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3 Other Ways To Sell Your Number Plates

March 18, 2015
Posted in Customers — Written by Nationla Numbers

One of the most frequent queries we get is a customer asking how to go about selling their number plate. In most cases it is pretty straight forward as Nationla Numbers will advertise for you for free – in fact most of the number plates for sale on our website are put on with private individuals.

The problem is that advertising with Nationla Numbers means entering in a competitive market. You would have to name a price and list it for sale, usually against hundreds of other similar registrations. This is not handy if you need to sell the number plate quickly – maybe you’re about to scrap the vehicle or the retention is about to run out?

Nationla Numbers are here to help guide you in the sale of your number plate. There are a few ways to go about it and lots of useful tools to make the whole ordeal stress free.


number plates for sale

Method #1: Advertise Your Number Plates Everywhere

Customers who buy registrations on our website come to us, not the private seller. In doing so they are obviously playing slightly more to cover a commission for ourselves. Cutting out the middle man might make the difference, as the registration can then be bought for less.

Of course, it would mean you, and you alone, as the seller are responsible for the transfer and you do not get the protection or guidance as you would from Nationla Numbers. You can easily consult DVLA for advice though. (See DVLA Guide)

Take advantage of the huge number of sales websites out there such as:

  1. eBay
  2. Gumtree
  3. Preloved
  4. Friday-Ad
  5. Loot

There is likely tonnes more as well. Online classifieds and auctions are hugely popular ways of selling goods these days.

The key is to advertise in as many places as possible to increase visibility. Just remember to take any listings down if you sell it somewhere else – the last thing you want is to have more than one person to buy it from you.


number plates for sale

Method #2: Contact Potential Buyers Directly

If you have a number plate that you know would be suitable for certain people – maybe it is suitable for a specific car, profession, or maybe even a celebrity – you can put some leg work into making sure they know it is for same.

Many customers aren’t looking for private number plates specifically because the market is too crowded. If the right plate presents itself they would likely be interested, and that is where you come in.

This does require some of your own research of course, but it has never been easier to make contact. We have sold plates to companies just be calling them, and celebrities just by messaging them on Twitter, you can do the same.

If your number plate refers to a specific car the internet can be a great tool. Various owners clubs have internet forums you can post on to make people aware of the number plate and hopefully spark some interest.

Auto Crowd Group is a great website that groups together all the owners clubs you can imagine into one website, allowing you to see the full shooting match. Use it to join the relevant car clubs and take it from there. You might even make some new friends along the way.


number plates for sale

Method #3: Check If Dealers Will Buy It from You

For a lot of people this is usually the first port of call. It is common when having a number plate valued that customers ask if we would be it from them, and unfortunately the answer is usually “No”.

It is not anything personal, but Nationla Numbers and other dealers only tend to buy number plates that meet certain requirements. For example, we only tend to buy number plates that are rare, short, or dateless.

If you want a cash offer from dealers you have to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does my plate meet the requirements mentioned earlier?
  2. Is there nothing else similar on the market right now?
  3. Will I be willing to take a lot less than the market value?

If you answered “Yes” to all these you might be within a change.

Nationla Numbers will only tend to buy number plates that we either know someone is after or we know there are not many like it, and only if we can get it at a fraction of the price.


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Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb

March 11, 2015
Posted in Humour,Interesting,Media — Written by Nationla Numbers

It has happened. Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by BBC after another controversy. This time the 54 year-old host of Top Gear has got himself in bother after allegedly punching one of the show’s producers. As a result the remaining episodes of the current series of Top Gear will not be shown, but the fans are having none of it. Upon last glance a petition to reinstate the embattled presenter had reached an amazing 350,000. [UPDATE: Signatures are reaching 850,000]

Clarkson certainly does divide the public but surely after so many final warnings the BBC cannot waver now? Will this be the straw that broke the channel’s back?

Here is a run through of all of Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear controversies. Decide for yourself whether you think Clarkson has pushed the envelope too far, or if he is just a greatly misunderstood entertainer.

How Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb

Jeremy Clarkson is Breaking Beeb BBC


November, 2003 – BBC Pays lb250 After Jeremy Clarkson’s First Stunt

During an episode of Top Gear, Clarkson attempted to demonstrate the strength of a Toyota Hilux by driving it into a tree. Unfortunately it was a 30-year-old horse-chestnut tree that was valued by the local Somerset community. By February 2004 the BBC had apologised for the incident and had paid lb250 to the parish in compensation.

November, 2005 – Don’t Mention The War

During a discussion about the design of the Mini a comment was made about it being “quintessentially German”. This was Jeremy Clarkson’s cue to lead a mock Nazi salute as well as other references to the Nazi regime in poor taste. For good measure he even set the satnav to Poland.

July, 2006 – Clarkson Under Fire Again For Homophobic Slang

When discussing the Daihatsu Copen in the studio Clarkson used the phrase “ginger beer”, which is rhyming slang of “queer”, in response to an audience statement about the vehicle being “a bit gay”. Only four people complained about this, but it is one that BBC upheld and apologised for.

February, 2007 – Beating The Dead Cow

Jeremy Clarkson makes an enemy out of vegetarian viewers during the US special after driving with a dead cow strapped to the roof of the vehicle. He then slammed the beef carcass to the ground by applying the brakes.

July, 2007 – Drink Driving Jibe Leaves BBC Out In The Cold

During Top Gear’s Polar Special, Jeremy Clarkson drove over international frozen waters and made the comment that he wasn’t drink driving because technically he was “sailing”. Clarkson was accused of glamorising drink driving and BBC said the scene itself was not “editorially justified”. Jeremy Clarkson would like to remind us he was outside the jurisdiction of any drink driving laws though.

November, 2008 – LorryGate

In his most controversial incident yet, Jeremy Clarkson made a comment on his show about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes. Two years earlier in Ipswich, five prostitutes had been murdered. Perhaps it is unfair to judge without context, so the full quote goes as follows: “Change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That’s a lot of effort in a day.” Obviously, Clarkson’s comment was seen in bad taste and netted the presenter over 1,000 complaints and the first call for him to be sacked.

July, 2010 – Another Homophobic Comment

In a comment that did not make it to air, Clarkson said that he “Demanded the right not to get bummed” in an interview with Alistair Campbell on Top Gear. Of course the comment was cut because Jeremy Clarkson deeply regretted the comment … nope, he went on to say it was just cut because the interview was too long.

August, 2010 – Alienates The Disabled Community

With further tactless and inconsiderate comments, Jeremy Clarkson referred to co-presenter James May’s Ferrari F430 “special needs” and “simpleton”. Ofcom received a number of complaints but amazingly Clarkson got away with it.

December, 2010 – Mexico’s Most Wanted

The Mexican ambassador said comments made by Jeremy Clarkson were “outrageous, vulgar and inexcusable” after the presenter described Mexicans as “lazy, feckless and flatulent”. He even said Mexican food was “refried sick”.

February, 2011 – Because It Worked So Well The First Time

During a segment the hosts pretended they had been sent to Albania to test cars for a mafia boss and attempted to fit overweight “murder” victims into the boots of their cars. Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson received hundreds of complaints in response, probably because it seemed like a blatant attempt to play off previous controversy.

January, 2012 – Christmas Spirit

During the Top Gear Christmas Special, Clarkson and Crew made numerous digs at Indian culture, food, dress, trains, toilets and people. The Indian High Commission called the jokes “tasteless” and lodged a formal complaint.

February, 2012 – Grotesque

Jeremy Clarkson followed up by annoying facial disfigurement charity, Changing Faces, by comparing a Japanese camper van to a person with a growth on their face.

March, 2014 – Down Hill From Here

During the Top Gear Burma Special, Clarkson made the following comment to fellow presenter, Richard Hammond, about a wooden bridge they had built: “That is a proud moment, but there’s a slope on it.” Jeremy Clarkson made this comment as a native of Burma crossed the bridge. BBC claimed it was a light-hearted comment referencing the quality of the bridge, though viewers noted that it was clearly an offensive jab at the local Asian male on screen. BBC later said they did not realise the word “slope” was considered offensive.

May, 2014 – Pushing The Boundaries

Clarkson’s biggest controversy today came after the Daily Mirror unearthed unused footage from a 2013 episode in which Jeremy Clarkson appeared to is the “N word”. The racial slur stirred up prompt reaction as the presenter was chastised for the act, as well as the shameless attempt to deny it. He later apologised and was given his final warning by BBC.

October, 2014 – NumberPlateGate

Next, Jeremy Clarkson almost caused an international incident after he and the entire Top Gear crew was chased out of Argentina while filming the Patagonia Special. The reason was blamed on a number plate, H982 FKL, which locals believed to be in reference to the Falklands War in 1982. BBC and Top Gear staff, including Clarkson, have defended the controversy as a coincidence, despite claims to the contrary by the Argentinian Government. Of course, the “final warning” isn’t considered violated at this point.



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These 10 Car Hacks Will Make Your Life Easier

March 4, 2015
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Car hacks allow you to take control of your car and driving habits and save space and travel smart.

If you’re reading this you probably find you are spending most of your spare time driving. Whether commuting to work, doing the school run, or just driving for pleasure, most of your time goes on your car.

Like with anything though, even if you love it there will be the small things that annoy you, and that is were these amazing car hacks come in!

Hacks are clever way to solve a problem or simplify something complicated. They can make use of seemingly useless items, or add a new use to helpful tools. Car hacks can help you get the most out of your vehicle and if you give them a try you will never want to go back.

1. Cool down your hot car in minutes with this quick trick.

car hack for cooling hot vehicle

Sometimes when you go for a drive on a hot summer’s day it feels more like you’re stepping into an oven than a car. When this happens you open all the windows, switch on the air-con, and drive in misery until everything cools down. But no more! You can cool your car in a matter of minutes with this simple car hack.

This video from Japan demonstrates how to do it, but it couldn’t be simpler. Unlock your car and wind down the driver’s side window. Now close the door and go to the passenger’s side. Simply open and close this door four or five times.

Opening and closing the door forces the cooler outside air into the car and pushes the heated air out of the open window. Some people are saying their in-car temp dropped 10 degrees just from doing this!


2. The fuel gauge tells you which side your fuel cap is.

fuel gauge car hack shows where the cap is

You’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve been on the wrong side of the petrol tanks when trying to re-fill. You might be in an unfamiliar car, or maybe you just forgot, but as a result you are now scraping the paint off the back of your vehicle as you try to force the nozzle around. Avoid this in future by looking at the fuel gauge. Most cars will have a little arrow that tells you which side the cap is located, making it a lot easier. Just a glance at it as you pull into the petrol station will remind you what side to be on.

Pointing out a feature that you didn’t know exist? That is what car hacks are all about!


3. Cloudy headlights? Toothpaste. Obviously.

clean your headlights car hacks

Over time your headlights might get cloudy and dirty. The longer you wait the worse they will be, as air and dust leaves dirt and scratches on the plastic, and the sun’s UV rays dull it further. You could replace them, which is expensive, or buy a clearing kit, which is also expensive. Or you can use some toothpaste and elbow grease, which is all that is needed for this car hack.

I’m not sure how it works, but is does, and the picture above shows the type of result you can expect. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive and contains tiny crystals that are rough enough to polish and small enough to fill scratches. All you need to do is buff the toothpaste onto the light in a circular motion using a cloth and then wipe clear. To make the results last longer follow up the cleaning with some car wax. Your headlamps should go from dirty and cloudy, to clean and clear.


4. Keep rubbish off the floor with a re-purposed cereal tupperware.

clean your car hack

It is really easy to ditch used coffer cups, crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers onto the floor of your car when you have nowhere else to put them. This rubbish can build up until you have no choice but to have a big clear out, wasting your Sunday afternoon. This car hack will save you a big job though if used correctly.

Get yourself one of those plastic tupperware boxes you use to keep cereal fresh. Pop off the top and place in it a plastic bag like you would any household bin before replacing the lid. There you have it. A makeshift travel rubbish bin. The tall, thin shape of the box means it slots easily into either the driver or passenger side of the car, and the hinged top makes it easy to deposit waste. When it is full simply take out the bag, tie it together and throw it away. Job done.


5. Save your finger nails and use a staple remover to open your key ring.

key ring key chain car hack

Key rings are one of the most painfully frustrating things in the entire world. How many times have you spent way too long trying to pry open the two metal rings with your finger nails only for them to shut on you before you can even get a key anywhere near it. You might even find yourself using your teeth, or a knife, to open it up. But you’re missing a trick.

Staple removers are vicious looking things that you might not usually need, but this use alone makes it worth the 99p you could pick a cheap one up for. All you have to do is position the two fangs between the two rings and push, prying them apart. You can easily slide on your key afterwards. Key chain hacked.


6. Hang a bungee net for extra storage.

extra storage car hack

People use these bungee nets to secure luggage to the roof of their car, or keep things from rolling around in the boot, but getting an extra one will give you even more options for storage thanks to this car hack.

Secure the corners of the net to the upper handles in the car to create a sort of canopy. You can use this to store your coats, bags or even toys for the children. This is perfect for longer journeys as it not only gives you more room, but also ease of access if you do want to get anything stored back down.


7. Use your seat warmer to keep food toasty.

car hack to keep food warm


A repeated problem with takeaway food is that it gets cold by the time you get home. A lot of modern cars have electric seat warmers. Put this feature to good use by using it to keep your food hot. Simply pop your food onto the passenger seat and crank up the heating, you will find that your food stays warmer for longer.


8. Need a spare cup holder? Use your shoe.

shoe cup holder car hack

Maybe you don’t have a cup holder? Or maybe your cup holder is already in use? This car hack will give you an extra place to store your drinks … actually, it will give you TWO extra places. All you need to do is slip off your shoe and neatly slot your drink into it! It should be snug and sturdy, so all you need to worry about is putting it somewhere where it is not in the way. The last thing you want is for it to spill into your lap or be kicked over.

Warning! We do not advocate actually drinking from your shoe.


9. Hang a tennis ball in your garage to help you park.

garage parking car hack

Did you know parking your vehicle in a garage is more dangerous than parking it out in the street? This is because when you are parking in a garage you are more likely to damage the car by scraping against the walls or dinging against the back wall. This car hack fixes that though by warning you when you go far enough.

Attach a tennis ball to a piece of string and hang it from the ceiling in a position where it touches your windshield. This way when you are parking you know to stop when you knock the tennis ball.

If you want to add to this hack you can also prevent yourself from slamming your door into the wall or scraping the side of your vehicle by adding extra padding to your garage. The best we have seen has been to cut a pool noodle in half and put them along the side walls.


10. Fix small dents with a household plunger.

plunger car hack

This is sort of a no-brainer when you think about it, but that is what these car hacks are all about. This one solves a problem every experienced driver has.

The plunger is already used to fix other unpleasant accidents, so of course it can be used to treat car dings as well. I won’t go into the science behind how plungers work (because I don’t know it), but we all have a vague idea. Pushing the plunger onto the dent creates suction which in turn pulls the dent out and leaves the car looking like normal. Just make sure the plunger is clean before you use it on your shiny motor.


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Infographic – Classic Cars to Look Out for in 2015

February 25, 2015
Posted in Famous Cars,Infographic — Written by Nationla Numbers

If you’re a petrolhead you have probably fantasied about owning – or even just driving – one of the many legendary vehicles around today. Classic cars are big business right now, not only because of car enthusiasts but also because of eager investors. Just last year a classic Ferrari dealer spent lb400k (before fees) on the number plate 25 O and a further lb100,500 on 250 L. Both registrations went to the dealer’s personal collection. It shows just how willing some are to perfect their vehicles. If you’re looking for a good investment, or just looking to get your hands on one of your dream vehicles, we have asked our friends at Classic and Sports Finance advice on what classic cars to keep an eye on this year.


classic cars 2015


For more information on this vehicles, the current classic car market, or for advice for fellow classic owners please visit the Aston Martin Owner’s Club, the Porsche Owner’s Club and the Ferrari Owner’s Club.

Special thanks once again to Classic and Sports Finance for all their help.


Top Gear meets LEGO

January 17, 2015
Posted in Humour,Interesting,Media — Written by Nationla Numbers

This trailer for Top Gear Series 22 shows the crew plastic’d up in the style of LEGO. The whole Top Gear team is these, with Clarkson, May and Hammond, and even The Stig, all being turned into the blocky characters you know and love from childhood and last years hit LEGO Movie. Everything is awesome indeed!

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It’s Official, We’re Losing the Counterpart

January 15, 2015
Posted in DVLA,Editorial — Written by Nationla Numbers

What you’ve heard is true, the DVLA have announced that the paper driving licence counterpart is to be scrapped. This has been on the cards for a while, as you’ve probably read, but they met with some resistance, particularly from the fleet industry. We’ve been told that the date of abolition is, unlike previous announcements, is firm so there is no going back now.

You may be asking what difference the counterpart makes and how this development affects you, and hopefully I can help shed some light on that.

counterpart driving licence

What is the counterpart?

You’ve got one, even though you might not have noticed it previously. The counterpart comes alongside the photocard when you receive your driving licence. Officially it acts as your driving licence in the event that you don’t have a photocard – for example you usually would need to present the counterpart when you are trying to have a lost card replaced.

The counterpart also acts as a physical record of sorts, containing addresses and other information relevant to the driver. It is because of this information that the counterpart is important for things like insurance, vehicle hire, and pretty much anything that would require a driver’s information to be looked up by a third-party.

What’s the problem?

As mentioned the counterpart is used as a reference for businesses to check driver details. The vast majority of opposition the counterpart abolition has had has been from the businesses that reply on the access to information. Car hire companies, fleet companies that need to keep an eye on their drivers, etc, they all need the paper counterpart.

At the moment the DVLA are developing something to replace this need, but as it stands there is no real way to replace the counterpart for the companies that reply on its information. You can see why they are worried about this.

Why are they doing it?

The official line is the cut red tape. DVLA have called the counterpart an “unnecessary burden”, and so it makes send to eliminate it like it has done recently with the tax disc, and soon will be doing with number plate certificates. Reducing on the physical pieces of paper in favour of digital records has become DVLA’s thing.

When will this take effect?

June 8th, 2015. From this point the counterpart will no longer be valid and all future applicants will be issued with a photocard only.

What do I have to do?

It is advised that everyone destroys their counterpart as of the 8th of June. I’m not sure why this is important – perhaps just to avoid confusion of trying to use them in the future? I guess it comes down to the prerogative of the individual, but know that they’ll be no new ones being issued so eventually they be dwindled.

But I don’t have a photocard, what do I do?

If you received your driving licence before 1998 you may only have the counterpart. In which case you get to be exempt from the counterpart cult. You do not have to apply for a photocard and most importantly YOU DO NOT DESTROY THE PAPER COUNTERPART. Of course, when you next renew you receive a photocard instead of another counterpart.

How can I check my driving licence information?

This much has been covered by the DVLA. A free “View Driving Licence” service has already been introduced last year and allows all GB licence holders to check the information that would usually be covered on the counterpart. Things like addresses, driving qualifications, penalty points, etc can all be checked on the internet. On top of this the service is free and is available 24/7.

What if a third-party needs to see the counterpart?

At the moment the plan is to introduce a new service called “Share Driving Licence” that allows drivers to send their information to a third-party. This would, in theory, fully replace the function of the counterpart and would allow employers, hire companies and others to check your information. DVLA assures us that this will be entirely safe and only those you have given permission to access the information may see it.

Unfortunately this is only a work in-progress and has yet to be put online. As per usual DVLA plans to release a public Beta version down the line with the expectation of it being ironed out and put online before the counterpart is benched for good. That is the hope anyway.


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January 7, 2015
Posted in Nationla Numbers News — Written by Nationla Numbers
Susan Boyle Number Plates

SU54 AN Boyle: “I dreamed a dream of Plates gone by!”

Are you trying to find a personalised number plate? You are in luck because Nationla Numbers has started their legendary January Sale, featuring all kind of number plates at rock bottom prices.

Take advantage of the hundreds upon hundred of private registrations available at trade cost. They are even cheaper than their initial market value!

The January Sale is one of Nationla Numbers’ most beloved traditions. Every year since 1988 we have seen many of our great customers walk away with their dream number plates at dream prices.

All these fantastic number plates are Nationla Numbers own stock. That means there is no hassle and no wait! All you need to do is send Nationla Numbers your documents and we will do the rest!

Open All Hours Granville Number Plate Business

“I’m ‘aving that GR03 CER plate.”

Do not miss out on this opportunity to buy a number plate for your friends, family or even yourself. We have many names available making these registrations ideal for late Christmas gifts (or really early Christmas presents for Xmas 2015!)

You can even use our numbers to advertise your business. We have many plates available that read as trades, making them ideal to get yourself noticed.

Don’t have a vehicle? Don’t you worry. Keep these fantastic registration plates on retention until you are ready.

Number plates are great investments and at these prices you cannot afford to miss out. Many of the plates we have sold over the years are now on now back on the market at three or four times their original cost.

jason number plate statham

JA53 ONX Statham: “Lock, Stock and these smoking prices.”

Call the Nationla Numbers team to discuss the number plate you want, or buy completely hassle-free online now!

All the plates on offer can be seen here and once they are gone we will not be adding any more, so do not delay or someone else could be driving around with your dream plate in just a few weeks.

Need I say more?


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Would you pay lb30k for a (child’s) sports car?

December 16, 2014
Posted in Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

This probably isn’t news, but kids love presents! It is probably the reason most of us jaded adults still enjoy Christmas – to put a smile on the faces of our children. But with that said, can anyone really envision spending lb30,000 on a single toy? Albeit a very good one. Atom Cars certainly can, in fact their business relies on it.



That right there is a gold-plated sports car. For children. It runs on a rechargeable 48volt Cpu motor, which lasts for up to 48 hours. Capable of speeds up to 15mph, it also comes with working lights, horn and dashboard. Its fancy leather interior can be customised, the number plates can be personalised, and you can even add alloy wheels. All for the low, low price of lb29,995!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure kids would love it. Who doesn’t know a kid obsessed with race cars? I would have absolutely loved this myself, I must admit, but at the end of the day I was perfectly happy with Hot Wheels and Scalextric.

In any case this fancy junior vehicle, called The Atom Car, seems to be selling and is making the company a pretty penny. Their Facebook page if full of pictures of delighted youngsters and their often custom-made toy cars.

I can see the appeal, as long as the child has enough room to drive in, but I can safely say the Atom Car is probably a step too far for me.

What do you think? Is this a fitting present for children?


DVLA Christmas Opening Times & Contact Numbers

December 12, 2014
Posted in DVLA — Written by Nationla Numbers

What are the DVLA Christmas Opening Times?

Trying to sort out your vehicle over the holidays? I know how much of a headache it can be. If you already have too much to do and something like this needs to be done last minute you can often find yourself with no one to speak to. To make things easier we at Nationla Numbers have compiled all of the DVLA Christmas opening times and the right contact numbers, hopefully making things easier and painless.

Usual Opening Times: 8AM – 7PM

Wed 24th Dec (Christmas Eve): 8AM – 12PM (An additional premium line will be open until 3PM)

Thurs 25th Dec (Christmas Day): Closed

Fri 26th Dec (Boxing Day): Closed

Sat 27th Dec: 9AM – 2PM (Premium line only)

Sun 28th Dec: Closed

Mon 29th Dec: 8AM – 6PM

Tues 30th Dec: 8AM – 6PM

Wed 31st Dec (New Years Eve): 8AM – 6PM

Thurs 1st Jan (New Years Day): Closed

DVLA’s usual opening times return to normal from Fri 2nd Jan.


What are the DVLA Contact Numbers?

Driver Licensing: 0300 790 6801

Vehicle Registration & Tax: 0300 790 6802

Health & Medical: 0300 790 6806

Other Queries: 0300 790 6819

Premium Line: 09061 393 837

Alternatively you can use DVLA’s online service to access information 24 hours a day, including vehicle tax, vehicle registration and SORN.


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Shameless Attempts to Avoid Plate Recognition

November 25, 2014
Posted in Editorial — Written by Nationla Numbers

Today I’m taking a look at number plate recognition technology, which we should be all familiar with at this point (if not, we have previous wrote about it on this blog), specifically about how drivers react when faced with one of these cameras. They are definitely the new trend in motoring law enforcement, often being paired up with speed cameras to detect vehicles that are uninsured or without tax. As with everything though there will be those who will try to avoid them … and not just by doing the obvious like not driving anywhere near them.

Lets take a look at a country famous for over-the-top characters: The United States of America!

Number plate recognition is the trendy thing across the pond as well, but dodgy drivers are being a lot more creative than they really should bother being when faced with one of these 1984-esq cameras. Especially at a local level where these cameras are used for toll roads. Bearing in mind that said tolls can be as little as 26 CENTS (about 17p!) it is baffling how much effort goes into avoiding Automatic Number Plate Readers.



Here we see one American biker performing the dangerous stunt of leaning off the side of his motorcycle to cover his number plate. Clearly he doesn’t have as much control as he should over his bike, not to mention that he is only using one arm to steer. It cannot possibly be safe. Let me stress once again that he did this to avoid a toll of 26 cents. Was it really worth it?

Fortunately other drivers have found a way with obscure their number plates without putting their life in immediately danger, such as convertible drivers getting their passengers to lean back out of the car to cover the plates with their hands. Admittedly, not exactly safe but better than the example above. Others use duck tape and plastic sheets to cover their number plates in a not so subtle way.

You’ve then got the clever clogs who think outside the box. They know they don’t have to cover the number plates to hide them from the cameras, they’ve just got to make sure than ANPRs cannot read them. Some drivers use clear spray paint to dull their plates – to the naked eye it won’t look like anything has changed but it takes away the reflective coating plates normally have, which means infra-red cameras won’t get feedback. Obviously this also means other cars won’t be able to spot your number plate either, so once again is it really worth it?


Other drivers, like the one above, actually bend their metal plates. This makes it a lot harder for ANPRs to read your number plate clearly, and in some cases not at all when the plates are bent all the way under the vehicle axis. Number plate readers are programmed to detect off-kilter alignment and different angles and distances, but the addition of a crease throws some models off. Of course, here in the UK this can’t be done thanks to the acrylic plastic we make our out of – bending plates will result in them snapping.


In one example this artful dodger got away thanks to the use of see-through plastic. Once again the manipulates the function of the cameras to miss the registration in most cases. This driver has thought of everything though – notice the smear of grease obscuring the last three digits on his registration? Once again though, this cannot be done in the UK because all number plates are made out of the same material.

The lengths some people will go to, just to avoid small tolls. You would think it would be easier – not to mention safe – to just pay the fee or find a different route!

This is the US we are talking about though, where number plate laws vary in all 50 states. In the UK we have pretty strong laws about vehicle registrations, how they can be displayed and even how they are spaced. Admittedly it won’t stop people attempted that little bike trick we showed earlier, but I don’t any sane person would actually attempt such a stunt, especially when half the time you are unlikely to even know when one is watching you anyway!