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How does the UK's vehicle number plate system work?

How does the UK's vehicle number plate system work? Here's a brief explanation...

Since 2001, a standard British number plate has seven characters. The first letter is a general area code. So cars registered in London carry plates starting with "L", and cars registered in Birmingham start with "B", and so on.

The second letter refers to the local DVLA office.

The next two numbers tell you which 6-month period the car was first registered in. The age identifier on new registrations changes twice a year in March and September. So cars with a "15" plate will have been registered between March 2015 and September 2015. Cars registered between October 2015 and February the following year are assigned a 15 + 50 tag - i.e. 65.

The final three letters are totally random.

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