What's the story behind a UK license plate with only digits?
March 27, 2011 7:08 AM   Subscribe

What's the story behind a UK license plate with only digits?

I just saw a newish car (certainly not a classic) with a black number plate with silver letters. The number didn't follow any UK numbering conventions, instead just had five digits, for example 51744. What's the story?
posted by stackhaus23 to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
According to Wikipedia:
a) "Older British plates had white, grey or silver characters on a black background. This style of plate was phased out in 1972, and is now legal to be carried only on vehicles built prior to 1 January 1973."

b) The numbers only thing is a bit complicated, but there're details here.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:25 AM on March 27, 2011

You can buy personalised numberplates in the UK. You have to register the plate officially to your car, and there can only be one of each, but they don't necessarily have to follow the convention used to automatically assign registration numbers to new cars.
posted by penguin pie at 7:25 AM on March 27, 2011

And, same Wiki article:
Guernsey plates consist of up to six digits, with no letters. Plates may be either silver on a black background, or black on the white/yellow backgrounds as in the UK.
posted by nangar at 7:29 AM on March 27, 2011

Ah yes, looks like a Guernsey plate then.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:30 AM on March 27, 2011

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