Look, I'm an idiot

You tell me. What are personalized numberplates all about? What are they for? I really don't get it.

Once upon a time they were the preserve of celebrities and the local mayor. That I can kind of understand. These are people with a burning need to say 'Look, here I am!' But now they're as unlikely to house a celebrity as is a stretched limo.

I can just about understand the people who spell out their name or initials. But there are two classes of personalized plate I don't get. First there's the people who just spell out anything that can be made with a number plate. ST04TOK, for instance, to say 'STOAT OK!' (You have to look at the 4 at a slight angle.) Why would anyone want to say 'stoat ok'? Is this car driven by a stoat? Who knows.

Even more bizarre are the personalized plates that refer to the type of car - Jaguar XKR owners seem particularly prone to having numberplates with XKR in them. Why? The car doesn't care. It isn't a person. Really. The worst thing with this type of plate is that those who have become short of cash end up displaying their reduced circumstances. I saw a BMW 3 series yesterday with an M3 numberplate. The trouble is, it wasn't an M3, just a bog standard 3 series. And that's just sad.


  1. Some can be very effective - there is a tree surgeon in Berkshire who has a vehicle with the registration LOP 1T which makes people remember (obviously)

  2. Mildly witty, but makes people remember what? To avoid his car because it may have a chain saw sticking out of it? I'm still not convinced!

  3. Investment, if you buy the right one. Also a bit of tongue in check. I have UP51ART on a Kangoo van and its always getting reactions. I bought it from DVLA for £799 using a free search engine ( http://regfinder.net ) and, love it or hate it, you don't have to look far in the dealer ads to know it's worth 20 times that.

  4. Investment is a point (though can you invest in them without putting them on your vehicle? So much more subtle).

    I'm struggling to see what UPSIART means, though...


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