Personalised Number Plates in South Africa – What Are Your Options

Personalised number plates are slightly different in each country. Regulations as to what combinations of letters and numbers are permitted, and how many of each, vary widely, and so does the cost of purchasing a personalised registration number. Whether you want one for fun or for business branding purposes, it makes sense to check out whether your brilliant idea will be allowed in your area.

In South Africa vehicle registration numbers are defined by province, so no matter what personalised number plate you choose it will bear the two letters indicating the province that issued the plates at the end of the number. The plates can have 1-7 numbers and letters in any combination, which gives you loads of space to create a unique, fun or hilarious tag for your car.

Costs vary according to province

When choosing your unique number you do need to check the regulations and costs for your province. Some provinces charge the same whether you want just one letter or seven, while others are cheaper for 4-7 letters or numbers and charge over the odds for single numbers or letters. The Western Cape is the fiercest in charges when it comes to single characters, so that it really does become a status symbol to show off the number plate 1 – WP. If you only have a limited budget, and live in the Western Cape or Gauteng, you can have fun dreaming up 4-7 letter words that express your personality or sum up your business, as these are the most affordable options in these provinces.

Purchasing from another province

It is possible to purchase plates from another province, if for example your chosen name or number is already taken in your province, but your vehicle would have to be registered to an address in that province and the license fee paid there annually.

Annual license fees

Bear in mind that the annual license fee for personalised number plates can be significantly higher than the standard license fees, so check out what this cost is likely to be in your province before purchasing the plates themselves. You don’t want to commit yourself to an annual fee that you can’t afford and have to abandon the plates after only a year. The annual license fee may be higher for single character plates and more affordable for longer plates, so this would also be an important factor in determining your choice of personalised number plates.

Special registration numbers

The cheapest option of all is to go for special number plates. These have three numbers followed by three letters or vice versa but are only available in Gauteng.