If you've ever bought a car, or even used one, it's likely that you'll know what a registration plate is. Its how you find your car in that huge car park and it's how you know which taxi is yours in a line of taxis. But, have you ever wondered what those little numbers mean or what they are for?

Car registration plates have been a mandatory part of vehicles in the UK since 1903. All registration numbers must be entered into the official vehicle register and plates must be displayed on both the front and back of vehicles. Both plates will display the registration number, allocated to that vehicle with front plates being white while the back plates are yellow.

The combination of numbers and letters on each plate and their meaning has changed over the years. The current system in places was introduced in 2001. These plates consist of 2 letters which correspond to the region in which your vehicle was registered, 2 numbers which will correspond to when it was issued and then 3 random letters. This makes registration plates easily identifiable and unique.

What are Personalised Plates?
Personalised or private plates are registration plates that have been specifically purchased by someone to be used on their vehicle. There are websites in place that allow for the purchase of these plates, and there are millions of combinations available.

People tend to buy personal plates for many reasons, some simply want their name on the car, others want to cover how old the car is, and some businesses like to have their company name on their company car.

It is important to note that you cannot just get a personalised number plate and display it immediately. As always with the DVLA, there are rules in place to ensure that everything is up to scratch and registered. Drivers must apply to the DVLA with details about their private number plates. Drivers must have received a Registration Certificate in the form of a V5C before displaying their plates, despite how eager they might be to show them off.

A Look at the Most Expensive Plates Ever Sold
Personalised car registration plates are very high in demand. This can lead to plates being sold for massive amounts. According to the DVLA, the most expensive plate that has been sold was "25 O" which sold for 518,000. Another extremely expensive plate was "F 1" which sold for 440,000. This plate, being the initials for Formula One, was sold to Afzal Khan and used on his McLaren-Mercedes SLR. A third highly priced plate comes in the form of Scotland's first ever number plate " "S 1" which sold for 404,00 to an anonymous bidder.

These plates are not alone in being sold for high prices, there are many that have been sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds. Don't worry though, they are not all this expensive, and we have you covered with advice on what sort of plates to get and where to get them for an affordable price.

What Personalised Plates are Available?
Now that you know about private number plates, you're probably wondering what plates are available. It's not as simple as choosing a word that you can display on your car. There are a few different kinds of personalised car registrations available.

Firstly, there are the common style of plates that include two letters, two numbers and then three letters (SK10 FHY). Secondly there is the prefix style which contains one letter, three numbers and three letters (D534 JKL) and the suffix style which is the prefix style reversed (LKJ 435D). Finally, there are the types of plates that do not have a date at all (1 ZOE). The dateless plates are often the most desired when it comes to private registration plates and so they are often the more expensive.

How Much Do Personalised Plates Cost?
The cost of personalised registration plates entirely depends on what they say. You can find plates online for under 100 so its important to have a look at all your options if you're on a budget. Many websites offer you finance deals for even the lower priced plates. This includes websites like National Numbers and others which offer similar features. For this reason, we think that personal plates are worth the money, as long as you're not spending hundreds of thousands of pounds just to have your initials on your company car.

Where Can You Get Personalised Plates for your Vehicle?
Personalised plates are available from many different places and its often good to have a look around to see what you can get. The DVLA has a system in place which offers plates and a website which allows you to search for the plate that you want. There are also many private websites which provide this service for you, which can be easily found with a google search.

If you're interested in finding a personal registration plate for your vehicle, we recommend that you have a look on https://britishcarregistrations.co.uk/. This website is great because it gives you lots of information on car registration plates and the different types available. They also offer a service where drivers can sell their plates if they don't need them anymore. This is good as it means that if you change your mind in the future, you can get a new plate. Often private registration plates can be quite expensive if you are looking for a particular one that is in high demand. For this reason, British Car Registrations also offer finance deals to help you break up the price that you need to pay.

Our Six Top Tips on Buying a Personalised Plate
Before you go ahead and buy a private car registration take a look at our top tips! We've put together a list of what we believe to be the six most important tips to consider before buying a personalised plate. These are:
-Make sure you check the rules of number plates; some plates are banned and shouldn't be purchased or used
-Set yourself a budget, only spend as much as you can afford
-Make sure the plate has all of the required paperwork
Make sure that you register the plate before you use it
-Have lots of options so that you are not disappointed when you can't get the plate you want
-Make sure to pay any fees that are required " don't get caught up in the excitement of buying new plates

Car registration plates are very important whether you have a personalised one or one that is standard issued. We really think that having personal car registration plates can be very exciting and can add a lot to your car. Whether you are wanting one for personal use or for your company car, it is a good idea to investigate the options available if you are interested.
Overall, we think that if you can afford it, personalised plates are worth the money. So, what are you waiting for? Go customise your vehicle now!