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71 Plates | What Do They Mean?

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By Saoirse McClure Fisher

calendar 07-09-2021 tag MAINTENANCE clock 5 min read

What is the New 71 Plate?

The new 71 plate is the second plate released in the year 2021. It has caused a stir amongst some motorists as "71" can spell several words when combined with other letters. The plate will be seen on all brand-new vehicles first registered as of 1st September 2021.

And the green plates… What do they mean?

It's quite simple. The New 71 plate will be the second issue of the 'green plates'. For those of you not in the know, the first was issued in March 2021 and signifies a fully electric car or van… That'll be why your neighbour (the one with the Tesla) is looking so smug. The 'green plates' aim was a subtle encouragement from the government to entice other road users to go fully electric… Oh, and it makes it easier to charge non-electric vehicle users in emissions zones.

How Do I Know How Old a Car Is?

The first two numbers in a vehicles registration plate indicate the year the vehicle was first registered. It can sometimes be a little confusing. 


When you are dealing with vehicles registered in March, it is pretty straightforward. A car with 21 on the plate was registered in March 2021. A vehicle registered in March 2019 would have 19 as its first two numbers.

Simple enough, right?

September is the tricky bit. 71 demonstrates that the vehicle was registered in September 2021. A vehicle registered in September 2019 will have the plate with 69 as the first two numbers.

Want an easy way to work out your September plates? 

Just take 50 away from the first two numbers… The resulting two-digit number tells you which year the vehicle was registered. If it is, say… XX67, you'll now be able to see that the vehicle was registered in September 2017.

When did 21 Plates Come Out?

The first 21 plate to come out was in March 2021. In 2001 the government changed the plate registering convention from once a year to twice a year to minimize the peaks and troughs created by people only wanting a 'new' car around August.


Yep, that's when the plate change used to go through its yearly cycle before 2001.  

What is the Structure of UK Registration Plates?

Again, if you are big into your car numberplates (yes, of course we are), you can get quite a lot of information based on the plate. Essentially there are 4 key pieces of information.

  • 1st two letters -   A unique code specific to the DVLA office where the vehicle was registered.
  • Two Numbers – As you've just seen, this indicates the year of the vehicle's registration
  • Final three Letters – these are randomly assigned and what makes your registration unique.
  • Green Stripe – This indicates that your vehicle or van is fully electric


Whether your vehicle is new, old, or somewhere between, you will want to take good care of it. This includes your tyres. At Motokiki, we can source the perfect tyre for your vehicle. This includes 71 plates and much older vehicles. We can even find tyres for fully electric vehicles! While we are discussing car registrations, why not pop yours into our handy online tyre checker so you can see the latest deals.



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