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  • 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personalised Number Plate

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personalised Number Plate

A personalised number plate can make your car unique and even increase its value. However, personalised number plates have become very popular in the UK, which means they can be costly.

Therefore, you must think carefully before purchasing a replacement number plate to ensure you pick one you will be happy with long-term.

Also, when you choose a car number plate, you must ensure it abides by UK rules and regulations.

Are you wondering how to choose a personalised number plate that you’ll be happy with and which is legally compliant?

In this blog, we delve into ten things to consider when shopping for a personalised number plate, helping you to pick the perfect one for you.

1. Your Budget

budget planning for purchasing number plate

Assess your budget and stick to it. Decide what you can realistically afford before you start looking for a personalised number plate.

Research online to get an understanding of price ranges and find out the UK plates that fall within your budget.

But what makes an expensive number plate?

Well, dateless registrations are costly because they are in high demand. This may be because dateless number plates can effectively hide the age of a vehicle and even increase its value.

Also, the fewer characters in a number plate, the more expensive it is. This is because fewer characters equal fewer available combinations, making the number plate more unique, desirable, and valuable.

2. Phonetics

Phonetic number plates are popular in the UK. This is the creative use of visual tricks, using certain letters to represent numbers or vice versa.

Below is a list of examples to demonstrate how phonetics and visual tricks can be used to create a personalised number plate:

  • “Z” to represent “2”.
  • “B” to represent “8” (or vice versa).
  • “15” to represent “is”.

Single letters or numbers can also represent a whole word, such as “I” to represent “eye” or “4” to represent “for”.

Ultimately, phonetics enables you to get creative when designing your number plate!

3. Your Needs

Consider why you want a private number plate. Do you wish to promote your brand, or are you marking a memorable date?

Ensure you understand the message you want to convey and whether a specific combination on a number plate will help you achieve it.

4. Number Plate Laws

laws with number plates

In the UK, all number plates on vehicles driven on public roads must conform to the DVLA rules and regulations.

Below are some of the rules and regulations to bear in mind when considering a personalised number plate.

Register Your Number Plate

Register your new number plate with the DVLA. You cannot display your number plate and drive on public roads without registering first.

Display your registration correctly

You must display your number plate at both ends of your vehicle. Also, the correct space and size of a number plate’s characters are essential, which we’ll cover later in this blog.

Buy from a registered supplier

You should only purchase a personalised number plate from a reputable, registered number plate supplier.

For example, Demon Plates is a Registered Number Plate Supplier (RNPS), so we can ensure that your number plate complies with the law.

5. Styles of Number Plate

Consider the different styles of number plates you can have in the UK, helping you to narrow down the right one for you and your budget.


Dateless number plates are those where no date is displayed. These types of plates are highly sought after since they don’t reveal the age of a car. So, dateless number plates can be more pricey than other alternatives, but they can be a valuable investment.


The most common style of number plate in the UK is current, which is made up of three parts:

  1. The first letter represents the region where it was registered, and the second represents the DVLA office.
  2. The two following numbers represent the year it was registered.
  3. The last three letters give a vehicle its unique identity.


The prefix style is popular with the private number plate market. This is when letters are at the start of the registration to identify the year it was issued. Because the plate begins with letters, it can be easier to create a word from it.


A suffix number plate has letters at the end to indicate its registration. Again, this is a popular choice for private number plate owners, particularly those with short names, since these can sit perfectly at the end of a reg.

6. Longevity

Pick a number plate to represent something that will appeal in years to come for you and future buyers.

Don’t choose something just because it’s on trend. Whatever is popular now can quickly go out of fashion next week, so while your number plate may be unique, the sentiment may be considered overused!

7. Age of Your Vehicle

brand new car

Don’t try to make your car look newer. Of course, if you purchase a dateless number plate, you can effectively hide the age of your vehicle; however, for any other style of number plate, you won’t be able to display a more recent date, i.e. change specific characters to represent different years.

8. Spacing of Letters and Numbers

Since 1901, number plates in the UK have followed a strict format.

For example, the characters on your personal number plate must be spaced according to the current rules and regulations. At the time of writing, the space between the number plate characters should be 11mm.

The characters must also abide by the dimensions legally required. At the time of writing, characters on a number plate must be 79mm tall and 50mm wide.

There are other rules you should be aware of; you can find more information on the government’s website.

If your personal number plate does not abide by the UK rules and regulations, you can fail your MOT or even receive a fine.

9. Availability

Before you start looking for your perfect number plate, bear in mind that you might not be able to get the exact combination you’re after; therefore, be flexible, keeping your options open. By doing so, you’re more likely to stick within your budget.

If your desired plate isn’t available, get creative with different combinations, remembering to abide by UK rules and regulations.

10. Extra Fees

extra fees when buying number plates

The price advertised for a private number plate will be less than the actual price you pay after fees.

You will also need to pay DVLA a registration fee.

Most dealers should inform you of the total cost of acquiring a personalised number plate and being able to use it legally; however, if they don’t break down the cost or display further pricing information, question them about this before you commit.

Now you understand the ten things to consider before choosing a personalised number plate.

Remember, pick a reputable dealer who is a registered number plate supplier; your private number plate can have many benefits, but it must legally comply with UK rules and regulations.

If you want a personalised number plate to promote your brand, mark a special date, or personalise and add value to your car, get in touch with Demon Plates today. With 25 years of experience in the industry, we can promise you a high-quality and legally compliant number plate that you’ll love to display on your vehicle.

Wondering how to choose a number plate? Then try our number plate builder.