New 2024 Plates Explained

The understanding of number plate assignment is simple once you understand what you are looking for. We’re sure that if you’ve ever got your own car, someone would have asked ‘what plate is it?’ Well, for those who are unsure, we will break down what that means, and how you can identify your number plate.

In this blog, we will explain new 2024 number plates.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, and regular / Electric Vehicle Plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a Private Plate, Gel Plate, Standard Registration Plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

How to understand UK number plates.

Gel Plates vs Acrylic plates

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UK number plates may seem like random gibberish if you aren’t paying attention. They may sometimes spell a word by accident, or purposely. For the latter, they are known as private plates, in which there is more freedom to actually choose the characters of the plate.

For standard UK number plates, they have a method of assignment that makes them identifiable. UK number plates can be simple to read once you understand the format. The format is as follows…

  • The first two letters of a number plate tell the reader where the vehicle was first registered. In the UK, one region can have many regional identifiers. For example, a vehicle registered in London can have the following regional identifiers ‘LU, LV, LW, LX, LY.
  • The following two numbers identify the year in which the vehicle was assigned its plate. For example, a car that has a plate assigned from London in 2020, could have the following first four characters ‘LW20’.
  • The final three letters of a UK number plate are picked completely at random. This saves cars that are registered in the same place, and get their plate in the same year, from being completely the same.

New 2024 plates explained

New 2024 plates explained

New vehicles that are registered between the 1st of March and the 1st of September will be assigned a ‘24 plate’ This means that the default characters on the plate will include the number 24, connoting the year and period of registration.

New vehicles that are registered beyond the 1st of September will have the number ‘74’ instead. This follows the pattern of plates after the aforementioned date, adding 50 from the previous iteration.

Alternatively, you can buy legal number plates directly from GOV.UK for future application. By doing so, you will also buy what is known as a retention certificate.

Why do plates change the year number during the year?

It may seem to make more sense to keep the year identifier for a whole year on each new registered vehicle, however, there are some plausible reasons as to why this is done. They are…

  • It helps to identify the age of the vehicle more accurately. It helps to simplify the search process if you instantly know which period of the year the vehicle was registered in.
  • This ease in identification works to help law enforcement or other legal entities identify a newer or older vehicle, which can be relevant in many situations, especially relating to crime.

Once you understand the pattern the plate follows, it makes it easier to identify when a vehicle was registered. Let’s take this year for example. Vehicles with ‘24’ on their plate are newly released vehicles that have been registered between the 1st of March and 1st of September 2024.

After September the 1st 2024, any vehicles registered between then and the 28th/29th of February 2025 will have ‘74’ on their plate instead. Which is obtained by adding the number 50 onto the current year, resulting in 74.

Do number plate laws update every year?

In most cases, no. Number plate laws are known to be updated or changed every few years, but this can generally be in response to certain situations. Such as the advent of electric vehicles on the road, this resulted in the stipulation for all-electric vehicles to have a green marking on the side of their plate.

Do I have to have a number plate with 24 or 74?

Any vehicle registered with always have a number plate assigned to them, in which certain numbers reflect the year and period it was registered. However, you can buy a private plate that is compliant with the law and does not have the standardised year grouping within it.

Private plates come at an additional cost, which can vary between hundreds and multiple thousands of pounds. This is subject to the private plate you are after. You can purchase them through DVLA auctions, or from a private seller.

Plates from a DVLA auction contain those that have been relinquished from their original  ownership, as well as other combinations. Private sellers may have a more limited stock of private plates they own, but may often have a set price, rather than leaving it up to an auction.

Aside from plate customisation, Bespoke Plates is also a legal seller of private plates we have in our possession. Click here to see our range.

Can you customise a private plate?

Yes, within reason. Private plates are entirely legal, but although they are different, they follow the same laws regarding customisation of any other number plate. Additionally, you would need to provide proof of ownership of your private plate before it can be customised.

Upgrading your private plate via Bespoke Plates is the best way to obtain a high-quality custom private plate, whilst being within the remit of plating laws.

How do I customise my number plate?

How Bespoke Plates Can Help You

Bespoke Plates makes the hassle of getting yourself a brand-new number plate easy and efficient. This is regardless of whether you’re after a standard replacement number plate, or a gel plate. Here is the process.

By following these steps, you will also have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Upgrade your number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have explained new 2024 number plates.

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

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