When do Number Plates Change in the UK?

When do number plates change in the UK?

Whether you’re a new or experienced driver, everyone who owns a car has a number plate. Number plates are a crucial part of any car, not just to ensure your car is registered with the DVLA, but to give your car its own identity.

Another crucial aspect of standard issue number plates is giving both you and the authorities an indication of just how old a car might be. This is one of the many reasons why the UK number plate system releases new number plates every six months.

And with the new March 2022 number plate, there are a few more changes you’ll need to know about it besides the change in age identification.

When do registration plates change in the UK?

Under the current UK number plate system, UK registration plates change every six months; on the first day of March and September.

Autotrader report, as of March 1st, 2022, all brand-new cars coming off the production line will be fitted with the new March 2022 number plate.

Moneyshake specify the main change coming with the 2022 number plates is their updated age identifier, as well as being marked to show who supplied the plate.

Alongside these changes also come identification markers. Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, all registration plates will instead display the GB symbol, or a flag relating to whichever part of the UK the car was registered in.



How does the process of changing number plates work?

When March and September roll around each year, the first thing to be adjusted on all new plates is the age identifier.

Modern standard issue registration plates are made up of three specific sections. The first two letters identify where the car was first registered. This will change depending on where you buy the car. As for the three letters at the end of the plate, these are randomly generated for each plate and act as a specific code for the car.

But the first two numbers in the first half of the number plate tell us the year of registration. In March, the age identification for all plates will be set at the current year. So, a March 2022 number plate will have a “22” age identification.

This might have you wondering how the March and September 2022 number plates differ if they both use the year as their age identification. To avoid this problem, all September plates use the current year and then add 50 on top of it. This means that a September 2022 number pates will have an age identification of “72”.



What impact will the new 2022 number plates have on the car market?

So, what does the new number plate mean for the car market?

Generally, whenever any new registration plate is introduced, there will be price fluctuations for a few months within the market for both first and second-hand dealerships.

Many manufacturers will often offer discounts for those buying cars with the new 2022 number plates during the first month of sale. While being a nice bonus if you plan to buy a new car at this time, this tends to lead to higher prices later in the year.

However, you might also find that older car models also become cheaper as a result, meaning you might be able to find a much better deal on a car that’s only a year old.

If you’re buying a new car, or a second hand one, then you’ll also need car insurance.

Make sure you’re road-legal and ready for anything, with our 24/7 accident helpline, windscreen cover, and even a courtesy car while yours is with a recommended repairer – find us on most major price comparison sites.


Moneyshake. (2022). What Is The New Car Registration Plate For March 2022?. Available: https://www.moneyshake.com/shaking-news/car-news/what-is-the-new-car-registration-plate-for-march-2022. Last accessed 08/03/22.

Andrew Woodhouse. (2022). UK number plate system explained: 22 plates available now. Available: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/advice/how-does-the-number-plate-system-work?domain=autotrader.co.uk. Last accessed 08/03/22.

Felix Reeves. (2022). Huge number plate changes to come into effect next month as drivers warned of car prices. Available: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1565921/number-plate-changes-driving-laws-car-prices-march-2022. Last accessed 08/03/22.

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