What's next for UK number plates

With the new 59 number plates now hitting the streets, a number of people wondering what comes after 09/59 when the number plate changes again in March 2010.

Number plates in the UK have been around for over a hundred years, since the introduction of the Motor Car Act of 1903 which required all motor vehicle to be included on a Government list and carry indentifying number plates prior to the passing of this act the authorities became increasingly concerned about tracing vehicles that had been involved in accidents or broke the law somehow.

In 2001 with the range of available numbers beginning to run out the biggest change yet to the number plates configuration was implemented when the country moved away from previous suffix/prefix year identifiers, to the current system. So on the 31st August 2001, the final Y prefix number plates were registered to new cars and the dawning of a new age in number plates hit the UK on September 1st.

The new system included a two letter area code, a two digit age identifier, and three random letters, beginning with 51 in September. After 8 years of the new system some people have been wondering where does the numbering system go in 2010.

The answer is pretty straightforward when looking at the two age identifiers separately. For the March change, the age identifier started at 02 in March 2002 increasing by 1 each year; therefore in March 2010 the age identifier will change to 10, March 2011 to 11, all the way to 2050 and 50.

Additionally looking at the September age identifier, again each year this simply increases by 1, so in September 2002 the age identifier was 52, September 2003 to 53. Therefore in September 2010 the age identifier will be 60, and September 2011 61, all the way to 00 in September 2050.


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