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Irish Plate

May 27, 2010
Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

If you happen to live in Northern Ireland, you get an Irish Plate allocated to your vehicle for free!

Coleraine is the centre of the issuing of Irish plates. They put them onto vehicles at no cost, therefore in the old days BIL 1234 was put on a vehicle and driven round Enniskillen.

Eric Craggs, Chairman of www.nationlanumbers.co.uk realised the potential to earn money. The Irish people did not realise the potential value.

Often when he approached people, they could not believe he was silly enough to offer them lb50.00 for their BIL number plate until he sold it on at lb300.

It didn’t take long for Eric Craggs to realise if you put a couple of hundred motorbikes over there and sell it on, you could get a replacement BIL free, what a nice business to be had.

Unfortunately, the good old days have gone, the BIL numbers are worth lb1200 a piece, the HIL numbers are the same, as are the GIL’s.

The last 10 years has been pretty poor with things like AEZ but it’s turning a corner again and there is a very lucrative marked in BIG.

Wilson’s Auctions have now joined this market in co-operation with Coleraine’s DVLA.

They are currently issuing BIG 1 and will be interesting to see what that will fetch. Eric Craggs believes this could fetch as much as lb35,000 at the auction in March. But again, Coleraine issued BIL with 4 numbers for nothing. Des, of Speedy Registration probably owns around 4000 motorbikes and had a field day buying all the BIG number plates into stock.

These have now run out and are we are now on CIG, which is not so attractive for obvious reasons.

You will currently be driving a vehicle. All number plates have an intrinsic value so we have invented and developed a computer generated Instant Free Valuation Service. So, if you are curious to know the worth of your number plate, then just try our system out. It takes only a few seconds and you get the answer straight away, no waiting, and no delay. We are the only dealer to have invented this system and we are very proud of it.

Irish Numberplates

Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

Eric Craggs is proud that he effectively started the Irish Numberplates sector of our industry. Back in the 1980’s nobody in the Cherished Number Plates market realised there was a fast potential to earn money.

When registrations first started back in 1903, all of Ireland was allocated two letters starting from AI and another sequence was AZ and these denoted the areas of the local vehicle registration offices. It covered the entire Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Only Northern Ireland is allowed to transfer plates to Great Britain.
An example is IL, which is Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and these probably produced the best sequence there has ever been in Northern Ireland. IL was brought out in 1904 and was stopped in 1958. They then reversed it so it read ‘1 IL’ in 1958 and these ran out in 1966. They then moved on to AIL in 1966. 8 years later in 1974, they brought out a brilliant sequence BIL. This lasted another 4 years and then they brought out CIL.

Other fantastic sequences were GIL that came out in 1989 and lasted 3 years followed by HIL that lasted till 1992.

If you analyse how long the sequences took to run out, you can quickly spot when number plate dealers started trading. As already mentioned, Nationla Numbers started trading in the 1980’s and the sequence ran out a lot faster once we started doing this replacement plate industry.

Eric Craggs started the Irish market around 1980 and it couldn’t be a better time to do so.

This is because the Irish Plates had become very desirable. In order to explain why it became so desirable, one has to know a little bit about the market for Irish number plates.

To all intents and purposes, this refers to the Northern Ireland part of Ireland. The reason for this is they come under the umbrella of the UK. Southern Ireland has a different system of computers and therefore in the main, plates are not transferable to an English Vehicle.

By the time Nationla Numbers started trading it had got to GIL which to anybody it is quite clear an attractive plate

So Nationla Numbers were selling GIL and four numbers for a considerable amount of money. Irish people had no idea that they were worth money and why should they? They were driven around Northern Ireland and were very common. However, in England, Scotland and Wales they were very rare and very attractive plates to be had.

The main centre for the computer system is in Coleraine and it’s referred to as the DVLNI standing for Driver and Vehicle Northern Ireland. They were responsible for issuing GIL’s to Enniskillen.

Believe it or not, once we had sold a GIL and submitted the application to Enniskillen, we were issued another free numberplate! We would then sell this and submit it to Coleraine again and get another one free. This practice of giving free plates also occurred with DVLA Swansea. However, when DVLA in 1990 joined our market place, they decided to stop this practice of issuing free number plates. At the time you were able to get SUE numberplates or JAG numberplates free. This was stopped, however Coleraine has kindly carried on with this practice and we can still get free numberplates from Northern Ireland to sell on.

So Nationla Numbers developed a system where they had to buy many mopeds and motorbikes in order to store these replacement plates onto the vehicles. This is because there was no such thing in those days as a retention certificate. So we ended up with 3 pig sheds full of 1400 bikes in Beverley in Hull.
Also a new business opportunity did occur when I realised you could do fast transfer when you brought the vehicle in from Northern Ireland with Irish plates on them and transferred them at Beverley VRO. By importing the bikes from Northern Ireland, they could then be transferred very quickly at Beverley office. So a new business opportunity arose by offering fast transfers which would take less than 7 days and usually within 3 days.

Whereas Coleraine has always been very slow because it has to go from Enniskillen to Coleraine and then posted to Newcastle and then back to the customer, this can take 4 to 5 weeks. It is maybe worth while explaining what is currently available from the local VRO offices. There are 8 VRO offices in Ireland compared to around 70 in England:

LONDONDERRY NUI OUI PUI
BELFAST IEZ JEZ KEZ
ENNISKILLEN AIG BIG DIG
COLERAINE GNZ HNZ INZ
ARMAGH PLZ RLZ SLZ
DOWNPATRICK HLZ IJZ JJZ
OMAGH GHZ HHZ IHZ
BALLYMENA OKZ PKZ RKZ

As you can see from above, the attractiveness of these plates has decreased, possibly with the exception of Enniskillen who are still allowing plates like AIG, BIG, DIG.

However, never will the days of the JIL’s, BAZ, KAZ ever occur again.

Coleraine, in the past few years realised the importance of keeping plates back and not giving them away so for example BIG 1-1000 and OIL 1-1000 has been kept back to be put through auction.

BIG 1 and OIL 1 were bought by Phoenix, Shaun who is a character in his own right. He paid a large amount of money for these plates and they are both currently available for around lb50,000 – lb100,000.

If you are interested in these plates, please phone Nationla Numbers on

Why not look at our patriotic section of number plates? You can look for UK, GB, England, GBR, SCO for Scotland, and WEL for Welsh and so on. You can also design your own number plate from this section. We are very pleased to be able to offer such a comprehensive search facility on this section of our site.

Find out more about:
DVLC
Number Plates
Irish Number Plates

Number plates can be purchased securely on our web site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Buy in confidence with our secure server.

Irish Personalised Number Plates

Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

The funny thing about Irish Personalised Number Plates is the fact that every single plate in Northern Ireland is a personalised plate.

I remember when I first went to Northern Ireland; I thought I’d gone to heaven. The reason for this, is every vehicle I saw on the road, represented at least lb100 to me. In those days, we are talking 20 years ago, nobody realised the potential money driving round on their vehicles.

Eric Craggs, Director and Chairman of www.nationlanumbers.co.uk, realised this phenomenal potential. He was the founder of the Irish number plate transfer business. So Irish personalised number plates was first started by Nationla Numbers and another firm R G Registrations, the owner of that being Richard Gray, who also realised the potential.

I L’s are issued from Enniskillen in County Fermanagh and the original one was AIL but the second one was BIL. Well, this is like a gold mine.

Imagine buying a BIL and four numbers and all we were paying was about lb50 in those days. A BIL and four numbers are now worth lb800 – lb1200. What a lucrative market this was to get these Irish personalised number plates for virtually very little cost and in some cases no cost. We pride ourselves in trying to achieve a very well run business. To this end we decided that we would try to achieve an award that is recognised by industry throughout Europe. We prepared to try and gain the quality award BSI 9001 2000. Nationla Numbers managed to do this at its first attempt. The Chairman, Eric Craggs, had previously worked as a manager at ICI for 30 years and had been involved in trying to get businesses within ICI to get this award. We have had the award for six years.

For the last two years, BSI has required us to conduct a formal customer survey – we are the only company within the DVLA number plate business to do so. Please look at our Testimonials to see what they think. You may think that a lot of web sites just make up their feedback, a lot do, but we are actually audited by a British Standard Quality Expert to verify that our customer comments are genuine.

Irish Reg Plates

Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

Irish reg plates are still issued by Coleraine for nothing.

It seems difficult that a government body gives away assets that a worth money and they know they are worth money. However, they have realised that there is a potential market here and now sell via tender and auction. Then tender system is where they invite public to bid on the plate and the highest bidder gets the plate. So if I bid lb500 and you bid lb501, you would win via sealed bid.

It is very difficult to estimate what you pitch your price at and sometimes you make a mistake and buy plates at the totally wrong inflated price. Irish reg plates have been in existence since 1903, because they were part of the UK system. One of the first plates ever issued were IA 1 and IA 2. These are currently both on the market at quite high prices, but they are the original 1903 numberplates and therefore incredibly rare.

Also, if you look statistically, how many IA plates are in the country, there are lots. For instance I is for Ian and A stands for all kinds of things like Adamson, Adams etc.

Nationla Numbers believe Irish Reg Plates are a very good investment if bought at the right time. Currently BIG are on the market at about lb50. Mr Craggs, Chairman, almost guarantees these will be worth about lb300 in about 2 years time.

Why don’t you look at our search box or navigation bar where you can see cheap Irish numbers or cheap dateless plates. Why don’t you go to the home page and then search for your Irish Reg Plates.

If this is the first time you have looked into the world of Number Plates then you may wish to look at our Testimonials in order to get a feel of how important we think your custom is to Nationla Numbers and how important customer service is to us.

Irish Registrations

Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

As part of the UK Registration System that started in 1903, Irish Registrations were brought under the same system; therefore in the early days whether you went to Southern Ireland, Northern Ireland or anywhere in Britain, they have the same format of plate display.

One of the first plates ever issued was OZ 1, which was a 1903 number plate.

However if you look at something like VZ 1, this is owned by a Mrs. Alton in Omar and she also owns another rare plate AJI 1.

The reason it looks like 11, in England we don’t use an I in number plates, we use the character 1. A number like that would look very distinctive.

To buy your Irish registrations always come to Nationla Numbers, as we were the founder members of this industry.

We pride ourselves in trying to achieve a very well run business. To this end we decided that we would try to achieve an award that is recognised by industry throughout Europe. We prepared to try and gain the quality award BSI 9001 2000. Nationla Numbers managed to do this at its first attempt. The Chairman, Eric Craggs, had previously worked as a manager at ICI for 30 years and had been involved in trying to get businesses within ICI to get this award. We have had the award for six years.

For the last two years, BSI has required us to conduct a formal customer survey – we are the only company within the DVLA number plate business to do so. Please look at our Testimonials to see what they think. You may think that a lot of web sites just make up their feedback, a lot do, but we are actually audited by a British Standard Quality Expert to verify that our customer comments are genuine.

Irish Number Plate

Posted in Irish Number Plates — Written by Helen

Irish number plates can be obtained from English dealers, such as Nationla Numbers.

An Irish Number Plate can always be recognised in the fact that it has a Z or an I in it. This was true up to the new format plates, which start – 51 or – 52.

Leaving aside the new format plates, you can always assume that if you see a plate such as BIL 1234 because it has an I in it, it is Irish number plate. This is also true if you see a plate such as BAZ 1234, because it has a Z in it, it is also an Irish number plate.

To make matters more complicated, these Z’s and I’s were allocated to all of Ireland, including Eire.

IA is Antrim; IB is Armagh which is Northern Ireland. Then you move on to IC, which is Carlow, which is Southern Ireland. So, which one belongs to Northern Ireland because in all intents and purposes, only Northern Ireland numbers can be transferred to English vehicles.

Including the first two that I mentioned, IA and IB, IG is County Down, IL is Fermanagh, and IW is Londonderry. So we have five local vehicle licensing offices where all Irish number plate is issued.

Let’s look at the first IA plate, who owns that currently? IA 1 was owned by the Coburn family, in Dromore, County Down. They are also members of the Rally Number Plate Club (RNC). They also own IA 2. These are currently for sale via Nationla Numbers, but as you would expect you are talking very expensive plates.

IA 1 around lb85,000
IA 2 around lb35,000

If you are interested in either of these plates, then phone Nationla Numbers.

Football registrations can be found at our number plates search page, and is incredibly easy to use. For example, we have listed all the teams in the Premier League, the Scottish Premier League, The English Championship, Leagues One and Two. So for example, if your team is in the Scottish Second Division, you can look at Ayr, Brechin, Cowdenbeath etc. We are really pleased with this section facility so please browse it (if you’re interested in football of course).

Find out more about:
Private Number Plates
Personalised Number Plates
DVLA

Did you know you can search for number plates by entering numbers? For example, you could search for your year of birth, car model, house number etc.