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The Intel Of Private Registration Plates

What does a registration number mean?

You don’t have to be a Zen Buddhist to find hidden meaning. Sometimes just a little insight and knowledge can help you realise your true (plate) potential.

Registration plate phonetics

Phonetics: “The branch of linguistics that deals with the sounds of speech and their production, combination, description, and representation by written symbols.”

Well, there you go. The definition of phonetics. Even if you didn’t ask for it. Registration plate phonetics is a lot simpler. In a nutshell: “What does it sound like?”

Say you are called Victoria. You probably can’t find a plate that actually spells V1CKY as it would either be sold or prohibitively expensive. So instead you could try for V1KKY, V1KEE, V11CKY, V111CKY etc.

You can combine this method with the following method – autonumerology.


Invented in 1964 by Noel Woodall, autonumerology is one -ology you won’t find taught at school, more’s the pity. The science involves transposing letters and numbers, substituting one or more letters for one or more numbers (or vice versa).

Letter(s), can be replaced with Number(s) and/or letter(s)
D 0
I or L 1
R or Z 2
E 3
A, D or H 4
S 5
G or B 6
T or Y 7
A or B 8
G 9
U or H 11
R 12
B 13
N 1V
O D, 6, 8 or 9

Using autonumerology, PETER could be replaced with PET3R or P3TER (or even PET35 – Pete’s). SARAH could transform into S4RAH or SAR4H.

Autonumerology has widened the market hugely for people wanting to secure names. If you employ a little lateral thinking and cleverness, you’ll come up with some interesting variations of the names you want.

Shorter is (generally) better

ABC1 is better than ABC11, which in turn is better than ABC111. ABC123 might be more valuable than ABC12 however.


Similarity helps: More of one letter is better than more different letters. AAA1 is better than AAB1. AA99 is better than AB99.

Higher or lower Bruce?

1 is better than 9: All things being equal, lower numbers are better than their higher counterparts. M1 is better than M9. XYZ100 is better than XYZ200.


How does it look in a mirror? If plasterers and ambulances see fit to display words on their vehicles in reverse (GNIRETSALP SEVAD and ECNALUBMA in case you were wondering) why not use the same method with number plates?

S1DUA is AUDIS in reverse. D1VAD is DAVID in reverse.

Get your mirror out and have a look at your plate. Or simply write it down in reverse.

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Please note: At the end of 2013 all 39 local DVLA offices closed and the DVLA transferred all dealings to its national centre at Swansea. If your vehicle was registered before the end of 2013 then the street view map shown on the car registration page will point to the original office despite the fact that the office has closed.