Compared to America, the license plates on English cars are fairly dull and conservative.
The USA’s car registration plates tend to feature colours, icons and images which are usually symbolic and associated with their state of origin. English license plates on the other hand prefer to keep designs basic and strictly standardised throughout the country.
Britain is hugely diverse for its size though, in England alone there are an array of counties with their own unique accent, history and landscape. If we decided to Americanize our license plates, the potential for design would be huge.
Here is how some of the home counties could design their own car registration plates to celebrate their identity, including some commonly spoken phrases that might sound foreign to even a fluent English speaker:
Decoration here is inspired by those delicious meat and potato filled pastries, perhaps Cornwall’s most famous export.
Cornwall pride themselves on these so much they pushed a naming law to be passed which means a pasty cannot legally be called a Cornish pasty, unless it is made in Cornwall.
They are also blessed with beautiful beaches and excellent surfing conditions, a popular destination for Britain’s surfing enthusiasts all year round.
‘Wasson’ – A shorter, Cornish way of saying ‘hi, how are you?’.
City of London
This license plate pretty much designs itself. But despite the wealth of landmarks throughout the capital, the red double decker bus and Big Ben’s face remain as iconic as ever.
‘Cheerio’ – Seeing as drivers in London are rarely polite, your car can be instead with this slightly archaic expression of ‘goodbye and good wishes’.
The Yorkshire Counties
Anyone who knows their tea well will tell you that Yorkshire tea is up there with the very best.
Rugby League is a popular choice of sport here, favored over union, as well as most other ‘soft’ sports which are not quite suited to Yorkshire’s expanse of wet and muddy fields.
‘Oh aye?’ – a shocked, sceptical or surprised yorkshireman/ woman would use this phrase to mean ‘oh really?’ – shocked perhaps at an appalling maneuver on the road.
Fewer things in Britain divide opinion like football. Even in the furthest reaches of the world, the terms ‘football’ and ‘Manchester’ may help you go some way in establishing a dialogue with the locals.
Also acknowledged is Manchester’s old textile industry which was at the heart of Britain’s industrial revolution.
‘Sound’ – used as a term of praise, which could also give a false sense of your own driving abilities.
Four of Liverpool’s most famous sons are present here. But while Beatlemania helped export Britain’s cool image in the sixties, Liverpool’s docks have been importing goods to the rest of the country for centuries.
‘Boss’ – A popular Liverpudlian way of praising something. Drivers would like to think their motor skills are ‘boss’ compared to others on the road, although most would probably disagree with such a statement.
It would be slightly inappropriate to promote the county’s famous cider on a motor vehicle, but their apples are the real hero at work anyway.
There is also Glastonbury’s famous Tor Hill which can be seen for miles as part of a scenic drive.
‘How be on?’ – if someone in Somerset asked you this, rather than staring at them blankly, you can simply reply ‘fine thanks, how are you?’ before being on your way.
How can you personalize yours?
Although the license plates on this list are fictional and far from what you could legally have on a car in Britain, you can use a personalised number plate specialist such as Click4Reg to find your own personalised number/letter combination which can be legally used for your own car’s registration.