Deciphering the UK's New '24' Number Plate Identifier - Auto Number Plates

Deciphering the UK's New '24' Number Plate Identifier

Embrace the Arrival of Spring with the New '24' Number Plate Identifier!

As the vibrant season of spring unfolds, so does the arrival of a fresh identifier for UK number plates: the eagerly anticipated '24'. From March 1st, 2024, this distinctive identifier will grace the plates of all newly registered cars, ushering in a wave of renewal and excitement for motorists across the nation.

Replacing the previous '73' plates introduced in September 2023, these new plates symbolize a shift towards the future of automotive registrations. Even if staying up-to-date with the latest plate may not be your top priority, understanding the intricacies of the UK's number plate system can prove invaluable. Adherence to regulations regarding fonts, layouts, colours, and placement is crucial to avoid potential fines, not to mention the satisfaction of having an answer up your sleeve for that future pub quiz question.

Here's a breakdown of how UK number plates function:

How UK Number Plates Work: The '24' number plates denote cars registered between March 1st and August 31st, 2024, while '73' plates represent registrations from September 2023 to February 2024.

Each standard UK number plate consists of three elements:

  1. Two letters denoting the region of registration.
  2. Two numbers indicating the registration year.
  3. A set of three randomly generated letters.

The progression of registration numbers follows a predictable pattern, alternating between March and September releases:

  • March Plates: Year digits (e.g., '24').
  • September Plates: Year digits plus 50 (e.g., '74').

Here's a glimpse into the future registration years:

Year of Car Registration Plates from March Onwards Plates from September Onwards
2020 20 70
2021 21 71
2022 22 72
2023 23 73
2024 24 74
2025 25 75
2026 26 76
2027 27 77
2028 28 78
2029 29 79


Rules for Number Plates: For vehicles manufactured after January 1st, 1973, front number plates must feature a white background, while rear plates must have a yellow background.

Stringent specifications govern the appearance of letters and numbers on plates, including:

  • Character dimensions of 79mm height and 50mm width (excluding the number 1 or letter I).
  • A character stroke thickness of 14mm.
  • 11mm spacing between characters.
  • 33mm gap between the age identifier and the random letters.
  • Margins of 11mm at the top, bottom, and sides.
  • 19mm vertical space between the age identifier and the random numbers.

The font utilized in number plates, known as the Charles Wright font, has been standard since 2001.

What Is a Green Number Plate? Introduced on December 8th, 2020, green number plates signify vehicles powered by fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell technologies. These plates feature a distinctive green flash on the left-hand side, highlighting the vehicle's zero tailpipe emission credentials.

While the addition of green plates is optional, they often come standard with newly sold electric cars. However, it's crucial to note that green plates should not be affixed to petrol or diesel vehicles, as this practice is both illegal and devoid of any tangible advantages.

Private Number Plates: Also known as personalized, cherished, or vanity plates, private number plates are customized based on specific character combinations. These plates can be acquired directly from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or through auctions, traders, or private sellers.

However, altering the spacing of personalized number plates is illegal, and coloured screws to modify the appearance of characters are also prohibited. Violating these regulations may result in a hefty £1,000 fine, and the revocation of the cherished plate by the DVLA.

Banned Number Plates: With each new age identifier release, the DVLA meticulously scrutinizes potential plate combinations to prevent offensive or inappropriate word formations. Any plates deemed offensive are automatically prohibited, and those that slip through the cracks may be rescinded later.

Motorists need to adhere to these guidelines to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties.


  • Why Does My Car Have a Number Plate? Number plates serve as unique identifiers, linking vehicles to registered keepers and indicating their road legality.
  • What Information Can You Get from a UK Number Plate? UK number plates reveal a car's age and initial registration location.
  • When Do UK Number Plates Change? New age identifiers debut twice annually, on March 1st and September 1st.
  • Do You Need a Front Number Plate in the UK? Yes, front number plates are legally required for all vehicles.
  • How Much Is My Number Plate Worth? Number plate values vary widely, ranging from minimal to several hundred thousand pounds, depending on rarity and desirability.
  • Where Can I Get Number Plates Made? Number plates can only be obtained from registered suppliers, ensuring compliance with legislation.

Disposition of Old Number Plates:

Feel free to recycle your old number plates responsibly or consult with local authorities for proper disposal methods.

With a newfound understanding of the UK's number plate system, motorists can navigate the roads confidently, adorned with the latest '24' identifier or cherished personalized plates, all while adhering to regulations and celebrating individuality.

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