What are cherished number plates?

Cherished number plates are number plates with no age identifier. The designation covers number plates issued between 1904 and 1962. They are considered the most exclusive variants of the personalised number plate market.



Origin of Cherished Plates


Since the Motor Car Act 1903 made it mandatory for all motor vehicles in the United Kingdom to display number plates, the government has introduced six number plate formats for vehicles on British roads. Owing to the relatively small number of car registrations in the first half of the 20th century, the government did not include age identifiers into the first three number plate formats, which are:


1. Regional Prefix System (1904 – 1932)


A six character combination consisting of two letters (location identifier) and four random numbers.


2. Three letter regional prefix (1933 – 1950)


A six character combination as well, which consisted of three letters (location identifier) followed by three random numbers.


3. Flipping the three letter regional prefix (1951 – 1962)


Another six letter combination consisting of three random numbers followed by a three-letter location identifier.


The age tags were included in all three subsequent formats: Suffix System, 1963 to 1982; Prefix System, 1983 to 2000; current system, 2001 to 2050, projected. However, while the latter three formats were more practical in terms of management, inventory and trading, they also contained longer characters.


Unwittingly, the introduction of far more robust number plate formats made the earlier ones more valuable!


Why cherished plates are more valuable


Most motorists don’t really pay much attention to their cars’ registration marks. After all, most registration marks appear just as random alphanumeric permutations. However, to a significant few, number plates offer a way to express their individuality. This created the demand, and subsequently, the market for personalised number plates.


The customised plates can be used to display many aspects of the vehicle’s owners’ identity, personality and belief. Permutations can spell out names, important dates and profession, among others. Obviously, they cost more than conventional number plates.


However, as attractive as they are, modern personalised number plates pale in comparison to cherished plates, owing to one simple factor - they are much shorter. In fact, many of the cherished plates contained just two or three characters.


This unique advantage turn cherished plates into status symbols, and consequently, their value are reflected in their prices.


Today, the value of cherished plates rarely goes below five figures, and frequently tops the six figure range.