Figuring out what year is A reg can be quite confusing, especially if you have no experience with car registration systems.
Luckily, we can help you out.
In this article, we’ll guide you through each number plate system’s registration year, so you can find out exactly how old a vehicle’s registration is.
Let’s dive in.
With the current car registration system working out a registration year for a vehicle is relatively simple once you understand the way the age indicator changes over time.
This system was introduced in 2001 in the format AB12 ABC, and it includes
Each year in the UK there are issued two sets of plates – first in March and then in September. If a vehicle was registered between March and August of a given year, the age indicator on the vehicle’s number plate will represent the same number as that particular year. For instance, if the car was registered in the first part of 2019, the age indicator on the number plate will be 18.
For vehicles that are registered between September and February, it’s a bit different – here, the age indicator will always be 50 plus the year number. Therefore, if the car has a 68 reg, the year of the registration will be 68 minus 50 or 2018.
Here is the current system’s car registration years chart for UK vehicles:
|Car reg year||From 1st March to 31 August||From 1st September to 28 February|
The old car registration systems were a bit more complicated because instead of numbers they used a single letter as an age identifier. So, to work out the age of a car, you would have to know which letter was used for each year – and some letters were skipped because of their similarity to other letters and numbers.
At first, the so-called suffix system was used where registration plates were in the format of ABC 123A, with the last letter representing the year of registration. This system ran from 1963 to 1982 and once all the letters were used, the prefix system was introduced.
Therefore, from 1983 to 2001, number plates were in a A123 ABC format, where the first letter was the age identifier, showing the year of registration.
Take a look at this car registration years chart that is showing the suffix and prefix systems.
|Car reg year||Prefix letter||Car reg year||Suffix letter|
|August 1983 – July 1984||A||1963||A|
|August 1984 – July 1985||B||1964||B|
|August 1985 – July 1986||C||1965||C|
|August 1986 – July 1987||D||1966||D|
|August 1987 – July 1988||E||January 1967 – July 1967||E|
|August 1988 – July 1989||F||August 1967 – July 1968||F|
|August 1989 – July 1990||G||August 1968 – July 1969||G|
|August 1990 – July 1991||H||August 1969 – July 1970||H|
|August 1991 – July 1992||J||August 1970 – July 1971||J|
|August 1992 – July 1993||K||August 1971 – July 1972||K|
|August 1993 – July 1994||L||August 1972 – July 1973||L|
|August 1994 – July 1995||M||August 1973 – July 1974||M|
|August 1995 – July 1996||N||August 1974 – July 1975||N|
|August 1996 – July 1997||P||August 1975 – July 1976||P|
|August 1997 – July 1998||R||August 1976 – July 1977||R|
|August 1998 – July 1999||S||August 1977 – July 1978||S|
|March 1999 – August 1999||T||August 1978 – July 1979||T|
|September 1999 – February 2000||V||August 1979 – July 1980||V|
|March 2000 – August 2000||W||August 1980 – July 1981||W|
|September 2000 – February 2001||X||August 1981 – July 1982||X|
|March 2001 – August 2001||Y||August 1982 – July 1983||Y|
Nowadays, many drivers use private or also known as personalized number plates as a way of expressing themselves in a unique way. On a private number plate, the generic combination of letters and numbers is replaced by one that has a personal meaning to the driver, which allows them to separate their vehicles from others.
Purchasing private number plates in the Uk is completely legal, but before you go and buy one, you first need to check your vehicle’s eligibility.
Your vehicle is eligible for a private number plate if:
One thing you should keep in mind when registering a private number plate is that you can’t put a new plate on an old vehicle.
If your vehicle is eligible, you can apply online to assign a private registration.
To do that, you’ll need:
Further reading: How to apply for a new log book in the UK?
If your application is successful, you’ll get a new V5C in approximately 4-6 weeks. Note that once your private number plate is registered, you must put the new plate on the vehicle and inform your insurance company of your new registration number.
Drivers in the Uk can also choose to display a national flag alongside the car age identifier on their number plates.
Currently, the following national flags can be displayed on number plates:
Apart from a national flag, UK drivers can add one of the official country identifiers to their number plates which include:
After Brexit, UK drivers can drive legally in Europe if they have the EU flag marked with GB on their number plates.
Drivers that don’t have the EU flag with the GB marker on their plates will have to display the conventional oval GB sticker to be legal on European roads.
To summarise, there are three different car registration systems: the current system, the prefix system and the suffix system, and each of them have a unique age indicator.
The prefix and the suffix systems were using a letter as an age identifier, which made figuring out how old a registration plate is much more complicated. The current system is pretty straightforward, as it uses two numbers to indicate the year of the first registration.
A 07 reg indicates that the car was registered between March and August 2007.
According to the DVLA’s rules, you can’t put a number plate on your vehicle to make it appear newer than it is.
An R prefix letter on a number plate indicates that the vehicle was first registered in the period between August 1997 and July 1998.
An X reg means that the car was first registered between September 2000 and February 2001.
Depending on the format of the number plate, you can find out how old the registration plate is in one of the charts in the article above.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.