Transfer Age Rules Checker

Checking your vehicle age

Check below to see if your chosen registration will suit the intended vehicle.

If you are unsure of the vehicle's age but know the registration mark and model click here to lookup its age.

Checking the Age of your Vehicle

One of the most important rules regarding personalised registrations is that you cannot make a vehicle look newer than it is. The reason for this is to stop fraudsters from mis-selling vehicles to unsuspecting buyers, and in turn promotes the sale of new vehicles when the new age identifiers are released. Because of this it is vital that when you are looking at purchasing a personalised registration you check the age of your vehicle. Most registrations will carry an age identifier, which will let you know how new the vehicle must be for you to be able to assign it. It is permissible to put an older mark on a newer vehicle, and some registrations such as those released before 1963 as well as Northern Irish registrations don't carry age identifiers at all and can be used on suitable vehicles of any age . Our unique tool works by selecting the date your vehicle was first registered from a drop-down menu, then showing you which registrations are suitable by displaying a green tick or a red cross.

*Please note that if your vehicle already bears a non-original registration mark that has been transferred to it since it was first registered, then the tool's result will not relate to your vehicle , but to the age of that mark instead. It is then best to use your V5C vehicle log book (or registration document) to check the true age of your vehicle.

You can find the age of your vehicle by looking on the V5C log book, or if you know the number plate then you can look online here.

Our Vehicle Age Checker is also built into the Purchase Options page of every registration, enabling you to check that the registration is suitable for your vehicle without losing your place.

*subject to the above limitation for non-original registration marks.

Why do UK number plates carry age identifiers?

UK Registrations were first introduced by local licensing authorities in 1903, beginning with what we know today as Dateless-Style registrations. In February 1963 the Suffix-Style registration was introduced because the DVLA were running out of dateless combinations to use, having already issued millions of vehicle registration marks across the country. The Suffix-Style saw the introduction of age-identifiers on number plates - a feature that is still applied to registrations today with the Current Style registrations. Age identifiers made it difficult for people selling their cars to lie about the age of the vehicle, which was an issue; especially before the digitisation of DVLA records. The age identifier also encouraged people to purchase newer vehicles as they were released, there was always a spike in car sales when a new age-identifier was released and seeing a "new reg" was always a conversation point.

To learn more about the different styles of registrations and their age identifiers, you can read our guide to the history of number plates.