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Number plate geekery Mar 02

Apologies in advance for this particularly nerdygeeky post.

I’ve noticed around Edinburgh that many cars have number plates consisting of three letters and four numbers, e.g.: LCZ 2981. More than you would expect appear to have Zs in.

Anyone know why this should be? Was there a separate number plate system in Scotland at some point? Olav’s British Number Plates doesn’t seem to have the answer, unless it’s just a variation of “1931-62 re-registration” plates.

I’m also mildly curious about the preponderance of 71 (e.g. N71 AFL) number plates in Edinburgh. Not that I have an interest in number plates – I’m just inquisitive.