UK Single-Single Number Plate Registry

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The Motor Car Act 1903 introduced Motor Vehicle Registration amongst other things and in theory over one hundred and ninety 1x1’s were issued by 1904. Only five authorities issued them in reverse, D – Kent in 1964 (except 1 D), F – Essex in 1957, K – Liverpool in 1960, R – Derby in 1962 and U – Leeds in 1957. All other reverse plates are DVLA auction issue with the exception also of 1 N, 1 M and 2 P. One hundred and sixty plates in total were sold through various DVLA auctions over the years, the cheapest was 8 X which sold in November 1992 for £3,800. The most expensive was 1 D, sold in March 2009 for £360K

I reckon there are 419 1x1’s issued, leaving less than one hundred to find.

Single singles adorn a multitude of vehicles, vehicles from the 1900’s, “sheds” with 200K miles through to the latest exotica. Some of the plates simply aren’t for sale, those that are there is one thing certain; it will be a six figure sum.

What’s my favourite? Before she sold it in 2018 it was H 1 on that infamous silver Avensis, transpires that it was owned by a descendent of the original owner. After this it was 9 N, although an auction plate it sat on a 2010 Ford SMax, an inherited plate perhaps? I soon learnt that the owner also has E 3 and R 5 amongst other plates.

Recently 1x1’s seem to have attracted an unwelcome following in some quarters, I’m aware of at least eleven vehicles driving around with 1x1 plates that they don’t actually own. An owner of several 1x1’s was contacted by a plate dealer offering them a certain plate that a criminal had on retention only for them to explain that the plate was already on a vehicle they owned that was currently parked in their driveway.

A huge thank you must go to Nicholas Young who gave all of the original history to the 1903/1904 issues and also some of the later history. He has carried on the baton from Noel Woodall (who needs no introduction but sadly passed away in 2013) and last year published the latest of the Car Number Classics books.

Details of the book can be found here Car Number Classics it’s a must for anyone interested in number plates, with plenty of history and photographs. 1,312 pages for just £45 plus p&p £8.50. To order a copy, contact the publisher ny@nicholasyoung.com or call 020 8998 0007

It is also available on eBay – just search “Car Number Classics – The Definitive Book on Number Plates and Motoring History”

Cheques for £53.50 (which includes p&p) per copy should be made payable to Crawfords and posted to Crawfords, PO Box 56662 London W13 3BH. Please ensure you provide your name, address and contact telephone number in clear block capitals. Credit card orders can be taken by telephone by calling 020 8998 0007