Prefix style registration numbers

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What is a ‘prefix’ style registration number?Prefix style registration marks were introduced back in 1983, when the suffix style registrations came to the end of their issue.

Like suffix style registration numbers, the prefix registrations also contain a letter to indicate the year that the vehicle was registered. The year identifier is the FIRST letter on the registration, hence the phrase prefix registration. Various letter and number combinations could then be re-issued in the following years, with a fresh prefix letter to accommodate the new vehicles. It is worth noting that some prefix letters were not issued namely the letters I,O,Q and Z.

The prefix style registration numbers continued up to 2001, when we all of the prefix letters had been exhausted. This is when the current style registrations were introduced.

The dates of issue for prefix registration marks are as follows:

1st August 1983 to end of July 1984
1st August 1984 to end of July 1985
1st August 1985 to end of July 1986
1st August 1986 to end of July 1987
1st August 1987 to end of July 1988
1st August 1988 to end of July 1989
1st August 1989 to end of July 1990
1st August 1990 to end of July 1991
1st August 1991 to end of July 1992
1st August 1992 to end of July 1993
1st August 1993 to end of July 1994
1st August 1994 to end of July 1995
1st August 1995 to end of July 1996
1st August 1996 to end of July 1997
1st August 1997 to end of July 1998
1st August 1998 to end of February 1999
1st March 1999 to end of August 1999
1st September 1999 to end of February 2000
1st March 2000 to end of August 2000
1st September 2000 to end of February 2001
1st March 2001 to end of August 2001

How much are prefix registration worth?

The value of a prefix registration mark depends entirely on the overall combination of letters and numbers. If the letters make a recognisable name or word then it will have some value. Prefix registrations can range in value from as low as £149 right through to up to £250,000 plus.

The main factors you need to consider when trying to establish how much a prefix style registration is worth are: the popularity of the initials, how many similar ones are on the market at that time, does it spell a name and also the amount of digits the registration contains.

Some prefix registration marks can quite easily resemble names such as J4 SON or D3 REK, personalised registrations such as these will be worth tens of thousands of pounds. The number 4 is the perfect substitute for the letter A and likewise the number 3 is perfect to resemble an E.

See our full list of number plate letter substitutions by clicking here.

There are also many more combinations of registration marks that make 3 letter popular names such as G9 TOM or Y300 ALY, these ones are still very high in demand because they are more affordable and still give you the opportunity to have your name displayed on a number plate.

The value of these prefix style registrations is determined generally by the first half of the registration mark, mainly the amount of numbers and their overall appeal, although the last three letters also have an effect on the overall value as for example there is more demand for the letters SAM than there currently is for REX.

Compare registration marks A4 BEN and R333 BEN, A4 BEN (which has just 1 number after the prefix) would be valued a lot higher than R333 BEN which has 3 digits. The letter A is also more desirable because it is an early prefix letter along with the fact that A4 also relates to an Audi model, again adding to the final value.

Prefix style registration marks that resemble words

If the combination of numbers and letters contained in the registration mark resemble a word then it would also appeal to buyers, how much it would be worth again depends on various factors.

An example would be such as the registration mark T777 MYY which would be a more affordable option for the name TIMMY compared to the ultimate one T1 MYY.

See our search help section for more ideas by clicking here.

If a prefix style registration number doesn’t represent an obvious name or word then it could be a persons initials, again the value will depend on how common the letters are, for instance there are a lot more buyers on the market seeking the initials MJS than there are XYR. With that in mind it would go without saying that the prefix registration plate Y55 MJS would be valued a lot higher than Y55 XYR.

The amount of numbers and also the general appeal of the numbers themselves before the letters also have an effect on the value,  therefore registration mark Y8 LJW would be valued a lot higher than for example P999 LJW.


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