All-new 21 plate: Everything you need to know

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Author: | Updated: 05 Mar 2021 13:50

Given the unprecedented whirlwind of events of 2020, it doesn’t seem that long ago that the 70-plate was hitting the streets. But after a bumpy year for the automotive industry, it’s time to introduce the 21-plate to pent up consumer demand.

Latest 21 registration plate car lease deals

If you are considering ordering a new lease car, it’ll get the shiny new plate from 1 March 21. Here’s everything you need to know.

What does the 21-plate actually mean?

The UK’s number plate issuance system means that since 2001 registrations for new vehicles change twice every year. The first change occurs in March, and the second in September.

So, any vehicle registered on or after 1 March will receive the new 21-plate in place of the outgoing 70-plate. Here’s a handy diagram that helps you decipher number plates.

registrations explained

The current registration system was introduced in 2001, and it can be difficult to understand. You can boil it down to three main components:

1. The two letters at the beginning of every new plate refer to the regional office where it was issued. You can see the full list of these local memory tags here.

2. The two numbers in the middle of the plate tell you when it was issued (full table below).

3. The three letters at the end of a plate are completely random and are there to ensure an almost infinite amount of registrations can be created.

How to tell the age of a car by its number plate

Two sets of numbers are issued every year, which is known as the age identifier. Some are obvious, others are not. A 19-plate for example, refers to a car registered between March and September that year. A 69-plate though, refers to cars issued between September 2019 and February 2020.

Here’s a handy table to identify some recently registered cars, as well as a few future plates to look out for:

Registration Year Digits
2013 13/63
2014 14/64
2015 15/65
2016 16/66
2017 17/67
2019 19/69
2020 20/70
2025 25/75
2035 35/85
2045 45/95
2050 (final year for two-digit plates) 50/00

Using this system will allow the DVLA to issue number plates until at least 2050, with an infinite amount of combinations available for issuance for another three decades. The last number plates to use this system will be issued in 2050, ending with ‘00’.

What about personalised registration plates?

If you were wondering if you can put a personalised plate on a lease car, you can. Provided you have the permission of the leasing company and have exchanged the relevant registration documents (the V750) you’re free to put whatever plate you wish on the vehicle.

If you fancy a brand-new plate for your brand-new lease car, you can buy them directly from the DVLA – including a host of 70 plates that will have been retained for sale at auctions. Depending on the plate in question though, it can be a pricy prospect – some plates regularly top £50,000 at auction.

Ready to find your 21-plate lease car?

For those looking for a new lease car on a 21-plate, you’ll find what you are looking for on You can start your search for that perfect deal here, or check out all of our our in-stock lease deals.

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