DY1 and the advent of ‘Platespeak’

16 March 2023

Cherished Number Plates and Personal Plates, is there a difference?

Cherished number plates are ‘dateless’ and are typically applied to older plates, sometimes used by owners of veteran cars who want to keep their prize possession period correct.

Personalised number plates are often making a vehicle more distinctive and easily recognisable. What needs to be realised is that this can help prevent your car from being stolen.

In both cases, the age of a car is masked.

Historically, the first British registration was DY 1, issued on 23 November 1903.

Personalised plates can make a statement; several boxers are proud owners, Amir Khan, BOX11G, Chris Eubanks Jr, EU13ANK and David Haye, DD11AYE.

Others have slightly naughty connotations; one example is ORG45M, but probably the most notorious is FU2, owned at one point by Billy and Hanna Smart, of circus notoriety.

Due to the creative imagination of the potential buyers of naughty number plates, the DVLA have censors meeting removing certain numeric configurations that may distract other road users; examples of recent restrictions include PE23VRT, SC23TUM and FA23NNY.

The DVLA reserves the right to ban plates at a later date.