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Glenn McCleod and perfect Cadillac plates

That's about the size of it

When Glenn McCleod bought his first personalised car registration it was for a very practical, if unusual reason. Glenn ran a limousine business, specialising in American Cadillac automobiles, and he soon found that the number plates on Cadillac limos were too small to accommodate the regulation characters that the law demands should appear on UK registrations.

“American number plates are 12” x 6”, so I had motorcycle sized digits put on the plates so that I could utilise the existing mounting, simply because mounting them elsewhere and have an empty space looked a little odd. Unfortunately, there was a local beat policeman who was rather too officious and insisted that I have the plates altered.
“I studied the regulations and realised that, although there were specific size and spacing requirements, there was no requirement on the size of the plate itself, even though they were usually made in two different sizes, depending on whether oblong or square plates were needed.”

Glenn worked out that the size of plate that would fit onto the number plate mounting of a Cadillac would take the legally required UK characters – so long as the registration contained five characters or fewer, and that one or more of those characters in a five-character registration was a figure 1.

His quest for an appropriate number led him to one of press advertisements, where Glenn set about scouring the list for a registration which would meet his two requirements: it must fit into the limited space on the Cadillac plate, and it must be relevant to his car and business.
“Lo and behold, amongst all the numbers in your advert was 1 CAD. As it was unlikely that I would ever see a more relevant number, and as I had received a sudden and unexpected windfall, I decided to bite the bullet and buy it.”

The personalised number plates bug had bitten, and Glenn eventually acquired two more private numbers,1112 D and 1480 D, which would also fit the American sized plates, but at that point enforcement of the issue that had prompted his search became less rigorous.
“The ruling was unofficially relaxed because of thousands of Japanese cars that had turned up with U.S. size number plate mountings.”

Glenn sold the third number at considerable profit, but he decided to keep the other two, partly because of an unexpected side-effect: Because of the type of car and configuration of number plate, several traffic wardens assumed that the car was diplomatic, and so they didn’t issue tickets! Sadly, this doesn’t happen now because wardens are required to slap tickets on everything.”

Who Buys Private Plates?

Unlike many businesses we always struggle to define a “typical” customer. The people who buy their number plates from us come from all walks of life. The prices they pay range from £50 to £400,000 or more. The registrations they choose may be names, initials, words or something else.

With such a broad spectrum of clients, we find that the only generalisation we can make is they they tend to be car enthusiasts. Whether they are young people buying numbers to personalise their first cars, businessmen seeking badges of success to to display on their Mercedes or celebrities seeking to maximise publicity, their cars seem to be of particular importance to all of them.

We find that fans of motor sports make up quite a large group amongst our customers. For example, rally driving enthusiasts and followers of Formula 1 motor racing do seem to love private registrations.

As they say, it takes all sorts, and we see most of them!

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The role of DVLA

Car registrations and number plates, including personalised number plates, in the UK, are the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, usually known as the DVLA. It issues new registrations twice a year and also maintains the central database that records details of all vehicles licensed to drive on UK roads, along with their keeper and registration information.

Regtransfers works closely with DVLA to complete registration transfers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Regtransfers is a DVLA-registered supplier of personal car registrations and number plates and is listed on the DVLA Registrations website. All number plates supplied by Regtransfers comply with DVLA's prescribed standards and regulations.

DVLA administers all UK registration transfers and issues updated registration documents when the registration number of a car is changed, or when a registration is removed from a vehicle and placed on a retention document in accordance with the DVLA Retention Scheme.

DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Regtransfers is not affiliated with the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations. Regtransfers is a recognised reseller of unissued Government stock.

Number plate regulations

When a car is on the road, it is an offence to display number plates bearing any number other than the vehicle's officially recorded registration number. If you purchase a private registration, learn how to transfer private plates before displaying the new number.

All registration number plates displayed on UK vehicles must comply with the official number plate regulations. DVLA oversees enforcement of number plates display regulations and maintains a register of approved manufacturers and retailers of vehicle number plates.

Regtransfers is not part of, and is not formally affiliated with DVLA.

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