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The 72 plate is the reg for cars registered after the 1st of September 2022. Other cars registered this year before September will have had the 22 plate instead. The September plates are based on the last two figures of the year, plus fifty.

When cars with the new ’72 plates start arriving in showrooms in September, some older models become less desirable to buyers – and prices are likely to fall.

What do the other letters and numbers on 72 reg plates mean?

All cars purchased since 2001 follow a specific format:

Two numbers represent when the car was registered

  • Two letters represent the region where the car was registered (one for the general area, the second for the specific office)
  • Three random letters

Interestingly, regional identifiers don’t use I, Q, and Z. Indeed, Z will only ever appear on a UK car reg if it is one of the three random letters at the end.

What are the 72 plate rules?

Both the back and front of a vehicle need to show reg plates. Some other key rules include:

White plates on the front, yellow on the back (unless the car was registered before 1973)

  • Numbers and letters must be exactly 79 millimetres tall
  • There must be a space between the numbers that mark the year and the three random letters
  • All registration plates must be in a specific font which has been in use since 2001 – called the Charles Wright font.
  • For car owners, you cannot change or purposefully obscure your reg. You can be fined up to £1,000 for doing so.
  • British cars driven abroad must have nationality identifiers on their plates – namely, the Union flag and, previously, ‘GB’ – but from September last year, ‘UK’.

Looking to sell your car?

If you’re thinking about selling your car quickly and easily before the new 72 plates come out, Motorway offers sellers a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling their cars, whatever the model. 

Just enter your car’s reg on Motorway’s website and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. They’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can usually be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

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