Friday, 31 October 2008

Councillor's Number Plates say, Stuff The European Union!

Blimey, this national flags issue really is causing an awful lot of bother, isn't it? Over the last week or so, the media has gone crazy over it, and motorists have quite rightly voiced their frustration at being fined for something that should have been made legal 7 years ago!

Today, I've been reading about yet another protester. Conservative District Councillor, Nick Bennett, outraged by the recent reports surrounding this issue, is making his voice heard by displaying the Union Jack on his registration plates, as well as a message, saying "Stuff the European Union". Oh, and he's appearing in the Mansfield paper, Chad.

Councillor Bennett insists that it's not a case of being racist, but being patriotic. I see no problem with wanting to be patriotic myself, so I see the chap's point. I'm not sure I'd state, like him, that I'd be happy to go to court over the issue though. Clearly, he feels very strongly about the issue, as do many motorists in the UK.

Well, it seems the recent outrage may have finally got through to the government, so Councillor Bennett may soon find that his number plates are perfectly acceptable. (Apart from the "Stuff the European Union" bit, of course.)

Hopefully, this issue will soon be put to rest and we can all return to far more important issues. I have to say, I've been rather aggrieved by the amount of mind space this issue has occupied over the last week or so. I look forward to the welcome return of more exciting thoughts, such as tea-time plans. Oh, and a focus on the latest and greatest registrations in the personalised number plates world, of course!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

British Number Plates: You Can't Beat 'Em!

I've read rather a lot recently about personalised number plates in other countries. You'll be familiar with my reports about new logos and slogans introduced by certain states, the withdrawal of plates of a crude or offensive nature (often questionable), and number plates being used for charitable purposes, etc. Well, I was reading about Norway's decision to introduce 'vanity license plates' for the first time and found myself smiling to myself about how much better our private registrations here in the UK are.

In many countries, drivers can use their imaginations to come up with anything they like. Obviously, some people's ideas will be rejected but, overall, people can have whatever thay like on their number plates. Although this sounds appealing at first, after a few minutes of pondering, I found myself opposing the idea.

Here in the UK, number plates have a history (or at least they will have one day if they're currently new) and, if buying a cherished registration, it feels great when you hunt down that perfect registration. If you can just make up your own, it kind of stops them being so special, doesn't it.

In Norway, personalised plates are all going to be brand new when they're finally introduced. Nope, I prefer the traditional British way myself!

Right, I'm off for a nice, British cup of tea and some crumpets.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Boxer Kicks Up A Fuss Over Private Number Plates

Crikey, it's Monday afternoon already. Only feels like a couple of hours since I opened my eyes, refreshed by the night's slumber, ready to embrace the day ahead. Like most, I do love Monday mornings.

Well, I read a rather irritating piece of number plates news today, I have to say. I know, it's a shame. Anyway, a Namibian newspaper reports that a prominent heavyweight boxer from the South African country nearly caused havoc at a pub due to his anger when faced with the array of personalised number plates gracing the watering hole's car park.

What could be so offensive about a dozen personalised registrations? After all, the sportsman has his own private plates, lovingly displayed on his brand new Mercedes. Well, according to sources, the boxer became enraged, claiming that those who are still paying instalments for their cars shouldn't be able to own personalised registrations. Apparently, he found it all very frustrating. According to the source, he said: "I am the only one who should personalise my number plates because I bought my car with cash!"

This annoys me. To me, knowing that more and more people have succumbed to the charm of personalised number plates, is great. Clearly, this Namibian boxer is proud of his status and wants this to be reflected on his car. Clearly, he thinks private number plates ought to be reserved for the glorious, highly successful folk. Please. I realise that there is much poverty in Namibia and owning a plate shows status, but I think it's a great thing that so many are able to personalise their cars.

I'm not exactly sure how things work in Namibia but I'm pleased that, in the UK, you can buy a plate to show status if you like (it's pretty obvious which plates make the mega bucks) or you can purchase one that doesn't leave such a huge dent in your pocket. Anyone can have a personalised car registration if they like. And so many do.

This boxer guy sounds like he needs a good telling off. I doubt there'd be many who'd volunteer for that task though!

Friday, 24 October 2008

It's Here! Personal Number Plates Mag Arrives!


It's Friday afternoon and, today, I am particularly thrilled to reach the start of the weekend. Wanna know why? Of course you do! Now, what could I be so eager to get home to, I hear you ask. Well, it's because I'll have the new copy of Regtransfers.co.uk: The World Of Personal Number Plates tucked under my arm, of course!

Yes, that's right. For those of you who haven't yet observed, the Autumn 2008 edition of our spectacularly entertaining magazine, is now available. Starring Sir Ian Botham OBE, this edition, I personally believe, is the greatest yet. Here at Regtransfers, we are blessed with a marvellous team that works tirelessly (only stopping for neccessary medications) to produce great magazine after great magazine.

In this edition, feast your eyes on Ian's 'Beefy' number plate, as well as countless other stories, articles, news items from around the world and much, much more! Once again, the magazine's content and continued input from buyers of private registrations, shows just how into number plates people really are.

Order your free Number Plates magazine now, and try not to think of me, sitting at home tonight, scoffing pancakes in front of the fire, my very own, glossy copy on my lap, while you wait for yours to arrive! Don't worry, it'll be with you as soon as possible - we know what the suspense feels like!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

South Africans Enjoy Their Number Plates

Today, I have been reading about South African number plates. It's good to see that drivers in other countries have just as much fun as we do with personalised registrations. I was reading a report by fellow blogger, Gillian McCainsh, editor of La Femme, a South African magazine, and was pleased to see that South Africans not only use personalised number plates to represent names (Gillian spotted CALVIN on a Ford Focus and BONTLE [a surname, I'm guessing] on a black Honda on her way to work), but also to present messages. Wow, that was an exceptionally long sentence. My apologies.

001 MUM appeared on the car of...yep, you guessed it, a mother, while a designer-worshipping type displayed CHICHI. Gillian also came across a car with the registration plate, WOOF. Unable to spot the driver's furry friend on the backseat, Gillian followed the motorist all the way to her place of work - a vet surgery. (I can't help but think that Ms. McCainsh has allowed her interest in number plates to increase to an unhealthy level. Following people around is a little, um, crazy.)

So, South Africans are feeling the joys of private number plates too. It warms my heart, it does really...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Alabama Number Plates Update

Hi everybody! Well, it's Monday again and I'm sure that means the start of yet another week of interesting, and often intriguing number plates gossip from me. Oh blimey, I do have this habit of getting your hopes up, don't I? But then, I'm sure I won't disappoint you all - there's always a fascinating piece of number plates news for me to rabbit on about and I'm sure you'll be nothing less than captivated. (Well, the probability's probably "likely", leaning closely to "very likely".) Right, here goes...

Today, I have a bit of an update for you. The Friday before last, I mentioned a new license plate for Alabama. You know, "Sweet Home Alabama"...Ring any bells? No? If not, I imagine you all have temporary amnesia as I'm sure you would have read my blog. Anyway, for those of you suffering from memory loss, the plate depicts a beach scene with the slogan mentioned above and will be available in January '09... Or will it?

Apparently, although the beach scene was chosen as it indicates to tourists that Alabama has a great stretch of sandy beach (50 miles of the stuff actually!), there has been concern from some Alabama tourism officials who believe that the new number plate tag should also feature the state's mountains. According to some, the beach and the mountains are equally important. Oh dear. Looks like conflict lies ahead.

According to the state's Governor, Bob Riley, a lot of people outside Alabama don't even know that the state has a beach! He said, once 3 million registration plates get into circulation, this will change. Well, surely that all depends on how many Alabama citizens venture outside the state border, Bobby!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Charitable Number Plates

Good afternoon, my fellow number plates fans of all ages! Only a couple of hours to go before my weekend of stiletto heels and a multitude of cocktails commences. (For those of you who aren't aware, and are currently concerned about who you're dealing with here, I am, in fact, female and am allowed to say such things.)

What's the fascinating topic of my discussion today? Well, now and again, I come across news from the American number plates world. Often, a State has introduced a new license plate for some cause or another, and today's news is no exception. In South Carolina, a young boy of 5 has come up with the idea of a licence plate to help raise money for the children's hospital he regularly receives treatment from.

The MUSC Children's Hospital licence plate will be available through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for $50, with $42 from sales of each plate going straight to the Children's Hospital.

It's great to see number plates being used for a good cause. Shame we can't do similar here in the UK. But we'll settle for displaying prestigious, eye-catching, exciting numbers on our cars, for the entertainment of others, won't we! That's sort of charitable, isn't it?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

DVLA Sends Licence to Failed Driver

Tut tut, incompetence just continues to happen everywhere. I read a few minutes ago that a 19 year old barmaid from Upton-On-Severn was sent a full driving licence in the post, but she had failed her practical test a couple of weeks earlier.

So, if she hadn't been so honest and law-abiding, she could simply have jumped into her car and driven off, probably stalling a couple of times, perhaps hitting a wheelie bin or two on her way out of the cul-de-sac, and possibly mowing someone down in her giddy excitement at being presented with a licence she hadn't earned. OK, I admit, a bit exaggerated. She probably could have made it to the shops and back without any problems, but you see what I'm saying - due to the DVLA's error, someone who shouldn't have been driving could have gone out driving and could have caused some damage.

Apparently, the DVLA, once called by the teenager, simply asked for the licence to be returned. No apology, nothing. Oh dear.

And, continuing with the subject of incompetence, I just came across a site about "Super number pates". Special, numbered paste to spread on your pitta bread, or just another example of ineptitude? (I think you'll agree that it was the latter, and was actually referring to number plates!)

Monday, 13 October 2008

Arnie Says 'Yes' To Gold Star License Plates

Afternoon all!

It's another dose of number plates news from The States for you today. Bet you can't wait, can you? You can always rely on the Americans for a bout of the dramatics.

Today, news comes my way of a new license plate which honours families of fallen servicemen and women. The Bill for the new Gold Star plates was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. (How strange does that sound? I still can't get my head round the fact that Arnie is now a real-life politician. I preferred him as Turbo Man in Jingle All The Way myself.) Anyway, the number plates will be paid for through private donations and families who've had a relative killed in active duty in any American war can apply for the Gold Star through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I have to say, I do think it's rather a splendid idea. Other than on your car, where can you really display such a thing? Most people take their cars everywhere these days (particularly the average American, I'm sure) so an honour, displayed on your number plate, sounds good to me.

Friday, 10 October 2008

New License Plates For Alabama

Many of you will be familiar with USA license plates. They differ from state to state, some having slogans, others adopting particular colours, and so on. Well, I've just read that the state of Alabama is soon to release a new option for its car owners. (Well, it will be released in Jan '09, but that's not long away. Sorry to depress you all, but we are rapidly sprinting closer to the festive season. Before we know it, it'll be time to pull those crackers, just to be once again disappointed by their rubbish contents!)

The new number plates will have the rather affectionate "Sweet Home Alabama" slogan on them, which will replace the previous "Stars Fell On Alabama". Hmm, I think I prefer the one that's about to be usurped. Doesn't the stars-themed one have more of a charm to it? "Sweet Home Alabama"? That's the name of a film, for a start. (And not a very good one!)

According to Gov. Bob Riley, the new plates will represent the importance of Alabama's tourist industry. Well, I agree that number plates are a great way of presenting messages, but when did they become pieces of artwork? The new "Sweet Home Alabama" plates will feature a colourful beach scene with a flurry of soft, fluffy-looking clouds and a sunset.

AND, after all that effort, it seems the plates will only be available for a limited time of 5 years, before another design will come in. I say, bring back "Stars Fell On Alabama"!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Record Breaking Number Plates!

I am pleased to announce that, once again, number plates have hit the headlines due to another incredible success! This time, private number plates have broken yet another record, and this time it's due to the release of 'F' prefix registrations.

An incredible £3.42 million was made in ten hours on Tuesday as the demand for the DVLA's launch of the final 'F' registrations was huge. The previous record, set by the earlier released 'E' registrations, were beaten by over £200,000 so it was a happy day for those over at the DVLA.

It's great to see number plates hitting the headlines so much recently. Firstly, there was the sale of 'S 1' on 21st September for a whopping 400k, and this was followed by the successful DVLA auction, which took place the following week. (This saw the sale of '6 B' for £130,000, another excellent sale.)

Let's hope that this string of success continues, as I'm sure it shall!

Monday, 6 October 2008

F Registrations Out Tomorrow!

Hello and welcome everybody to yet another wonderful Monday afternoon here at Numberplates.com. I have returned from my weekend feeling refreshed and eager to commence the week. Although I am always full of joy (it's working with number plates that does it, I'm sure of it!), I feel that my increased joviality is perhaps due to the exciting release of the final 'F' registrations!

Tomorrow, the last 'F' registrations will be released. Demand has been huge for these desirable plates, so there should be some jolly number plates fans out there tomorrow, showing off 'F1 FUN' new number plates!

Those released will feature numbers from 1-20 only, such as F8 GAN, F4 RGO and F10 PSY! I look forward to perhaps catching sight of one on the road.

To search for an 'F' registration, please visit Regtransfers' Future Number Plate Releases page.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Thoughts On USA Number Plates

Hello everybody! It is now Friday afternoon and I will soon be commencing my wild weekend of late nights, bar hopping, and general bad behaviour which is generally reserved for one's weekends. (Hmm, perhaps not. A nice cup of tea, a couple of Hob Knobs and, dare I say it, The X-Factor, are calling to me. Please don't go! I'm just kidding...really, I am!)

Before I go, I thought I'd share some thoughts I have about some recent news that's come my way regarding personalised number plates in America. You might be aware that the rules differ from state to state over there, but I read a report today about 'I Love Animals!' number plates, which are available in the state of Massachusetts. These license plates have been available since 2004 and the money raised has just hit $500,000! That is pretty impressive, I have to say. Though, if I were to have a slogan on my number plate, I doubt I'd choose 'I Love Animals'. Yeah, a cute kitten is great for five minutes, but when it starts scratching and howling at you for no apparent reason, I find I just want to kick it out the door. (Hmm, perhaps the citizens of Massachusetts have the same idea, and this is why there are 725,000 homeless cats and dogs on the streets of the state).

Well, I can't have a slogan anyway. The UK rules regarding private number plates are the same as the ones for standard plates - a standard font must be used, and no decoration can be added. I guess that's what makes finding a great letter/number combination so exciting. It really does stand alone on a UK number plate!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Car Registration Restrictions Continue In Beijing

While the Olympics went on in Beijing, traffic restrictions inevitably had to be adopted as the country's capital (one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China) became jam-packed and roads became congested with excited visitors of the world-wide spectacle. During August's sporting extravaganza, drivers had to take it in turns to gain access to the city, with motorists being denied access into Beijing on certain days, depending on their number plates sequence.

I thought that this would all die down as the Games concluded but I have just come across the news that Beijing is still experiencing problems. Perhaps all the concern over the pollution of the city in the run-up to the Olympics is the reason for the continued traffic restrictions.

In order to cut grid-lock and improve air quality, one of the trial restrictions, which will initially occur for a trial period only (from October 11th of this year to April 10th '09), car owners will be limited to six driving days per week within the city's five ring roads, depending on the last number of their car registrations. There will be some compensation given though - motorists will be exempted from one month's road maintenance fees and vehicle tax. So it's not all bad!

I do think that it makes more sense to introduce a congestion charge though, rather than completely deny access. I know plenty of people who don't bother visiting London due to congestion charges, including myself. (Why visit the London Eye when you can find perfectly decent images of it on the internet? Why visit your relatives in the Capital when you can send them an email from the comfort of your own sofa?) I'm sure the city of Beijing would find this scheme would work well for them too.

If the number plates-themed scheme works well though, citizens of Beijing may find the '6-days-a-week only' access to motorists will be made permanent.

Right, that's all for today. See you all soon!