Why do number plates exist?

Number plates were introduced in the United Kingdom in 1904 after the parliament passed the Motor Car Act 1903 on 14 August 1903. However, why was the mandatory stipulation created in the first place? We don’t walk around with number plates hanging around our neck, so why should vehicles be any different?



1. Instant Identification and Ownership Verification


Imagine a world without number plates, where we have to rely on DVLA’s V5C log book to verify ownership details. Imagine how difficult it would be for owners to report stolen vehicles or for police to issue summonses for traffic offence. Even valet parking would be difficult without number plates. Can you imagine how complicated it could get when there are more than one car of similar model and colour parked by the attendant? “Oh, my car has a slight scratch on the left rear window.” Now imagine using that same description when lodging a police report if your car had been stolen. “Great news, sir. We’ve found what we think is your car in Cardiff. Could you please drive up there and confirm whether the scratched window is identical to yours?”


The fact is, without personalised number plates, simple tasks like ownership verification, selling or buying a car, getting or claiming insurance coverage, and many other mundane tasks become almost impossible to complete. It’s not an exaggeration to say that DVLA’s registration marks are the most important cog in Britain’s road transport system.


2. Crime and reporting


As mentioned above, number plates allow easy and quick identification of motor vehicles. Even partial numbers can be useful to law enforcement.


During bank robberies, kidnapping or hit and run, number plates ensure that criminals can be quickly identified and located. Witnesses to a crime can just give the plate number to police instead of painfully trying to describe any memorable features of the vehicle they just saw.


For less serious issues, such as traffic offences, repossession, or reserve parking spaces, number plates enable quicker and more efficient reporting and resolutions.


3. Regulatory Oversight


The presence of private number plates ensures that the government are able to accurately charge vehicles for road tax while monitoring the vehicles roadworthiness on a regular basis.


Privare reg plates also accord vehicle owners with the opportunity to buy unique alphanumeric combinations for self-expression or promotional reasons.