How to Design Your Own Great Number Plate

Think outside the box!

Having finally decided to take the plunge into cherished registration plate ownership, most prospective purchasers probably think that the hard part is over. They have managed to convince themselves, and more importantly their other halves, that money spent on buying a plate is not only affordable but even justified as a sound investment. All that’s left to do is to select a suitable plate and hand over the cash. Most first time forays into number plate territory involve parting with only a fairly small amount of money and so the first port of call is often a visit to the DVLA “Personalised Registrations” website in order to check what’s on offer. The first choice of plate is usually the classic combination of the owners initials along with a low or distinctive number with the number “1” being regarded as the Holy Grail. After putting a few letters into the online search box our would-be buyer suddenly comes to realise that things are not that simple and absolutely nothing comes up that is relevant and within the allotted price range. The buyer is then likely to try the sites of some of the excellent specialist dealers and repeat the previous exercise. In this case, it is highly likely that some initial based numbers will be available but, due to the high demand for such numbers, prices are likely to far higher than our first-time buyer had been expecting. Undeterred, our buyer may then try to seek out a plate showing his name (first name, surname or nickname) but again find that these are in short supply and priced accordingly. At this point it is easy to consider forgetting about the whole thing and accepting the fact that one’s initials or names are simply not available at an affordable price. We have all been there and experienced the feeling of hopelessness but there is no need to despair. Simply looking around at other people’s plates show that it is always possible to pick up a great plate but sometimes a little ingenuity is required.

In the world of cherished registrations, the classic “initial” plates will always reign supreme but for many, the purpose of the exercise is simply to add a little of their own personality to their vehicles and this can say something about the owner, perhaps raise a smile or simply add a little bit of class to an otherwise run-of-the-mill machine. Some of the best personalised number plates rely on using the combination of numbers and letters in order to spell out words. In the U.S. They are fortunate enough to be able to obtain plates containing only letters allowing for some incredible creations but here in the UK, a little more imagination is required. When looking for such a plate it is important to realise which of the characters can be read differently and a brief summary is as follows:

Numbers – “0” can of course be read as the letter “O”

“1” can easily become an “I” or “L” but in combination with other characters can be even more useful. “11” can take the place of “H”, “N” or “U” and “111” can substitute for “M” or “W”. “13” can represent “B” with “12” replacing “R”.

“2” replaces “Z”.

“3” is often used for “E”

“4” becomes “A”

“5” is “S”

“6” can become a “B”, “C” or “G”.

“7” can be written as a “T” or “Y”

“8” makes a good “B”

“9” can represent “G”

Letters – These are rather more difficult to represent differently but if the preferred letter is unavailable it is often possible to substitute a different letter such as a “V” in place of a “Y”

It is easy to get bogged down in trying to be grammatically correct but this really isn’t necessary. As long as the word can be recognised and read out loud, that is all that really matters. The use of phonetics, misspelling, initials or even text-talk are all quite acceptable and part of the fun. We found the best search facilities at CarReg who allow you to search for the best car registration plate in a number of different ways. There are many other ways to choose a great plate but the power of lateral thinking should never be overlooked.