Tag Archives: car facts

How do I tell how old my car is?

The UK has used a numbering system to record and identify vehicles since 1904. Those 6 or 7 letters at the front and back of your car can tell you more about the vehicle than you may realise.

What year was my car first registered?

It’s easy to find out how old your car is. From 1963 until 2001, the age of a vehicle could be determined by the first letter of the number plate. Traditionally, numberplates were issued on March 1st, but to combat the sales patterns and encourage more people to buy cars later in the year, in 2001 the system changed giving two registration issues per year. These are launched in March and September.

The first issue of the year is the number of the year, i.e. numberplates issued in March 2016 will be XX16XXX. The following issue, in September, will carry on from the previous years September issue number, which started in September 2001 with 51.

Numberplates issued in September 2016 will feature number 66.

From 2001 onwards, you can find the age of the vehicle from the middle two numbers.


So now you can telll that ‘JPC629C’ would be 1965, and ‘VK51UAC’ would be 2001.

What if my car is on a Q plate?

Q registration plate cars are vehicles where the original age is undetermined. Typically, these apply to kit cars (which can be built from scratch or built from a number of different vehicles). The Q stands for ‘Query’ or ‘Questionable’. There are other vehicles that may be designated the Q registration… More on that soon.

UK Number Plate Registration Vehicle Age Chart:

Suffix System – ABC 123 A:

Letter Year Release Month
A 1963 February
B 1964 January
C 1965 January
D 1966 January
E 1967 January
F 1967 January
G 1968 August
H 1969 August
J 1970 August
K 1971 August
L 1972 August
M 1973 August
N 1974 August
P 1975 August
R 1976 August
S 1977 August
T 1978 August
V 1979 August
W 1980 August
X 1981 August
Y 1982 August
Prefix System – A 123 ABC:
A 1983 August
B 1984 August
C 1985 August
D 1986 August
E 1987 August
F 1988 August
G 1989 August
H 1990 August
J 1991 August
K 1992 August
L 1993 August
M 1994 August
N 1995 August
P 1996 August
R 1997 August
S 1998 August
T 1999 March
V 1999 August
W 2000 March
X 2000 August
Y 2001 March
Current System – AB123ABC:
51 2001 September
02 2002 March
52 2002 September
03 2003 March
53 2003 September
04 2004 March
54 2004 September
05 2005 March
55 2005 September
06 2006 March
56 2006 September
07 2007 March
57 2007 September
08 2008 March
58 2008 September
09 2009 March
59 2009 September
10 2010 March
60 2010 September
11 2011 March
61 2011 September
12 2012 March
62 2012 September
13 2013 March
63 2013 September
14 2014 March
64 2014 September
15 2015 March
65 2015 September
16 2016 March
66 2016 September
17 2017 March
67 2017 September
18 2018 March
68 2018 September
19 2019 March
69 2019 September
20 2020 March
70 2020 September

Your dream Porsche is actually a Porsche

Not an Audi, as mentioned previously.

The evening started pleasantly enough, we took the TT over to Stourport, ambled around, ate chips, strolled by the river. Standard stuff. Luckily my passenger enjoyed the heavy use of the loud pedal so the journey back was spritely…

At a set of traffic lights on the journey home, there it was…

The road stretched ahead of us as we sat and watched vehicles join us from the left, waiting our turn to continue onward. Sneaking through the lights at the last moment, we saw it. The lights went green for us and naturally we gave chase. The TT caught up and the four rings of the Audi badge almost kissed the Turbo insignia below the spoiler of the 2007 911. Dark blue, with dark wheels, we both floored it up the hill to the roundabout; he took the right hand lane and us the left, cheekily accelerating around him on the outside as we joined the dual carriageway. We hadn’t intended to overtake, we’d expected him to turn right towards the motorway, but at the last moment he snuck in behind us, following us down the dual carriageway.

With the TT now ahead, the 911’s headlights filled the rear view mirror – he must have been a hairs breadth from our license plate. We politely moved into the left hand lane, as if some imaginary race steward was frantically waving a blue flag in our direction. The Porsche pulled alongside to overtake and at that moment the planets aligned.

The traffic lights ahead turned red.

Both cars rolled to a stop, staring at a full half mile of uphill, empty dual carriageway.

Pulse racing from the TT’s cheeky, unintentional overtaking manouvre at the roundabout; I hit the switch and lowered the electric window. Everything happened in slow motion. I looked over at the Porsche driver with the biggest grin on my face, and he looked back at me, beaming in agreement. There was no malice between us, no aggression, no disrespect – just a love for the vehicles in which we sat and a joyful acknowledgement of the situation that was unfolding.

We both knew what was about to happen.

We both knew it was ON.

The lights went Orange, and then Green…

The 911 paused for a slit second and I let the clutch out as fast as I dare whilst nailing the throttle – the TT launched, all four wheels clamouring for grip as we bounced off the rev limiter through first and second… The noise from both vehicles was incredible.

We hadn’t made it to third gear before the Porsche rocketed past us.

The roar of the boxer engine and the wail of its turbo filled the TT as the Porsche bellowed up the hill. With the TT still going through the gears at pace the Porsche was gone, at unbelievable velocity the taillights disappeared up the hill and across the roundabout. Despite our best efforts to use the cornering abilities of the TT, by the time we’d crossed the roundabout and hit the second straight of the dual carriageway the Porsche was long gone.

The 225bhp of the TT was no match for the 400bhp produced by the Porsche’s mighty 3.6 litre unit. It wasn’t a massacre, we put up a fight, but the TT was shown its place in the pecking order, given a good solid trouncing by its German cousin.

The TT was still accelerating in fifth gear when my thoughts turned to last weeks ‘Your dream Porsche is an Audi blog’. I turned to my passenger, (who hadn’t read the blog) laughed to myself, and explained the irony of the situation.

Everything had changed in less than a minute.

Your dream Porsche is an Audi until a Porsche comes along and reminds you that your dream Porsche is still a Porsche, for reasons that facts, figures and finance can’t explain.

Motoring is about passion, it’s an insatiable desire, its about design, engineering, and that little extra something… you can’t quantify the experience of nights like tonight, there is no star rating system to dictate how much a car will make your pulse race.

I’ve loved the TT, I’m seriously considering selling the Mondeo and jumping into Audi land.

But one day, sometime in future… it HAS to be a 911.

Written by Joe in June 2013


Your dream Porsche is actually an Audi

From 2013, written by Joe:

Since I was about 8 I’ve wanted a Porsche 911. Not just any 911, no, that wouldn’t do. The 911 range is famously hard to comprehend, but thanks to the internet I figured it out in no time. It had to be the 2002 911 Carrera 4s. In grey, with Porsche Cup wheels. With black leather. I’ve wanted this car for almost 15 years, it sits on the desktop of my Mac, on my iPhone, there’s even a Matchbox version bluetacked to the top of my Amplifier at home.

The problem is, sometimes in life you’re faced with a shocking realisation.

This realisation happened to me last week. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks in a borrowed 2003 Audi TT 1.8 Turbo 225bhp. Being a petrol head obviously this has been a lot of fun.

For the first few days it was plenty fast enough, it pulls nicely, the turbo whistles as you schnick-schnick through the short range gearbox, the steering feels solid and planted and the Quattro four wheel drive grips like you wouldn’t believe. Even the fuel economy didn’t bother me! And here is the issue. The TT will do 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, can hit speeds well within license-losing territory, is four wheel drive so it works in the wet and ice but it will also return around 32mpg when you’re careful.

Coupled to that; as a second hand buy you can’t have much more fun for the same money. I had these thoughts on my mind as I cruised home, when I noticed I was approaching a familiar vehicle up ahead. Sure enough, in Navy Blue, a 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4s. It wasn’t shifting, but then nor was I. The Porsche pulled in behind and sat on my bumper for the best part of 40 minutes. He didn’t go past, we weren’t doing crazy speeds but this is the point.

The TT is everything the Porsche is, other than around 40mph at the top end. When do you ever reach the top end of a car? If you do, its for a matter of seconds before the hairs on your neck stand up and you ease off the accelerator shaking with adrenalin, sweating slightly and praying that no one saw you do it. You can’t put it on Facebook because everyone will think you’re an idiot. You can’t take a photo because everyone will think you’re an idiot. You can’t tell your mates because they’ll first think you’re an idiot, then remember a time when they have gone faster, for longer.

What’s the point? A week later with the TT and I’m noticing I just want a little more poke… not much, 225bhp is a very usable amount, and that’s the great thing about the TT. With the Quattro, you can get all the horses onto the tarmac and have a lot of fun with it. Could you do that with four, or five, or six hundred horsepower? And here lies the conclusion I’ve reached. My dream car isn’t a 911. It’s a TT, with more power… my dream car is an Audi TT 3.2 V6 Manual. Two weeks in an Audi TT ruined a lifetime of anticipation.