back to article L1NUX number plate roars onto eBay

The Linux users among you who've been putting aside all the lovely cash you've saved by not shelling out for the Satanic Software of Redmond™ might like to consider blowing it on the ultimate open source boy racer accessory: the one and only L1NUX number plate. It has to be said, the auction has hardly set eBay alight, with …


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  1. egg


    The item photographed doesn't appear to conform to The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 which requires a 33mm gap between groups of letters.


    "But the problem is when people change the letter spacing and make the plate hard to read. Cars with these plates fail MOT tests and there is a maximum £1,000 fine."

    "The DVLA plans to work with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to crackdown on drivers. From 1 March people without correctly displayed plates may have their registration marks withdrawn permanently without compensation."

  2. Anonymous Coward


    "just one bid at a paltry £1,000"

    The number of bids has quadrupled , and the high bid is now just over 2 grand. Reserve not met, either - realistic or insane optimism? You decide.

    Interestingly, just after I passed my driving test a mate of mine asked me whether or not I'd go hunting for the "L1NUX" plate once I'd got myself a car. I pointed out that I'd much prefer "8OFH" or some variant thereof :-)

  3. Ian Chard

    Seen at Sun in Camberley

    in October 2005, on a motorbike. One of the truly saddest sights I have ever seen.

  4. Jeremy Maccelari

    Cost of Vista vs Linux

    So not matter what the Beast of Redmond says, Vista _does_ cost 135 times what Linux costs? The market says so...

  5. kevin elliott

    To Be Expected

    Limux users are sufficiently mature and above fan boy nonsense like personalised plates.

    Says a lot about the users mentality. I'm surprised that anyone's prepared to pay even a tenner for a L1NUX plate, never mind bid a grand.

    What's the point?

    Mind you I've never been able to understand the mentality of people who pay good money for personalised plates - so perhaps I'm missing something.

  6. David Haworth

    @to be expected

    I don't mind people having private plates. I think it can look quite nice, depending on the plate. and it de-ages the car which is nice. would I have one? possibly, except I can't work out what I'd buy. any ones I might conceivably want are waaay too expensive I think. also the paperwork whenever one buys and sells a car seems like a lot of hassle...


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    ...RE57ART seen on a Smart car belonging to a computer maintenance firm...

  8. Dave Morfee


    Around Peterborough i see on occasion W1NNT on a Honda Accord estate

  9. Mike Smith

    @To Be Expected

    I've never seen the sense in personalised numberplates either. Unless we're talking about RA55 MAN (say it out loud in a West Indian accent).

    Doesn't seem to be for sale though :-(

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Libel, I tell you, libel!

    "We suspect that Linux aficionados have become so accustomed to not paying for anything except pizza that they really aren't going to stump for this automotive statement"

    You are Andrew Thomas and I claim my fifty quid.

  11. Edward Rose

    Plain not true.

    "We suspect that Linux aficionados have become so accustomed to not paying for anything except pizza that they really aren't going to stump for this automotive statement"

    We pay for beer! You just can't get that for free.


  12. Timbo

    Stiched up either way ?

    What gets me is that there's one Govt dept actively selling personalised number plates (in some cases for loadsa money) on the basis that the particular sequence can be seen as a particular "word"...and then another dept that'll fine you big time if you do re-space the characters in order to make the word....!

    This country is going to the dogs and not mistake...!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    URL 1 - Aston Martin DB9

    This car / plate combination is parked outside a tech company local to me - also in Cardiff, Wales. What's going on? Is cardiff the new IT capital of the UK. I atually spotted L1NUX in the same car park (on a 5-series BMW) as URL 1 - so perhaps they're friends. I also note that James Wickes from Ideal hardware wants URL 1 - perhaps he should get in touch and I can point him in the right direction

  14. Chris Haynes
    Gates Horns

    Why isn't...

    ...SH1T isn't the same price as V1STA? Both are, after all, equal.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Around Newcastle from time to time

    H2 EAU

    It's known to be driven by the owner of a local water bottling company.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re; 35mm Gap

    I think you'll find the car has a new MOT (!)

  17. Jason Irwin


    That plate is illegal (letter spacing). It should be "L1 NUX".

  18. Richard Kennedy

    What's the problem?

    "But the problem is when people change the letter spacing and make the plate hard to read. Cars with these plates fail MOT tests and there is a maximum £1,000 fine."

    I've never understood the issue with changing the spacing on number plates. If the Police check your plate, I doubt very much that they check it as "L, 1, SPACE,N, U, X" for example!

  19. George Johnson

    Very sad...

    I once saw "0RA DBA" on the back of a very, very expensive Merc, obviously one of those over-payed Oracle DBA contractors we all employ somewhere in the company!

    I checked and I believe the number plate "1 DBA" is currently available for £23,000!!! Why so? I have no idea!! You'd think if youer were one, you'd want to keep it quiet!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Easy to remember?

    I think the whole issue of private plates is sad.

    Apart from that, I wouldn't want my number plate to be more easily remembered by someone I cut-up or speed past ;-)

    More seriously, though, I knew someone who had one, (I forget what it was now) and he had been stopped a few times concerning the illegal spacing he had - the reason quoted earlier:

    "But the problem is when people change the letter spacing and make the plate hard to read."

    Weird. His was much easier to read/remember as a 'word' than in it's spaced out form - and we're just talking spacing, not changing a 4 to look like an A etc.

  21. Jonathan Richards
    Black Helicopters


    Think of it as a stupidity tax.

    Richard K: I suspect it's all to do with Automatic Number Plate Recognition: I've toyed with the idea of building a number plate recogniser, but my leet skillz aren't up to it. Mucking about with the typeface, weight, spacing, etc. will make it much harder for Plod's PC to recognize you as you whizz through the congestion charging zone...

  22. Chris Jones-Gill

    Seen this on a Porche

    Read it as you would see it in the mirror

    T1 3VOM

  23. egg


    Bidders beware the L7NUX number plate

    The owner of L1 NUX admits "The police have stopped him five times for having the incorrect spacing between letters on his cherished plate."

    "In London they're very very sensitive about the spacing of letters. I've been taken to court once," he said. Bult had changed the letter spacing on his plate within the seven days of being instructed to, but an admin cock up meant he still had to appear in court"

    "He now lives in the countryside outside Cardiff where the number plate special squad is more relaxed. Which is not to suggest he doesn't adhere to the DVLA's regulations. He currently drives a BMW 528."

    May be he has a revolving number plate switching from L1 NUX to L1NUX.

    Which version is on the car at the moment?

  24. Will
    Thumb Up

    @ Anonymouse Coward:

    Reminds me of the shell/bp/maxol/some other petrol company executive who purchased the legit Northern Ireland registration plate of "OIL 8055".

  25. Craig Edwards
    Gates Horns

    number plates

    I'd rather have the number plate FR33 BSD ;)

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Reputedly once seen on a pink E Type Jag. Or was it PEN 1S ?Says it all really.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    chances are

    V1STA is far older and has nothing at all to do with OS's (shock horror) as it was a word since there have been number plates.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    on the embankment

    I've seen two bentlys park next to each other with the plates.

    "2 BE" on one and "Not 2 BE" on the other.

  29. oliver Stieber

    Best numberplate so far

    VE DUB01 seen on a new style beetle near reading.

  30. Vulpes Vulpes

    ...or maybe

    D15 TRO would be a better choice.

  31. Vulpes Vulpes

    That DB5

    Has anyone actually got BMT 216A ?

    Now THAT'S a number plate worth covetting.

  32. yeah, right.

    A joke...

    Private plates in the UK really are a joke. Trying to massage a sequence of letters and numbers into "words"? All because the UK public is being held hostage by a computer system designed in the 1970's that nobody can change in any meaningful way? If they could change it, they could allow REAL personalized number plates, without all the faffing about with numbers and letters. But no. They've got the gullible UK punters who will pay loads for "personalized" numberplates that aren't actually at all personalized.

    Anyone who gets one of these things is simply supporting bad programming and bad design, and obviously has more money than brains. P.T. Barnum is proven right yet again.

  33. Lloyd

    Currently £5,100??????

    Bleedin 'ell, do you have any idea how many pair of socks and sandals you can buy for that?

  34. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton

    how much is..

    ..B0 LL0X

    stupid personalised number plates. I've been miffed since the DVLA wouldn't let me have B45TARD or W4NK3R, the b*st*rd w*nkers.

    wonder how much Paris Hilton's would be?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Chris Jones-Gill

    XUNIJ might work too.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: W4NKR

    Steve Parrish, current BBC MotoGP commentator and former well-known 80's GP paddock prankster, used to have PEN1S on his truck...

  37. Reginald Perrin
    Thumb Up


    One of my friends in the US had a red Corvette with the plate TOSSER.

    He told the DMV that he came from a long line of caber tossers.

  38. Slaine

    cool number?

    M7 JAG (with a curved "7" to look like a "Y") lives on a sporty Jaguar near me these days.

    Why do people do that?

  39. Kenny McLeod
    Thumb Up

    Saddest yet...

    is the Edinburgh based Porsche with H1 61RLS!!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My car is the only 'cool' thing I've got going for me. If I'm ever to have any hope of getting laid more than once per decade, I think I'll pass.

  41. Mike Lovell

    Cast my mind back

    Post by Kenny reminds me of one I saw in Brighton maybe 5-6 years ago (they'd got it on one of those 2 line number plates like you get on some 4x4's):




  42. Matt

    Think UK "custom" numberplates are limited?

    The Irish (Republic) system is even more restrictive -

    The standard for regs is YY-C-NNNN, where YY is the year ie 07, C is the county e.g. D=Dublin, C=Cork etc, NNNN is a sequential number eg 34704. Nice and simple, the age of the car is easy to pick out, and where it's from.

    One problem with this is that while at the start of the year all is fine eg. 07-D-123 is nice and easy to read, towards the end of the year the numbers get longer eg. 07-D-110573. Try reading the numerical part of the reg after the car does a hit and run. Not too easy. And think of all the regs that it could look like if you're out by a digit!

    Right, back to the matter in hand - customising - you can't. Even down to the format of the plate and the font itself. Changing the font is an offence (afaik), and will certainly fail your NCT (MOT equiv) if you do.

    The "creative" types try to do things with the number part. So every single Porsche in the country has some variation of YY-D-911. Well done. Its a 911. We know. (This technique also works for Peugeots, Rovers, BMW etc)

    Having said all this, I do think that in Cork, in 2036 or Dublin in the same year, there will be sniggers as all the regs start with either 36-C or 36-D and a few lucky punters will get their grubby mits on the 7175th car, or even the 80085th car in their county. (Squinting may help, also having a juevenile mind!)

    Fnar fnar.

  43. Colin Wilson
    Dead Vulture

    Spotted in Liverpool

    H10RNY (with the 1 perilously close to the H)

    - it was driven by a woman I can only describe as "undesirable" (I suspect she worked at a local dairy curdling milk).

    As for the choice of icon for this post, she was one _ugly_ bird :-p

  44. Chris

    RE: Easy to remember?

    "I think the whole issue of private plates is sad.

    Apart from that, I wouldn't want my number plate to be more easily remembered by someone I cut-up or speed past ;-)"

    I couldn't agree more. If I were to get a personalized plate (the rules seems a bit different on this side of the pond) I would want my plate to say "I FORGOT". Then if the cops ever tried to "call it in", they would end up in an Abbot and Costello routine.

  45. J


    "Of course, were V1STA ever to become available, Windows apologistas would be falling over themselves"

    No, no... They would be being sued for trademark violation or something.

  46. Chris Miller

    Seen on a RAV4 on the M3:


    Didn't stop to see if he was!

  47. Matt Horrocks


    And when it ends some unfortunate sod finds out it's just for the plates (i.e. worth £20) rather than the actual reg number. Wouldn't surprise me really.

  48. Mal Arkey

    Be different...

    Seen in Northern Virginia, proof that Yanks can have a sense of humor: 2DV8S2B

  49. John Stirling

    Seen on a Ferrari Testarosa in Cambridge

    BEG 4 1T

    He was about 20, and quite pretty for a boy.

    Instantly hated him.

  50. kain preacher


    I guess you guys have to pay a private company to do vanity plates .

    Here the state does it no problem.

    Cheap and with real choices :)

  51. Tom

    Silliness of plates on cars.

    Over here in the states, most (if not all) of the states in the USA have personalized ones. You pay extra $$$ (every year) and you get a nice government issued official plate to put on your vehicle (all are made by the government). In looking up the rules in my state (see they allow 7 characters (letters and numbers). There are all sorts of silly rules (the number "69" can only appear on model year 1969 vehicles is one). I suspect that "LINUX" has already been issued in many of the 50 states (I have no facts, just guessing). Of course, the whole idea of a plate is to identify the vehicle when it zooms by you. My thought was to just draw numbers/letters out of hat to make up a random license plate. Confusing for the police to get a handle on.

    Then again, I really wanted the plate "4900796" but they don't allow all numbers in custom plates (bummer). Bad reference to a computer of over 40 years ago.

  52. David Sidebotham

    What's in a number?

    Also out in the wild and seen 20 October is B1BLE.

  53. Mr Larrington

    @Anonymous Coward

    "Steve Parrish, current BBC MotoGP commentator and former well-known 80's GP paddock prankster, used to have PEN1S on his truck..."

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. 'twas PEN 15.

    Back on topic, EDL 1 N spotted on a black Saab in Hertford last year. The best naff plate in the history of all things ever, thobut, was FAT 91 T, on a Mk III Cortina estate.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plates in NZ

    Here in NZ personalised plates are easily available from the gov. Any combination of six numbers and/or letters is allowed and they come arranged so that you can read them. Transferring them from car to car is easy and takes about five minutes. They are very common and loads of people use them particularly for advertising or related purposes. As a mobile computer tech I have 1FIXPC for my plate and it is often commented on and remembered. A lot of firms buy sequentially numbered plates for fleets. They even provide a useful guide here

    And yes they are easily remembered if you see dodgy driving and even if someone has something similar it is quicker to eliminate 3 or 4 possibles than hundreds.

  55. Paul James

    One for Reg readers

    Shouldn't we all be yearning for "8 0FH" ?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re; 35mm Gap

    The plate currently on the car was supplied with the car when new by the BMW dealer, it has not been tampered with in any way shape or form - you will note the "BMW" logo on the screen shot on Ebay.

    I have the plates used in London in the Garage, the spacing was 2mm out, I'm guessing this was an accident rather than by intention as these too were installed by a BMW dealer.

    The only possible reason I've heard for being so pedantic about spacing is so that automatic cameras can read the plate. I can confidently say that this isn't a problem with the current plates .. :-(

  57. mantrogo
    Paris Hilton

    A wistful dream

    Utterly gorgeous blonde drove past me a few years ago in a merc convertible with plate HOT 53X...

  58. Paul James
    Thumb Up

    Re: 35mm Gap

    A piccy I took some time ago

    My camera phone didn't seem to have any problems

  59. Andy Costello
    Thumb Up


    Re : WINNT

    By Dave Morfee

    Posted Monday 22nd October 2007 10:22 GMT

    Around Peterborough i see on occasion W1NNT on a Honda Accord estate

    Looks like its up for sale now as well

  60. Samantha Clinton

    RE: Paul James

    Your camera phone might not have any problems, but my eyes are when trying to read it! Perhaps I spend WAAAAY much too time staring at the screen!!

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