Car Registrations - Understanding Them

Plate-speak imageSome personal plates have a slightly cryptic aspect to the uninitiated. Because of the way British number plates work, and because of the strict rules governing what can and cannot be displayed, it is sometimes necessary to use a bit of ingenuity to get car registrations to convey the messages we want them to.

Anyone who ever did the old classroom trick of writing words with the numbers on a pocket calculator display will understand the principle of using numbers to represent letters. With registration plates it is a little more tricky, as we aren't allowed to turn the plates upside down!

Here are a few ways of looking at numbers that may help you to see some of those 'hidden' messages...

  • The numbers 3 and 8 can represent the letter B
  • The number 3 can represent the letter E
  • The number 8 can represent the letter O
  • The numbers 6 and 9 can represent the letter G
  • The number 11 can represent the letters H, M, N or U
  • The number 2 can represent the letters R or Z
  • The number 12 can represent the letter R
  • The numbers 5 can represent the letter S
  • The numbers 7 can represent the letter T
  • The numbers 3 and 8 can represent the letter B

BMW car with personal registrationThere are other ways of interpreting the characters in car registrations, but these are probably the most widely used. So, you can probably see that the range of words, names and other significant combinations that can be represented is vast.

You have to remember, however, that your licence plates can't be illegally spaced or misrepresented, and doing so could land you in trouble with the police. You'll receive a hefty on-the-spot fine and risk losing the entitlement to your plates altogether. Even moving two digits closer together or further apart constitutes illegal spacing, so be sure to take care not to fall foul of the law and ensure that you buy your car registrations from a reputable supplier.

So, a last word of advice: always make the most of these techniques to get your message across. Don't risk falling foul of the authorities by mis-spacing or altering the characters on your personal plates. Spotting the meaning in car registrations is half the fun!

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