9 Signs You're a Private Number Plate Expert

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Number plates can tell you all kinds of things about a vehicle and its owner, both by looking it up and simply by looking at the letters and numbers on it. While what a private plate says might help you make a judgement about the person who bought it, a number plate expert can work out plenty of other things too.


1. You know how old the car is

Different types of number plates will tell you how old a vehicle is in different ways. If you know your plates, you know where to look to find the vehicle's age. You also know when it's dateless plate that doesn't give away the vehicle's age.


2. You know where the car was registered

Number plates can also tell you where a car was registered, due to the regional identifiers they have. There are both regional codes and previous DVLA office codes. For example, a car registered at the Bangor DVLA office in Wales (Cymru) will have CW, CX or CY.


3. You know how much the plate is worth

If you can guess how much a number plate is worth, you're a true expert. A number of things can affect the value of a plate, including the style - dateless plates are more valuable, for example. Of course, you can also find out the value online by using our website valution service.


4. You can tell if it's a private plate or original one

This one's not too difficult, but if you know your plates, you should be able to tell the difference between one originally registered to the vehicle and a private one. There are a number of things that can indicate this, such as the layout.


5. You recognise the style

Anyone who knows their number plates recognises the style. The main styles of plates include the prefix, suffix, Northern Irish and dateless plates. They all have different layouts and all indicate the age of the vehicle, except for dateless plates.


6. You can spot an illegal plate

All number plate experts should be able to spot an illegal plate too. Some of the things to look out for include the style of the lettering, the number of digits and the order of them too.


7. You can see where they got the plate from

You can also tell where someone got their plate from, which is useful if you're thinking of getting a private plate. You don't need to be able to tell by looking, though - a search online will give you the information you need.


8. You know what it says in the phonetics alphabet

If you know the NATO phonetic alphabet, it gives you another level of expertise. Spelling something out with the phonetic alphabet gives you another way to put some special meaning into a plate.


9. You can read a name or word in the letters

Being able to spot a name or word in a private plate isn't always easy. Sometimes it isn't immediately obvious to anyone who looks. But as a number plate expert, you never miss them.