Prefix number plates are one of the best-selling types of care registration in the UK. The format of prefix plates is just as the name suggests. Prefix registrations begin with a letter that indicates the car’s year of manufacture.

The prefix style for number plates London started in the early 1980s, because suffix registrations, which ended with the letter denoting the year, ran out at that point.

What’s a prefix style number plate?

After exhausting the letters of the alphabet for the suffix format, UK car registrations began again using the prefix format on 1st August 1983.

The issuing process began with the letter A and prefix registration plates were issued on 1st August each year thereafter, until August 2001 when the letter Y was used.

Every prefix plate started with the digit denoting the year. The first batch comprised cars or vans with an “A” prefix, these were registered between 1st August 1983 and 1st August 1984. These were followed by “B” prefix plates from 1984 to 1985, “C” for 1985 to 1986 and so forth.

In 1999, the system changed to accommodate two new registrations to be issued each rather than one.

What about prefix private number plates?

The alphabet was used in the order as applied to the suffix plates used before the prefix ones. The letters I, Q, Q, U, Z were not used, as they looked too much like digits such as 1,0,0, V and 2 respectively.

The prefix system was replaced, after “Y” plates were issued in August 2001, by the new and current style plates still in use today.

After the first letter, prefix plates feature two to three numbers between 21 and 999. Numbers 1 and 20 are generally excluded from plates beginning with letters between A and H as they were retained by the DVLA for a special issue.

Any prefix plate with a number under 21 is thus rarer than any with a number of 21 or more.

Following the prefix letter, number and space there are three letters on prefix number plates London. If these reflect common initials, these are more sought after.

Prefix style plates have made available a wide range of combinations.