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A Guide To Irish Number Plates

Aug 28, 2008
Over the last few years, personalised number plates have become extremely popular. Once the indulgence of the mega wealthy, private plates are now an affordable and stylish way for motorists of all incomes to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Irish number plates are increasingly popular as they can provide an extremely cost effective and flexible personal number plate option. Prices start from as little as under 100, making them some of the cheapest number plates around.

As well as being well priced, Irish number plates have an added advantage - they are all considered dateless (no age identifier) and can be assigned to any car, whatever its age.

Irish number plates differ in format from DVLA plates in a couple of crucial ways. Because of their format, Irish plates allow you to have 2 or 3 letters followed by up to 4 digits. The letters can include I and Z, unlike DVLA plates. This greater flexibility offers a greater range of interesting word and spelling options.

There has been some very interesting releases of Irish registration marks, including GIL, BIL, DIG, BIG, JIL, FIL, MIL - with each combination followed by the numbers 1 - 9999. Letter combinations that make a name, such as KAZ or GIL can prove to be a little expensive, but others, such as TIL and UEZ are very cheap. Other examples of Irish registration numbers are DIG 3694, ANZ 348, and LIB 25. Irish 'cherished' numbers are known as 'dateless plates meaning that they don't have an age identifier. They can easily be transferred onto roadworthy vehicles in the UK

Irish number plates used to be significantly cheaper than UK DVLA plates although in recent years this has changed with the massive surge in popularity of all personalised car registrations. Recent high profile purchases of Irish Number plates include Irish businessman Sean McCrory, who not only spent over 100,000 for the registration BIG 1, but at the same Belfast auction bought BIG 2 for 15,000 and BIG 3 for 14,500 respectively. The previous record price for a Northern Ireland number plate until then had been 50,000 paid for WIL 1.

Perhaps the most famous purchase of an Irish Number plate was the 285,000 paid by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for the Irish plate VIP 1. Issued by the DVLNI in 1979 for the visit of Pope John Paul II and used on his "Popemobile" for the duration of his visit, the classic plate was sold after the tour, exchanging hands a couple of times before being picked up by Abramovich in 2006.

The DVA divides up Ireland into administering regions. Only when a series has been exhausted does the administering region move on to the next series. For example, one region had worked through the registration series SLZ 1 up to SLZ 9999 and has since moved on to the next series, which is TLZ 1 to TLZ 9999.

If you live in Northern Ireland and wish to purchase a UK registration number (administered by the DVLA), which is held on certificate, you must bear in mind that it cannot be assigned directly to a vehicle registered in Northern Ireland. The registration number must first be assigned to a vehicle registered with the DVLA. It can then be transferred onto the vehicle in Northern Ireland via the DVA. Unfortunately for the purchaser, this involves two lots of transfer fees. However, buying a UK DVLA number plate that is already on a car means it can be transferred directly onto a vehicle in Northern Ireland.

DVLA number plates can be transferred off a vehicle and held on what is known as a retention certificate. The registration can be held indefinitely on certificate and assigned to a vehicle at a later date. The DVA, however, does not currently provide a retention facility. In order for an Irish number to be held on retention it must be transferred onto a DVLA registered vehicle (80) and then onto a retention certificate (105). The number plate is therefore deemed a DVLA registration. In order to be assigned to an Irish vehicle again it must go through the same process of two transfers.
About the Author
Jayne Henry of Speedy Registrations Ltd - speedyreg.co.uk. Speedy Registrations have been supplying number plates to the public since 1984. Based in Northern Ireland we also specialise in Irish number plates. Every transfer is conducted in strict accordance with DVLA regulations covering number plates.
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