New Number Plates for March 2023

By: Trinity Francis

Number plates can feel like a random mixture of letters and numbers but there is a method to the madness and from March registration plates are changing. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming new plates. 

Every year two new car registrations are released in March and September. These come with new numbers to denote the vehicle’s age. From 1st March 2023, new plates will include ‘23’ to show it’s a brand new car and from September this will change to ‘73’. 

The first two letters of a number plate show what region the vehicle was registered in. For example, registrations with RA-RY are from the Reading area and plates with NA-NY are from the North. The following two numbers are the age identifiers, so this is where 23 will go from March. Finally, the last three letters are randomly generated. 

To avoid releasing registration plates that could look like offensive words or phrases, the DVLA meets before new plates are available to ban any that could be problematic. Last year banned plates included BU22 GER, CO22 RNA and A22 HLE. Registrations that make it through and are then seen as an issue at a later date can be retroactively disallowed. 

For vehicles with approved registrations the change of plates signifies a brand new car. At this time of year dealers are looking to get as many new 23 plate cars on the road as possible so there’s often good deals to be had. The same goes for 72 plate vehicles from last year, to make room for new cars on the forecourt last year’s stock can be discounted. If you’re considering upgrading your car, now could be a good opportunity to buy, lease or finance a new car. 

A new registration plate also comes with a choice of what goes in the strip on the left hand side. Before the UK left the EU, the blue flag with a ring of gold stars was required. Now that symbol is no longer necessary and instead there’s a choice of English, Scottish, Welsh or Union Jack flags. 

Electric cars get the same choice of flags but a green strip comes as standard, unless specified otherwise. The green is designed to raise awareness about electric cars and highlight their zero emissions credentials. The idea is to encourage drivers to notice electric cars on the road and consider making the switch to an EV.


Related Reading: 

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