UK Number Plates Explained - Order Your 2020 Reg Plate Now

Added: 28 February 2020

March 1st 2020 and New Numberplates Explained

It’s March again, which means only one thing in the Automotive Industry - the next batch of car registration plates! This year is already proving an extremely popular one – the ‘20 reg plate series.


How do Reg plates work?

If you aren’t familiar with the format of UK number plates, you may not know that car registrations for new vehicles change twice a year, every 6 months. The first two letters on the number plate are the location that the car was registered, followed by the two digits which correspond to the year and release date. The first release in March is ‘20, the second release in September contains the year plus fifty – ie.20+70 = ‘70

The last three letters are generated randomly and are to connect the car to an individual –together with the place of registration, year and personal identifier this 7 digit registration number creates a unique code which is owned by you and can be used to share your vehicle information with insurance companies, local authorities and parking companies.  

DID YOU KNOW: Numberplates don’t have an O, only a Zero – that way it avoids confusion!  


Where was your vehicle first registered?

Curious to know where your car was first registered, or just fancy a nosey on which Local Memory Tags represent which city?

View the full list here.

View full information from the government website here.


How to read registration prefixes

Now that you know how to read registration prefixes and know what they mean, we can decipher the number plate in the image above (MY20 REG) to be for a car:

(a) Registered in Manchester / Merseyside (MY)

(b) Registered between 1st March 2020 – 31st August 2020 (20)

(b) Belonging to the keeper with the Unique Identifier 'REG'


September ‘70 number plate format

Things can get a little confusing when the second cycle of reg plates is released in September as we’d still be in the year 2020 but the Age Identifier would read 70 instead of 20. This +fifty rule has been in place since 2000, see the table below for an easy reference guide.

YEAR OF REGISTRATION March Prefix Sept Prefix
2010/11 10 60
2011/12 11 61
2012/13 12 62
2013/14 13 63
2014/15 14 64
2015/16 15 65
2016/17 16 66
2017/18 17 67
2018/19 18 68
2019/20 19 69
2020/21 20 70
2021/22 21 71


What about private number plates?

Private registration plates can differ depending on the amount of customisation. It’s usually cheaper to opt for a private plate that sticks to the 7-digit format and you can often find ones that are perfect for you without breaking the bank. Personalised numberplates do not have to conform to the year dating system HOWEVER personalised number plates cannot be used on vehicles older than what the Age Identifier displays. 

So, for instance V12 DAD is fine, but V21 DAD would not be allowed unless the car was registered after March 2021. 


Can I order the 2020 reg plate?

Yes! You can now order and reserve your new car with a 2020 reg plate at your local Rates Ford dealership. With such a fantastic range of New Ford Cars you are sure to find the perfect car to go with your new registration!

Why not browse our latest offers and let us know which car you want to order? We can then reserve it with a brand-new 2020 reg plate ready for a speedy delivery!