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NUMBER PLATE FACTS:
The first series of number plates were issued in 1903 and ran until 1932, using the series A 1 to YY 9999. The letter or pair of letters indicated the local authority in whose area the vehicle was registered, for example A - London, B - Lancashire, C - West Riding of Yorkshire. In England and Wales the letter codes were initially allocated in order of population size (by the 1901 census) whilst Scotland and Ireland had their own sequences incorporating the letters S and I respectively, which were allocated alphabetically: IA = Antrim, IB = Armagh, etc. When a licensing authority reached 9999, it was allocated another two letter mark, but there was no pattern to these subsequent allocations as they were allocated on a first come first served basis. There are three interesting anomalies where a zero has been issued - The Lord Provost of Edinburgh has S 0 and his Glasgow counterpart has G 0 while the official car of the Lord Provost of Aberdeen has RG 0. In addition the Lord Mayor of London has the registration LB 0.
The UK's most expensive number plate to date is the F1 registration number purchased by a British businessman for £440,625 in 2008, though that's just small change compared to the £7m spent by Abu Dhabi-based Saeed Khouri on the 1 number plate - officially the largest sum of money ever spent on a registration number.
It should be noted that there are no restrictions on using a vanity or cherished registration on a car that is newer than the original date of the registration plate, but it is prohibited to transfer a registration that is newer than the vehicle it is used on. This is to prevent the transfer of newer registrations to older vehicles as a measure to protect consumers.
Diplomatic Plates 'D' what are they?
Since 1979 cars operated by foreign embassies, high commissions, consular staff, and various international organisations have been given plates with a distinguishing format of three numbers, one letter, three numbers. The letter is D for diplomats or X for accredited non-diplomatic staff. The first group of three numbers identifies the country or organisation to whom the plate has been issued, the second group of three numbers is a serial number, starting at 101 for diplomats (although some embassies were erroneously issued 100), 400 for non-diplomatic staff of international organisations, and 700 for consular staff. Thus, for example, 101 D 101 identifies the first plate allocated to the Afghanistan embassy, 900 X 400 is the first plate allocated to the Commonwealth Secretariat.