By: Dave Moss (a highly respected motoring writer, and a valued contributor to Wheels-Alive)
Published by: Shire Books, paperback
ISBN: 978 0 747805 66 3
Available via: Shire books, Amazon and other online bookstores, or can be ordered via bookshops everywhere.
Registration marks are one of the very few unbroken links between the earliest times of the motor vehicle and the present day. In this book, the lengthy history of the humble British number plate is revealed. The system introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century had a straightforward purpose in identifying the place of origin of motor vehicles, where registers were kept providing links to their owners. As more and more vehicles came onto the roads, the original system underwent piecemeal development through sheer necessity – to the point where adaptations changed it almost beyond recognition. This book looks back on the evolution of the British number plate, showing how the original, painstakingly developed system was adjusted and modified over time in the light of ever-escalating traffic growth and regulatory changes, becoming riddled with ever more anomalies. Later, vehicle registrations were computerised – and eventually it was time to make a fresh start, with a new vehicle registration system for the 21st century…