call a geographical locator: The first section of letters tell you where the car is from.
  2. A date locator: if card get their plate between March and August, they just write the last two digits of the year, but it the plate is made between September and February, they get the same figure, plus 50 – don’t ask me why –
  3. And last but not least, they write a set of three random sequence of letters. they don’t include letters I, Q or Z.

This numbering method give the British people three major adavantages:

  1. You know when a car was made.
  2. In case of crime involvement, witnesses usually remember the area code.
  3. They have enough new codes until 2051 while the Spanish system can only cover until 2025. – but only if we are still buying cars by that time. –

FYI, I found this here, just in case you want to know more.


About José Juan Herrerías

I'm a teacher of English as a foreign language in Spain. I work at a secondary school. I really enjoy learning and teaching English. One of the best ways of doing so, is reading and writing. Express myself through the books I read.
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