​5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Car Plate Number

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

Motorist Car Licence Plate 5 Fun Facts
(Photo Credit: Business Times)

Did you know certain car licence plates can fetch up to S$250,000 in price? Here are 5 fun facts about your car licence plate that you probably didn't know about.

Would you pay a thousand over dollars for a "swee" licence plate? Well, there are some car owners who would. In this article, we'll be taking a look at five fun facts about Singapore car licence plates.

Check out these fun facts below.

1) Singapore Car Licence Plates have to Follow Strict Measurements

Motorist Car Licence Plate Dimensions
(Photo Credit: One Motoring)

Car plate characters, both numbers and letters, must strictly adhere to the following measurements:

-They must be 70mm, 50mm wide, and 10mm broad.

-The space between adjoining characters must be 10mm.

-Any space between letters and numbers must be 20mm

-The margin between the nearest part of any character, and the top or bottom of the licence plate must be 10mm.

-The margin between the nearest part of any character, and the sides of the licence plate must be 20mm.

To get a better look at the measurements, kindly refer to the image above.

2) You’ll Have to Bid for New Car Plate Numbers

Motorist Car Plate Bidding
(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Just like COE of your car, you’ll need to bid for your car plate number if you’re buying a new car. Done through the One Motoring website, the minimum bid is S$1,000, and it can be increased in multiples of $1. Depending on the series and demand, certain licence plate character combinations can go up to tens of thousands of dollars.

If you want something more vintage or unique, you could also…

3) Purchase “Rare” Car Plate Numbers from Collectors or Other Car Owners

Motorist Rare Unique Car Plates
(Photo Credit: Car Plate SG)

If typical licence plates aren’t your thing, and you want something more unique, you could always bid for a selection of car plates online. These “rare” licence plates belong to collectors or lucky car owners who happen to secure these “lucky” numbers during the bidding process. Some of these licence plates are even considered vintage as they may be over 50-years-old.

Due to the “collector value” and rarity of these plates, most of them won’t come cheap. Expect to pay between $5,000 to $250,000 for these one-of-a-kind licence plates.

4) Different Coloured Licence Plates Represent Different Vehicles

Motorist Colour Car Licence Plate
(Photo Credit: One Motoring)

Notice how some licence plates are coloured differently? Well, they represent different types of vehicles. Here’s a quick summery of the different coloured licence plates:

Private vehicles: White characters on black background. For reflective licence plates, the front plate has black characters on white background, and the rear plate has black characters on yellow background

Off-peak vehicles: White characters on dark red background

Research and Development vehicles: White characters on yellow and blue background

Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Transportation vehicles: Black characters on orange background

Vintage and Classic vehicles: White characters on dark red and yellow background

Pulau Ubin vehicles: White characters on green background

Restricted use vehicles: White characters on dark red and green background

5) There are Different Prefix and Suffix for Different Vehicles Too

Motorist Unique Car Plate Affix Suffix
(Photo Credit: Wiki Commons)

Just like colours, the letters that appear before (prefix) and after (suffix) the car plate number reflects different vehicles as well. Here’s a list of the different types of prefix and suffix, and their meaning.

SBS: Buses from SBS Transit

SMB: Buses from SMRT

SEP: The official state car for the Singapore President

SJ: Cars belonging to the Judges from the Supreme Court

SPF: This car belongs to the Commissioner of the Singapore Police Force

LTA: Vehicles that belong to the Enforcement Department of the Land Transport Authority (LTA)

MID: Vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)

MP: Vehicles from the Military Police Command
PA: Private hire vehicles and buses

PU: Vehicles that are used exclusively on Pulau Ubin

QX: These vehicles belong to Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence

RD: Vehicles for Research and Development projects

RU: Vehicles that have Restricted Use. They are only allowed within certain areas

S, ending with CD: These vehicles belong to foreign diplomats

TP: Vehicles belonging to the Singapore Traffic Police

Do you have any other fun facts about licence plates? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 Comment

Low Wilson
S, ending with CC ?? S, ending with TE ?? Why LTA skipped SMC for cars and issuing SMD ?? Why SG Buses start from 1000? But there are other vehicles (non SG Buses) using SG plate from 1 to 999. Why vehicles from Malaysia are allowed to have squeezy number plates, bent/tilted number plates for motorcycles and also numbers' sizes were not of Singapore's standard allowed entry BUT Singapore vehicles must adhere to Malaysia's 'required" standard if not might face entry denial.

about 6 years ago