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car number plates guide

symbols on number plates

number plate symbols

Some number plates are now appearing with a symbol in a blue section on the left-hand edge of the plate. Often it's the circle of yellow stars symbol of the controversial political project called the European Union (shown far left above).

These are appearing because some dealers are encouraging their customers to have them fitted to their new cars at extra cost by claiming that having this style of plate means you don't have to slap an ugly 'GB' sticker on your car if you take it abroad.

But this isn't completely true.
All you actually need on your plate to dodge the eyesore white sticker are the letters 'GB'.

It's also perfectly legal - and far less politically controversial - to have a national symbol above the 'GB'. But no other symbols, like football club or car manufacturer emblems, are allowed for road use.

plate with union flag symbol

Polls show many people have strong objections to the European Union and what its 'yellow stars' flag represents. The risk with displaying this symbol is that your number plate could easily be misunderstood as a deliberate political gesture of support for the EU. As with any political symbols, like the emblems of political parties, that might attract the attention of campaigners with strongly held alternative views.

If you'd rather not get involved in politics, you might prefer a standard plain number plate or one with the UK national symbol of your choice. If buying a new car, make sure the dealer doesn't put the EU political symbol on your car without asking you - and ask them to change it if they do.

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