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Glass’s Index Of Registration Numbers

Glass’s Index Of Registration Numbers

If, like me, you’re a bit of an old car-nerd, then Glass’s Index Of Registration Numbers is essential reading.

What Does It Do?

This handy little booklet allows you to look up not only the year that ‘dateless’ car registrations were issued, but also WHERE they were issued. To the man in the street, that info may seem pointless, as you could type the registration number into the DVLA website and it will give you the year of registration. However, it won’t tell you where the plate was issued….and that’s important to us barn find nerds!

I’ll scan a couple of pages below, to show you what I mean.

For example, I have a couple of hot rods – one begins RKX and the other VEW. Within a few seconds, I now know that RKX was issued between January and April in 1953 by the Buckinghamshire Licensing Authority. VEW was issued by the Huntingdon Authority between January and May, 1959.

As you can see from the screenshots below from the excellent VehicleSmart app, it all tallies up and I now know a little bit more about my cars.

If you’re restoring and/or maintaining an old car, every bit of information helps. If you were selling a vehicle, it can even add value. For example, I spotted a signwritten Commer van on eBay recently. It only had one owner and the old phone number was the same area as the issuing authority for the number plate. From that, you could be pretty sure that it’s been a ‘local’ vehicle all its life. That’s a great nugget of information to add if you’re selling it and may well appeal to collectors in that area. It’s certainly not going to detract from the final price, that’s for sure!

Where Can I Get It?

Glass’s Guides are well known. Glass’s are the go-to experts for car prices and have been trusted by car dealers for generations. This Index Of Registration Numbers would have probably only ended up in the hands of those in the trade and, like the guides, disposed of once a newer copy came out. It’s incredible that so many seem to have survived!

I got hold of my copy when clearing out a garage, but I’ve now seen that they appear for sale on eBay quite frequently, so that’s where I’d look! CLICK HERE to see current UK listings. Try to get one from 1963, or ‘newer’, and you should have a fairly comprehensive edition for the older style registrations, as that’s when the new registration system came in. My battered old copy was published in 1965 and has a supplement inside from March, 1966.

A word of warning: quite a few listings on eBay are for the supplement only. Look for the complete guide, or you’ll be disappointed.

Happy reading, fellow nerds!

Elton Murphy