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Full information about transferring and retaining number plates can be found on the gov.uk website:
https://www.gov.uk/personalised-vehicle-registration-numbers/overview

What is Autonumerology?

Autonumerology was the brainchild of Noel Woodall in the 60's when number plates as status symbols were in their infancy.

Noel realised that some letters and numbers are interchangeable and as such you can spell words and names using number plates - which gives you far more choice when trying to find an ideal plate.

How does it work?

Using the following list of interchangeable characters- Noel realised that vast numbers of words could be spelt with letters and numbers

D can be represented by 0
I or L can be represented by 1
R or Z can be represented by 2
E can be represented by 3
A, D, H can be represented by 4
S can be represented by 5
G or B can be represented by6
T or Y can be represented by 7
A or B can be represented by 8
G can be represented by 9
U or H can be represented by 11
R can be represented by 12
B can be represented by 13
N can be represented by 1V
0 can be represented by D,6,8, or 9
W can be represented by VV
U can be represented by V

To give you an example- the name James could be spelt in the following ways:

J4MES
JAM3S
JAM35

By substituting 3 for E and S for 5 - there are three ways to spell James.

Notice that autonumerology is chiefly concerned with the perfect spelling of words on number plates- JAM355 wouldn't appear, for example.

How has autonumerology evolved?

Little was it realised that number plates would grow in popularity to such a stage where millions of combinations would be available to buy from the DVLA.

This greatly altered autonumerology which then helped hapless number plate buyers spell "alternative" numberplates.

Where autonumerology was mainly concerned with perfectly spelling words- the scarcity of quality combinations led to a revision of the autonumerology alphabet and the introduction of number plate phonetics.