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Dateless registrations were first introduced in 1903, using letters to represent the area of issue, followed by numbers as unique identifiers. They have been labelled 'Dateless' registrations due to the fact that the letter or number combinations do not indicate the year of issue.
There are a number of different formats devised for dateless registrations. The original format, introduced in 1903, works as followed:
While the motor trade boomed, causing a large increase in motor vehicles on the road, the available numbers using the original format began to run out, resulting in a new format being created.
By the 1950s, the format began to run out again and so a reversed sequence was introduced, which only lasted around 10 years! In the 1960s another updated format was brought to fruition in the most popular areas, this introduced 1-4 number registration sequences, along with a two letter area code.
In 1989 dateless registrations began to be auctioned by the DVLA, and raise millions of pounds in revenue each year. Dateless registrations can often be the most expensive to buy due to their exclusivity (e.g. F1), however it does depend on the market and the exclusivity of the plate you desire.
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