While short number plates aren’t illegal, they must still follow all the guidelines for registrations in the UK, including the size and shape of the characters themselves.
The first number plates issued in the United Kingdom back in 1904 were far shorter than the current seven-character format. From A1 and S1 – some of the index numbers issued in the first run – many original registrations only featured two characters. For several reasons, shorter registrations are more sought-after. While not issued as standard by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), they are auctioned off periodically and sold as personalised plates right here at New Reg.
While having a smaller quantity of letters and numbers on your plate can be prestigious, shorter registrations don’t look at their best on a standard sized plate. Even well-centred on the compulsory white and yellow plates for front and back, short registrations leave a lot of empty space on either side of the index marks. For this reason, many drivers with a short private plate number opt to have their number plates shortened to suit their specific size of reg.
What can be done with short number plates?
It’s not only a vanity plate number that can be shown-off with a short plate. Having a smaller-sized registration plate can uncover more of your car, allowing you to fully appreciate it. Short number plates can even be cut with diagonal sides, so they take up even less real estate on your vehicle. Professional plate makers can use state-of-the-art laser cutting technology to shape your plate to match shapes in the car’s design, so it’s a perfect fit that never spoils the aesthetic value of a vehicle.
The benefits of new laser cutting technology allow for a greater level of customisation, ideal for creating short number plates. Tidying up a plate by trimming off all unnecessary material can make for a more attractive display. There are strict rules regarding the alphanumeric characters on plates that insist that registrations must always have a fixed height to a great extent. However, the unused space widthwise can be reduced for a more compact product.
Are short number plates illegal?
No, short plates are simply older registrations that have been purchased and reassigned to a new car. When it comes to physically shortening a number plate, this also isn’t illegal providing the process is managed by plate specialist like New Reg to ensure it keeps to the code. Failure to display a legal number plate can result in failed MOT tests as well as fines of up to £1,000 from traffic police if caught on the road.
At New Reg, we’ll ensure your number plate has the exact measurement of spacing required by the DVLA standards, making them perfectly legal to use on your car. Precisely how small your number plate can be will depend on the length of how many characters are contained in your registration. This is because there are very specific measurements for the numbers and letters on plates. Not only for the width and height of the alphanumeric characters displayed but also for the spaces in between and the distance to the plate edge, sometimes referred to as ‘margins’.
Short plates for short registrations
Short plates are very well suited to shorter registrations. These cherished plate numbers are highly prized, not only because they come from an older time and are considered classics. They are also literally ‘timeless’ as unlike the modern plates issued today, they contain no age indicator. Those wishing to keep how old their vehicle is private often opt for this older style of registration. Regardless of how short the plate number is, the UK law states that every registration must always contain at least one letter and one number to be legal.