New Reg Day - everything you need to know - Select Car Leasing
4.9 out of 5 36,500 reviews

Mon to Fri: | Sat:

New Reg Day - everything you need to know

If you’re a motorist who likes to stay bang on trend, this week’s ‘new reg day’ might be a big deal.

In the UK we enjoy a twice-annual launch of new vehicle registrations.

Back in March of this year, ‘22’ plate cars hit the roads, and we’ll now see drivers behind the wheels of ‘72’ plate vehicles.

Why is it important? Well, for some people having the newest, freshest number plate is an indication that they’re ahead of the curve and piloting the most modern, state-of-the-art vehicle available.

It’s also great for lease customers because it keeps car manufacturers on their toes, giving them the impetus to facelift and improve their models to keep up with new plate demand.

There is, though, a problem.

A new study by used car dealer Motorpoint found that a lot of people were actually ‘unsure how the registration number system works’, and wouldn’t necessarily know the difference between a ‘22’ or ‘72’ car.

If you fall into that category, read on for a full explanation:

Old vs new system

The system of new car registration plates is very different compared with what we had in the past. Prior to 2001, the first letter of the registration plate corresponded to a given year - so, a plate beginning ‘R’ means the car was registered between August 1997 and July 1998, or a ‘X’ plate meant the car was registered between September 2000 and February 2001.

And while we get two new car registrations annually now, up until 1999 we only had one.

Why did things have to change?

The sheer volume of new cars being registered simply meant the old system had become outdated and we needed a new way to get these cars on the road.

And just look at the figures. There were 2.1 million new car registrations in the UK in 1998. In 2019, pre-pandemic, that number had risen to 2.9 million vehicles registered annually.

The current system

What we’ve had since 2001 is a system where you get seven ‘characters’ on your car number plate - a mix of letters and numbers.

The first two letters - is an ‘area code’, which signifies the local registering office.

The following two numbers - this is the ‘age identifier, and the important bit for those seeking the newest possible plate. The ‘age identifier’ for new cars is now ‘72’.

The last three letters - These are essentially random characters that distinguish your car from others registered locally at the time.

What happens when we hit 2030?

Let’s take a closer look at the ‘age identifier’ characters again.

When it comes to the March tranche of new plates, the age identifier characters are simply the year. So, for March 2022, the age identifier characters were just ‘22’. For 2024, the March plates will be ‘24’. Dead easy.

But for the September plate launches, you need to add 50 to the year value. So, September 2024 plates will be ‘74’.

Things will roughly stay the same when we hit 2030. The March ‘30 plates will simply be ‘30’, while the September 2030 plates will be designated ‘80’.

Make sense?

Why we have registration plates

Every vehicle registered is given a registration plate by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The DVLA then keeps a national database of every vehicle on the road.

So, if you get into trouble or wind up breaking the law, the DVLA can quickly track you to your home address.

It also means that motorists who wrong you can be swiftly brought to book.

Remember you can also use the DVLA to check-in on your own car, including finding out when the MOT is due or when your tax runs out.

 Enjoyed this? Read our latest news:

Where To Next?

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to our newsletter.

Looking for a great leasing deal? Check out our incredible range of special offers.

Read our latest reviews and find the right model for you.

Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive leasing guides.

Interested in everything motoring? Why not catch up on all the latest car leasing news.

Useful links

Don't just take our word for it. We're rated at 4.9/5 on independent reviews website Trustpilot from over 36,500 genuine customer reviews
The process from start to finish is so easy and Select have a great selection of cars to offer with great deals on many. Customer service is excellent too, knowledgeable and responsive, especially Sara Potts.
Dan Cefai

Thursday, 16/05/2024