New style number plates were introduced in 2001 when the prefix system came to an end. A complete break from the previous number plate system; new style or current style numberplates use both age identifiers and local identifiers which allow you to easily tell where and when the registration number was issued.
For the first time, this system meant that all new numberplates issued would have 7 digits as standard- previous styles could fluctuate from 2 to 7 digits depending on a number of factors.
Despite having a higher price than prefix number plates when purchased from the DVLA; new style number plates have had a luke warm reception in the world of personalised registrations.
Due to their structure there are notably fewer "quality" combinations to be had- a lot of number plate buyers have stuck with the remaining prefix combinations for sale.
Depending on the quality of the plate- new style number plates fetch on average £400 - £800 - rising far more for the few excellent combinations such as MU51CAL.
The DVLA have invested a great deal of money in advertising the new style series of numberplates.
With so few "quality" combinations; the DVLA has tried to educate the market that buying your initials is the way to get the best out of your new plate. Barry James Jones (all the names in the DVLA adverts have a middle name…) could buy BJ51BJJ.