Monday 9 December 2019

Is it time for Northern Ireland to make a change with their number plates?

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It doesn’t matter where you live and drive, number plates are there to make sure that your car can be identified whilst it is on the road. This is true for the mainland UK and it is definitely true for Northern Ireland too. 

Whilst the idea of number plates are the same around the UK, number plates in Northern Ireland look different to how they look in England, Wales and Scotland.  

Northern Ireland Number Plates 

Number plates in Northern Ireland may work the same as number plates in England, Wales and Scotland, but they do look different. They are made up of a letter, which is usually to signify the year that the car was registered, followed by a county or city code. After this, the number plate will feature four numbers. These are to identify the car and ensure that it can be recognised against others out on the road.  

These number plates have been working in Northern Ireland since their introduction at the turn of the century. Whilst it may have been something that people were against in the first place, they are a vital part of owning a car and driving it on the roads across Northern Ireland.  

Time for a change  

The trouble with having this set structure for number plates in Northern Ireland is that they cannot keep up with the sheer volume of cars that are now on the road. Back in 1903 when number plates were first introduced, there were only around 50 cars that were registered in Northern Ireland. If you fast forward that to 2002 then the number had grown to almost 800,000. Seeing as this was 17 years ago, it goes without saying that this number has probably grown and grown since then.  

With this increase of cars, one problem that has arisen is that the DVLA are running out of sequences that can be used on number plates. Without being able to have a unique number plate, then the whole idea of using them to identify cars goes out of the window. 

This issue has led to discussions and it has been decided that things need to change. The change will not be imminent, it will take some time for it to happen, especially since it has been said that the DVLA will still issue the number plates WIG, VIG, XIG and UIG as they currently are.  

Once these number plates have been issued, then the DVLA has decided that they are going to switch around. First, they will have a number, then after that they will have the letters that the location of where the car was registered. This might not seem like a huge change to make, but not only will it open up a wealth of new sequences that can be used for number plates, but it will look different to those on the road too.  

So, be prepared for things to change and if you’re looking shop for a new plate then check these out


**This is a collaborative post in which I received a fee** 

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