Car numberplate game

Car numberplate game

A car numberplate game is a car game playable in the United Kingdom and other countries with a suitable car registration scheme. Most are solitary games, or can be played individually in competition with other passengers.

In Europe

One variant of the numberplate game involves spotting cars with each number from 1 to 999 in order. The letters around the numbers are ignored. In the UK, where a basic game can last many months, this will become harder now that the numbering scheme has changed.

A much quicker game is to seek the 26 letters of the alphabet, again in order. For those with difficulty finding I, Q, Z or other 'tricky' letters allowing a single numberplate with the two letters adjacent to the required letter can be allowed (thus X123HXJ can be an I as there is an H and a J on the one plate) (use Y+A for Z and Z+B for A). To make it even easier, allow triple characters to represent anything (with X123PPP or ABC222X the triple is a 'wild card').

To make this a competitive game between two teams, have one team work forwards through the alphabet and the other team work backwards.

Another European version is spotting a plate and taking the letters - in order - and trying to construct a word which contain all the letters in the right order. For example, a Swede might on the plate "SVG111" construct the words "sving" ("swing"), "Sverige" (Sweden). Points can be rewarded in different manners - by finding the shortest word or finding the longest word.

In North America

A North American version of the game, commonly referred to as the "license plate game," involves attempting to find a license plate from each U.S. state and/or Canadian province. After one player has spotted a plate especially rare in that region, the other players get a higher number of points by spotting another plate that matches the first.

Another game common in North America is "license plate poker," in which the contestants attempt to form poker hands from the characters on license plates. Since North American plates have shorter texts than those in Europe, this is more difficult than it would seem. Flushes are obviously impossible, and straights are exceedingly rare.

A third game, not possible in most European countries, is spotting unusual "vanity" plates, where the car owner has paid a premium to get a particular code, like "REDBMW", "HERTOY," "BONZO," or "ZOMFG".

Cultural References

*The protagonists from "Jeepers Creepers" play this game early on in the movie as they drive.

*On Friends, Phoebe plays it with the hitchhiker in The One After Vegas.

External links

* [ License Plate Game from] This site has a printable page of the 50 US States to use on car trips for playing the license plate game.
* - official rules for CNPS (consecutive number-plate spotting).

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