DVLA unveils ’24’ number plate auction amid ban on offending combinations

Rear view of busy traffic, with a group of signs in the background on the M42 motorway in the English Midlands.

Many individuals will be eyeing a personalised number plate to add some personality to their vehicles when the new “24” vehicle number plates go on sale on March 1.

Nonetheless, some people might find that the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) stifles their creativity by banning certain personalised licence plates every year that might be offensive or embarrassing.

The DVLA then puts some of the best “good” 24 registrations up for auction. These are “MY24 BMW,” “LO24 TUS,” “HA24 RRY,” and “AD24 AMS” for the 24 plates. Bids for these and many more items begin at £250 in the DVLA’s online auction, which runs from Wednesday, March 20 to Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

However, some of the prohibited licence plates on this year’s list have been made public by Carwow, an online marketplace for car modifications.

Carwow’s Freedom of Information request to the DVLA yielded a list of prohibited 24 number plates, which includes some unsuitable letter combinations and ones in which the number 4 in 24 looks like the letter “A.”

These are some of this year’s banned number plates:

  • C24 ASH
  • TE24 ROR
  • **24 RSE
  • *D24 UNK
  • SL24 GGS
  • The letter W was banned immediately before **24 NKR
  • **24 NAL
  • *F24 RTS
  • BB24 STD
  • NO24 RUS
  • EU24 WAR
  • FK24 RUS

“Spotting the first of the new number plates is always an exciting novelty each March and September, but having seen the full list of banned 24 number plates, we’re glad the DVLA uses some discretion so that we won’t be seeing these on the road.”

These are the rules you should be aware of around licence plates from the DVLA.

The number plates on your vehicle must:

  • be made from a reflective material
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate)
  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021

The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

Your number plates can also:

  • have 3D (raised) characters
  • display certain flags, symbols and identifiers
  • display a green flash, if you have a zero-emission vehicle

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