A Dummies Guide to the New 2016 Registration Plates

posted on Mar 04 2016 by Karen Liggett

A Dummies Guide to the New 2016 Registration Plates

March is always an exciting time for those looking for a new car, and this year is no different. The new ‘16’ plate registrations were officially launched on the 1st March, but what does this mean for you?

The UK registration plate, which was first introduced in January 1904, has undergone three major changes: in 1932, the Fifties and in 1999. The most recent change in 1999 saw the controversial current scheme introduced which brought two plate changes a year.

Currently, registration plates change at the start of March and the start of September each year, with each plate split into three distinct sections: the local memory tag, the age identifier and the random letters at the end which makes each car’s identity unique.


  • Local memory tag

             The first two letters show where the vehicle was registered. The first represents the region and the second a DVLA local office.

  • Age identifier

             The two numbers in the middle show the age of the vehicle down to a six month period - March to August or September to February. The age identifier changes on 1 March and 1 September. The table below shows how the age identifier changes over the life of the current format plate.

  • Random letters

             The last three letters are random and give the car a unique identity.


You can easily work out how old a vehicle is once you understand the way the 'age identifier' changes over time

Car registration identifyer

In 2015 we saw plates from March onwards marked as 15, while the new plates from last September were marked 65. This year will see the introduction of 16 and 66, while next year the plates will change to 17 and 67 respectively, and so on until 2050.

This not only means you can currently get the newest cars on the market; you can also get some really great deals on last year’s stock. Dealerships are keen to clear any old vehicles from their forecourts to make space for new, resulting in some fantastic deals. Get in touch for more information on what deals LeaseYour NextCar.com can get for you!