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What Year is my Car?

The best way to find out what year your car was first registered in the UK is of course to check the vehicle registration document or "log book". However, the vehicle registration plate or number plate can give you a guide as to the vehicle's age.

What year is my car? - Pre 1963

Up until 1963, the vehicle registration system did not have an element to it to tell you the year of registration.

Example JPO 858

What year is my car? - 1963 to 1983

In 1963 a new system was introduced so that the final letter would indicate the year of registration. eg JPO 858 A would refer to 1963, JPO 858 B would be 1964 etc. Initially the registration letters changed on 1st January but due to problems this caused the motor industry, from 1967 changes were made on 1st August each year. Letters I, O and Z were not used.

Example: JPO 858 C - 1965/6

What year is my car? - 1984 - 2001

From 1984, the order of letters and digits was reversed so that the year identifier was at the beginning of the plate

Example: C 858 JPO - 1985/86

What year is my car? 2001 onwards

The present system has two different year identifiers issued in each year - one in March and one in September. 02 representing cars registered between March and September and 52 for cars from September onwards

Example YJ 54 JPO - between Sept 04 and Mar 05