Number plate changes September 2022 - everything you need to know

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Number plate changes
September 2022 changes
Car value
Insurance price

Number plate changes

New cars sold from September 2022 in the UK will come with new number plates.

But what do the numbers and letters on the plates mean, and what exactly is changing this autumn?

Here’s everything you need to know about the licence plate changes.

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September 2022 changes

First, a quick reminder of what the numbers and letters on a plate actually mean:

  • The first two numbers on a licence plate indicate when the car was registered. The numbers, known as ‘age identifiers’, are split into six-month periods, between March-August and September-February. For the former, the number used is simply the year. So a car registered in April 2022 would have the number ‘22’. If it’s the latter, you add 50. So if it’s October 2022, it would be 72.
  • The first two letters on a number plate, known as ‘local memory tags’, indicate where the car was registered. The first letter is assigned to a specific location and the second refers to the postal area within the location. For example, EY would indicate a location within Essex.
  • The other three letters on a number plate are randomly assigned. They ensure all number plates are unique, even if they were registered at the same time in the same location.

The changes to the number plates in September will impact the first numbers on the licence plate, the age identifiers.

Because we’re entering a new six-month period, the numbers will switch from 22 to 72.

The other numbers and letters will be assigned as usual.

Number plates are changing in September 2022
Number plates are changing in September 2022
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Do number plates affect car value?

The value of a car will (generally) drop year-on-year. Newer cars are naturally more expensive, while cars that are a few years old usually become cheaper.

It’s not 100% accurate to say that the number plate itself impacts the price of a car. But because it indicates the car’s age, it’s a handy barometer for value.

In 2020, Richard Evans of WeBuyAnyCar said: “When a car becomes a plate older, this typically depreciates the value of the car, as newer, more desirable plates are released.”

So if you want to grab a bargain for a nearly-new car, getting a car registered one plate back might be a good idea. Similarly, if you want to sell your car for the best value possible, do it before the new plates come out.

Do number plates affect your car insurance premium?

Again, number plates don’t directly impact the premium - but older and newer cars, as indicated by the age identifier, do get different valuations.

Personalised number plates are a different kettle of fish, however. Many insurance policies don’t cover personalised plates because they are so vulnerable to theft, especially if the plates are funny or notable.

You might be able to get it covered in an add-on policy, but many insurers are reluctant to do so due to the increased theft risk.

Updated on 30th August 2022