by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Guest Post: Stand out from the crowd with Irish number plates

We're not talking number plates from the Republic of Ireland here, but did you know that you can use Northern Irish number plates on any UK registered car? And that the format is different from the one used in the rest of the UK?

Cherished number plates are becoming more and more popular as a way to make your vehicle different from all the others. Of course there are all kinds of accessories and added extras you can get to make your car different, but they are usually mass produced and you may well find someone else with the same hub caps, lights, internal accessories, even fluffy dice if that's your thing! What you won't find someone with is the same number plate. And to make your car really stand out, why not consider Irish number plates?

The number plate system in Northern Ireland is different from the one in the rest of the UK. Whereas in England, Scotland and Wales the plates have had a date identifier since the mid 1960s, in Northern Ireland that isn't the case. Northern Irish registration plates start with three letters, always including a Z or an I. These vary according to which of the eight regions the plate is first registered in. The letters are then followed by 1-4 numbers. For example, BAZ 1234 would be a valid Northern Irish number plate, and so would DIG 1.

If you have a Northern Irish registration plate transferred to your vehicle you can be sure that it will look very different from the majority of other number plates around the UK mainland. This is a great advantage for you if you own a business and want the vehicles to stand out from the jam of vehicles on the roads. Or even for an individual wanting their car to look unique they can be a great investment.

So why is a Northern Irish number plate better than a special British number plate?
• No Northern Irish registration plates have age identifiers so you can put any plate on any age car as long as it is registered to the vehicle.
• They are often much cheaper than the cherished plates from the UK mainland, especially the pre 1965 ones with no date identifiers.
• They have a different format to most mainland UK registration numbers, so you can be even more different than if you have a personalised number plate from DVLA.
• The DVA in Northern Ireland offer regular auctions of plates which are available, particularly those which spell names or words. This can be a good way to get a bargain if you buy at the right time.

Contrary to what you might think, it isn't difficult to get an Irish plate transferred to your vehicle. If you can buy the vehicle in Northern Ireland or you have a Northern Irish registered car it makes things easier, as plates have to be registered to a Northern Irish car first. You can then pay a transfer fee to transfer it to your car. Otherwise the company selling the plate should be able to explain their arrangements for transferring the registration to your vehicle.

So if you've been considering getting personalised number plates to spell your name, your business name, or for some other reason, then it's certainly worth considering Northern Irish number plates as an alternative.

Platinum Plates supply private number plates to both the trade and general public at discounted prices. CNDA & MIRAD members for your security. They can offer Irish Number Plates at competitive prices.

Author: Cathy Clark

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Louis said...

Thisis very interesting and also very appealing to those who want to spell out things in their plates.

Déaglán, Belfast, UK said...

The blue European badge on the left hand side of the plate showing the letters "IRL" is illegal.

The plate comes from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) and the only offically acceptable international plate in Northern Ireland is "GB".

Any plates with "NI" or "IRL" (which is for the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland or the island of Ireland) are illegal.

As in every other part of the country, Northern Ireland drivers can choose to put a GB Euro badge on their vehicle's number plate but this is not compulsory.

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