The ’72 plate is the reg for cars registered after the 1st of September 2022. Other cars have been registered this year – but, before September, they will have had the ’22 plate instead.


When cars with the new ’72 plates start arriving in showrooms in September, some older models become less desirable to buyers – and prices are likely to fall. If you’re looking to sell your car, now might be the perfect time.

When is the DVLA ’72 plate release date?

Same as every year, the new plates will launch on the 1st of September. The September plates are based on the last two figures of the year, plus fifty. So, for 2022, it’s ’72, for next year, the September plate will be ’73.

What do the other letters and numbers on ’72 reg plates mean?

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All cars purchased since 2001 follow a certain format:

● Two numbers representing when the car was registered
● Two letters representing the region where the car was registered (one for the general area, the second for the specific office)
● Three random letters

In March, the numbers that represent the ‘when’ of the registration of the car will just be the numbers of the year – ’22. In September, the reg will be the year plus 50 – hence, the ’72 in the reg.

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Here’s a few more examples for a car registered in London (L) at Borehamwood (represented by K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, and T):

Interestingly, regional identifiers don’t use I, Q, and Z. Indeed, Z will only ever appear on a UK car reg if it is one of the three random letters at the end.

What are the ’72 plate rules?

Both the back and front of a vehicle need to show reg plates. Some other key rules include:

● White plates on the front, yellow on the back (unless the car was registered before 1973)
● Numbers and letters must be exactly 79 millimetres tall
● There must be a space between the numbers that mark the year and the three random letters
● All registration plates must be in a specific font which has been in use since 2001 – called the Charles Wright font.
● For car owners, you are not allowed to change or purposefully obscure your reg. You can be fined up to £1,000 for doing so.
● British cars driven abroad must have nationality identifiers on their plates – namely, the Union flag and, previously, ‘GB’ – but from September last year, ‘UK’.

Why do ’72 plates affect my car value?

It’s not the ’72 plates themselves that impact value so much as the fact that they represent the newest cars on the market. With that in mind, if you’re looking to sell your car then getting in before September might be a good idea.

Your car may be worth more now than it will after the new plates are introduced – simply because it will have newer models to compete against.

Looking to sell your car?

If you’re thinking about selling your car quickly and easily before the new ’72 plates come out, Motorway offers sellers a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling their cars, whatever the model.

Just enter your car’s reg on Motorway’s website and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. They’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your car and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can usually be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

If you choose to enter your car into their daily sale, it will be shown to Motorway’s nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.


In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

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