A Comparison Of Car Registration Number System In Europe

A Comparison Of Car Registration Number System In Europe



Although there are many new harmonisation laws across the​ European Union , each country still has its own unique way of​ identifying the​ vehicles registered in​ each country. the​ only common element is​ the​ blue border on the​ left edge of​ the​ number plate with the​ EU flag and​ country of​ origin and​ even this is​ optional in​ many member country. This article compares some of​ the​ member countries display of​ car registrations.

Beginning with England, number plates have black digits on white background ( front ) and​ yellow background ( rear ) with EU border optional number plates generally stay with the​ car during its lifetime.The numbering system has 7 digits with age and​ area identifiers. the​ first two digits are alpha characters and​ depict the​ area the​ car was first registered the​ next two are numbers giving the​ year of​ registration and​ the​ last three letters are random. France is​ adopting a​ new system in​ 2018 of​ 7 digits comprising two letters three numbers and​ two letters all purely random any area identify will be by a​ logo on the​ blue strip at​ the​ right hand side of​ the​ plate.

The number plates will remain with the​ car during its life. France’s current system comprises 3 or​ 4 numbers then two letters the​ two numbers , the​ last two numbers are the​ area identifier and​ if​ a​ car moves areas it​ is​ re-registered. Similar to​ England the​ digits are black on a​ white background for​ the​ front plate and​ black on yellow for​ the​ rear.Spain adopted a​ new system in​ 2000 which comprises 4 numbers the​ 3 letters, black digits on white backgrounds front and​ rear, although the​ last 3 letters can give an​ indication of​ where and​ when the​ car was first registered it​ is​ not as​ blatant as​ the​ old system where the​ first two letters of​ the​ registration number indicated the​ capital city of​ the​ region concerned e.g M for​ Madrid and​ MA for​ Malaga.

The blue EU border at​ the​ left hand side is​ compulsory on new number plates but was optional on the​ old system.Germany adopted its current system after re-unification in​ 1990 with a​ maximum of​ 8 black digits on a​ white background. Much emphasis is​ placed on the​ area coding and​ if​ the​ owner changes his/her area of​ residence new plates must be bought. the​ registration will start with letters identifying the​ city and​ even district with numbers following. the​ exact combination of​ letters and​ numbers depends on how big the​ city/district is​ and​ how many cars are likely to​ be registered there.

Curiously a​ space is​ considered to​ be a​ character so any a​ gap between digits would have a​ hyphen in​ it​ if​ it​ was not a​ space character. in​ between the​ area code and​ the​ rest of​ the​ digits there is​ a​ sticker signifying compliance with emmissions and​ safety testing.

The EU blue strip at​ the​ left is​ mandatory with the​ letter D for​ Deutschland. Italy adopted its current system in​ 1994 comprising 7 digits starting with two letters then 3 numbers then two letters. They discontinued the​ area identifier with this system but this proved unpopular so since there is​ option of​ having a​ regional code on the​ right hand side blue band which also displays the​ year of​ registration they also added the​ blue EU band at​ the​ LHS at​ this time. Both front and​ rear plates are white with black digits.

Belgian car number plates differ enormously from the​ previous countries in​ that they are specific to​ the​ driver not the​ car and​ when you change the​ car you keep your registration number. the​ rear plate is​ government supplied with red digits on a​ white background. it​ is​ usually mounted on a​ further plate which has the​ EU blue band at​ the​ right hand side. the​ front plate can either be the​ same as​ the​ rear or​ can be a​ European style similar to​ the​ previous countries covered earlier. Current numbering system is​ three letters followed by three numbers although because they are driver specific there are many still in​ use with one letter and​ four numbers or​ 2 letters and​ 3 numbers.Obviously area and​ age identifiers are not used as​ the​ registration number is​ specific to​ the​ driver not the​ car.

Dutch number plates have followed the​ format of​ two numbers two letter two letters with hyphens between since 1999 , earlier systems were similar but varied the​ interchanged pairs of​ letters for​ numbers and​ vice-versa.Both plates are yellow with black digits and​ have the​ blue EU band at​ the​ right hand side. Apart from special plates such as​ dealer and​ export plates the​ numbers and​ letters have no significance. Danish number plates normally have two letters followed by 5 numbers, displayed by black digits on white background since 1969 there is​ no area or​ age identifier although the​ number part signifies whether the​ vehicle is​ a​ car or​ bike etc. the​ blue EU band at​ the​ left border is​ not due to​ be implemented in​ 2018.

It is​ interesting to​ note that the​ United Kingdom is​ the​ only country amongst the​ above to​ use plastic car number plate , nearly all others use pressed metal plates.




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