British vehicle registration plates, known as number plates are alphanumeric plates which have been compulsory since January 1st 1904.

The original plates had a 1 or 2 letter code followed by a sequence number from 1 – 9999. The code indicated the area where the vehicle was registered e.g . A London, B Lancashire and so on.Thus according to the population count of the 1901 census, London was the most populated area and Lancashire the second. Lastly was Y for Somerset, then came AA for Hampshire etc.

These silver on black plates were issued until 1932

As the available codes were running out, a new style plate was introduced, putting a serial letter before the code, with numbers running to 999.These  plates had a maximum of 6 characters.

Staffordshire was the first area to use the new codes, followed by other areas as their 2 letter registration ran out.

By 1953  the available marks started to run out again in some areas. This led to a reversal, with the letters coming after the numbers. Going into the 1960s these codes were again running out.

In 1962 a new style was introduced with a 3 letter combination followed by a number of 1 – 999, then followed with a letter. The letter originally changed in January each year. A was 1963 and B from 1964. The letter suffix was eventaully made compulsory on January 1st 1965.

Reflective number plates were introduced in 1967,with white on the front of the car and yellow on the rear.These plates became a legal requirement on January 1st 1973.

Onwards to 1982 the suffixes had gone as far as Y so from 1983, the suffixes were reversed again. The year letter, starting at A preceeded the numbers and letters

Going on to the late 1990s the range of available numbers was running out again! So another new system started on September 1st 2001, with 7 characters. The first of these two letters is a mnemonic, standing for the name of the  area where the registration office was located., This was then followed by a 2 digit age identifier and a three leter sequence. The two-digit age identifier, changes twice a year, on the 1st. of March and September respectively.

It is thought that the current scheme  could run until the year 2051!

Here at we can supply registration plates for any 1:18 scale models purchased from us.

For older model cars  the number plate that we make is the classic grey  on black to keep things authentic.

Some customers choose the original plate from their treasured vechicle, other choose what could be their own personalisation.

The most popular choice seems to be initials or nicknames, along with birthdates and age numbers