COVID Car Reg Banned

Wed 31st Mar 2021

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has taken the unusual step of banning a series of personalised number plates which reference the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government agency meets every two years to discuss potential offensive combinations of letters and numbers removing those which might be deemed too rude or likely to cause offence.

While there has been a rise in interest in number plates featuring the ‘NHS’, the DVLA have moved swiftly to ban any which are directly referencing Covid. The move comes after authorities in Australia moved to withdraw a plate which read ‘COVID 19’ after it was spotted at Adelaide Airport last year.

The DVLA began selling cherished number plates in 1989 and have sold thousands of different combinations every year, with the prices ranging from £150 to £200,000. A recent plate ‘WHO5 NHS’ was listed on the market recently for £11,000.

“We suppress any registration number combinations that may cause offence, embarrassment or are in poor taste. This includes combinations that could be interpreted as referring to Covid-19,” a DVLA spokesperson told The Sunday Telegraph.

“1 NHS was available to buy in our July 2020 auction and the buyer cancelled the sale. As the number has not been sold it will be offered again at a future auction.

“The vast majority of personalised registrations are made available for sale but the agency holds back any combinations that may cause offence, embarrassment or are in poor taste.”

More than six million private plates have been sold in the last 30 years, bringing in £2billion for the Treasury.