The character width has been slightly reduced from 57mm to 50mm to accommodate the Euro-symbol on the number plate.
NUMBER PLATES FITTED BEFORE 1 SEPTEMBER 2001
Number plates fitted before 1 September 2001 must display characters that meet the dimensions shown in one of the two groups below
TRADITIONAL NUMBER PLATES
Vehicles constructed before 1.1.73 may display traditional style "black and white" plates i.e. white, silver or grey characters on a black plate.
Lettering must be of a set size. It must conform to one of the two groups below.
There are additional arrangements if the vehicle is a motorcycle or tricycle
Traditional number plates fitted to vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1973 are not required to display the mandatory character font, but the characters must be easy to read.
Display of Vehicle Registration Marks on Imported Vehicles
(which have a restricted space for a standard sized number plate)
Certain imported vehicles may be permitted to display number plates with smaller characters if:
The vehicle does not have European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval
The vehicle's construction/design cannot accomodate standard size number plates
Specifications for smaller sized plates (for certain imported vehicles)
MOTORCYCLES AND TRICYCLES
All motorcycles and tricycles must display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle.
Motorcycles and tricycles registered before 1.9.2001 can display a number plate at the front of the vehicle but are not required to.
If you have a two or three wheeled motor cycle or tricycle that has a body type of a four-wheeled vehicle, you MUST display a number plate at the front and back of the vehicle.
The characters may be smaller e.g.
Motorcycles registered on or after 1 September 2001 must display a two-line number plate number plate. Motorcycles registered prior to the 1 September 2001 may display a three-line plate, but one-line plates are illegal, irrespective of the date of registration of the motorcycle.