AUTO PUNDITZ
  • Team Auto Punditz

Number Plates of around the World … What they tell?- A look at TOP 25 Countries Around the world.

Every person, it is said, can be described by the Car he/she drives.

And the Car can be described by the Manufacturers' Insignia/Logo it carries.

But a Car also has another identity … a Unique One … Its Number.


Each Number is Unique and has its attributes: luck, charm, and prestige. In India, possibly in other countries too, the Car Owner is willing to pay huge premiums to own a unique number; the Road Transport Authorities also auction or charge a higher premium for accommodating this wish of the customer, officially.


An interesting tale on Numbers! Let us unfold this further, and see what tales Numbers tell across the World !!


Giving a Number to a Car is giving it Legitimacy. A numbered Car is a legitimate Car; that is legally allowed to enjoy the rights on the Road. Like a Legal Citizen enjoys the facilities of the State. Let us look at Number Plates across the World.

Algeria – The number plate consists of 10 digits split as : 5 digits + 3 digits + 2 digits

The first 5 Digits denote the unique number. The second 3 digits: 1st digit denotes the type of usage (private/govt/defense/foreign etc) and last 2 the year of manufacture

The last 2 digits: the district within the country.Example: 17777 104 16 means :

17777: a unique number 104: 1 means private ownership, 04 relates to the year 2004

16: state of Algiers (in Algeria).


Egypt – Arabic Characters are used for digits and letters. Different colors of plates are used to indicate the user. Example: Police Vehicles are used in Blue Color plates with red and white lettering. Private vehicles are in White Color with black lettering.


Ghana – LL DDDD LL format to mark their plates, but there can be less than four digits used. Example AS 2567 16 means: AS: Ashanti Region, 2567 – 2567th vehicle, 16: the year 2016.


United Kingdom: They are in the format, AA BB RAN. First A: refers to the area, say Aberdeen. Second A: to the office, say portborough BB : The year of manufacture. Example 2011 would be 11. RAN : Random Registration Number and are unique to the car.

Germany: Germany has been having number plates since the 1870s when they were introduced for Bi-cycles. Since then, a lot of innovation has been done in Germany. One most important point for German Number plates is that they should not have, in any way, anything that is Nazi-related.

Umm, that is a piece of interesting information… right!

After the last 4 digits there can be 1 more alphabet, say E for Electrical Vehicle


France : The first number plate appeared in France in 1783 on Coaches , under the orders of King Louis XVI.

The Number Plates are in the sequence : LL-DDD-LL. The letters I,O,U are banned as they can be confused with 1,0 and V (now this is a great thought!).

Any combination that can suggest a Nazi reference, example SS, too are banned.


The Number plate can be deciphered as :

The first two letters: EQ, is sequential and common to all of France: unlike other countries where it indicates the Region and Office where the vehicle was registered.

665 is a random and unique number.

CS: is from the sequence of numbers starting from AA to ZZ: SS is not allowed as it indicates Nazi.


Italy: It is LL 123 DD: 2 Letters, 3 Numbers, and 2 Letters.

The First Two Letters can be any two Alpha Numeric Letter: care taken to explicitly not indicate place of origin.

Then the 123: can be the sequential decimal number. The last Two letters are sequential Alphanumeric numbers: AA followed by AB and so on


Spain: Spain was the first country in the World to introduce Alphanumeric number plates. How do the Spanish Number Plates look like?

The Registration number consists of 4numbers followed by 3 Letters.

The characters are in black on a white background.

Only consonants are used as letters (including the letter Y, which in Spanish – unlike other languages – is generally regarded as a consonant).

This, the Spanish say, to prevent obscenities and otherwise undesirable words from appearing on plates.

Also, the letters Q (because of possible confusion with the letter O and the number 0) and Ñ (due to the risk of confusion with the letter N) are not used.


US: It varies from small states to big states. Small states like Delaware and Rhode Island use formats like 123456 while bigger states use the format ABC-12345.


Distinctive color themes and logos are used by states to depict their characteristic. Example Wyoming uses a Cowboy Logo.

Canada: Called a "Canadian Forces Registration" (CFR), these license plates are white with a green border and the text "Canada" written on them at the top in green, with a red maple leaf on either side of the text at the top. CFR serials are five-digit numbers for vehicles and for trailers.


Brazil: They use the form "LLL·NNNN", where LLL is a three-letter combination followed by a four-digit number with a dot between the letters and numbers.

A combination given to one vehicle stays with it "for life" - it cannot be changed or transferred to another vehicle.


Afghanistan – The number plates are in Black and have White Arabic Letters. The countries emblem is displayed on the left side of the plate.


China – both English and Chinese script are used to mark the plates,

a symbol marks the province of the issue followed by a letter and five digits.


Indonesia – the number plates are unique representing defunct regions of the country, instead of the current conditions, the plates follow a LL DDDD LL pattern.


Japan – there are two lines on their number plate, the top one reflecting from where the plate was issued and the vehicle class code and the bottom line containing a serial number.


India – the plates have a system that uses a LL DD LL DDDD, signifying district codes, unique numbers, and optional letters if the numbers have expired.

There are different colors for plates based on usage: Yellow Board for Commercial Usage and White Board for personal use.


Nepal – the plates use only Nepalese characters and they come in a range of different

colors depending on the use of the vehicle.


Guess you found the number story interesting.