Carwow recently ran a poll which revealed that a rude or saucy number plate actually featured quite highly on people’s wish lists the Mirror explains.  The DVLA are supposed to censor number plates which inadvertently contain random letters and numbers which could be construed to make a rude word, more specifically, a sex act, swear word or racist term.  The DVLA ‘crude police’ often cull other potentially debatable plates so in 2019 the axe has swung across B19 NOB, B19 DCK and OR19 ASM.  So how can you sneak under the radar yourself and bag yourself a head-turning and saucy number plate?

Remember with number plates, it’s not always about finding that perfect replica of letters and numbers – often the most successful plates are suggestive – pun definitely intended – of a particular word so whilst it might not be spelt correctly or even spelt out, the effect is apparent taken on face value and there is effectively only one way the plate can be read. Finding a number plate with a sexy or crude word is no different to sourcing any other type of plate which features a particular word or name.  Here’s how can you get your hands on a racey little number, read our handy guide


  • Use a plate hunting service to look for you or ask them to trawl their database of current plates. There are companies who specialise in buying up potentially popular plates as they can have such a high resale value


  • All the main sales sites such as eBay and Autotrader offer private plates for sale – the more desirable the word or representation of the word, the higher the price usually


  • Advertise, you can’t access DVLA records yourself to check to see if the plate you are after actually exists and who it is registered to as number plate records can only be searched by official authorities like the Police


  • Check through the DVLA website which will let you view their current sales stock. Prices vary from £250 to in excess of £1,000 and the handy search tool will offer different compositions of letters and numbers so you can see what may come close to your dream plate. Prices are clear and transparent and each sale will attract a standard fee of £80 which is not connected to the sale value of the number plate


  • Buy through the DVLA auctions. There are two types, a physical auction which you can attend in person which the DVLA label their ‘traditional’ auction – you can also bid by phone or via the internet if you cannot be there on the day.


  • There is also a virtual sale described as a ‘timed auction’ which is similar to traditional sealed bids whereby bidders make their offer based on the nominated reserve price without sight of the other bids. At the appointed deadline, the highest bid will claim the plate.  However, where the system differs from the traditional sealed bid route, is that the bidder can be alerted if their own bid has been exceeded by another buyer allowing you the chance to up your bid.  This tends to be the marketplace for the more standard and generic plates, the unusual and desirable are usually sold via the traditional DVLA auction method


  • Spread your risk and look for a range of words which could be made with an unusual combination of letters and numbers. Number plates are all about impression and appearance so you need to be imaginative and also keep your powder dry.  If a private seller or plate hunter thinks they have something desirable then the price will only head one way and that is up


  • Study the regular change of standard number plates in case you strike lucky with a basic DVLA issue. This year on September 1st, the issue all featured the age identifier ‘69’ in the range.  It doesn’t require a great deal of imagination to do something with that.  DVLA passed this autumn, BJ69 – the owner of that plate on a Nissan made the national headlines as he wanted to refuse the vehicle on the grounds that the plate was offensive.  They also approved ME 69 GAG and B69 WLY all inadvertently quite rude plates issued as standard


  • Anticipate the next plate issues and play around with numbers and lettering; something that doesn’t appear rude or offensive could when viewed from a distance, create a spectacular effect. You don’t need to own a vehicle to buy a plate or you could own a vehicle which already has a plate; this doesn’t bar you from buying.  You can keep your new purchase, ‘on certificate’ so you can either assign it to a car you own in the future or sell it to someone else


  • If you have a deep pocket then you could approach owners of distinctive plates but the best ones do not come cheap. ORG4SM went on sale for £150,000 but many are under £20,000 to be fair.  There is no standard industry pricing for these plates, they are just worth what someone is prepared to pay for them and if two people are very keen, then the price can be driven upwards almost artificially


Research and Patience is key

Through a combination of research and patience, you should be able to land yourself a saucy plate for your car.  Words that are in common parlance are clearly going to be more popular than ones which are more uniquely personal and convey a meaning to just a small group of people.  The numerals ‘69’ was a bit of a gift to the raunchy minded driver but there are bound to be more opportunities along the way, you just need to spot them.