Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The illegals – C9 RYF (hybrid illegal? Or perhaps Schroedinger’s Number Plate)

Collecting registrations, and the side sport of spotting illegal number plates is usually straightforward – but not this time.

After yesterday’s post that noted the recent media-frenzy that fed on its sudden realisation that it could end/start the years 2017/2018 with a lovely ‘gloom and doom’ story for some (with dire warning of ÂŁ1,000 fines), I came across an enigma.

I thought I’d just passed a boring and mundane registration, of no obvious interest.

Seat Ibiza Legal Rear [C9 RYF]

Seat Ibiza Legal Rear [C9 RYF]

But, when I turned around to look back at the junction I’d just crossed, there was a surprise.

Multiple offences appeared!

Illegal spacing plus some sort of odd graphic on the left, which does not appear to be one of the approved national or regional flags. Worth adding it’s not a mistake – while I’m not going into detail (although this is in clear public view) there are more details shown on the plate than seen here.

Legal rear, illegal front – a Hybrid! Hopefully pulled by the police from the rear (they do tend to do that, rather than pull ahead and force a stop these days), they’ll see the legit rear plate and not take a walk around to the front.

Also known as Schroedinger’s Number Plate (after Schroedinger’s Cat) since it is both legal and illegal at the same time 🙂

In my day, when we still had ‘Tax Disks’, the front of the car was always examined in detail during a stop, so they could have a good look at the tax disk, checking not only its validity, but also that it was not a forgery, or an old beer bottle label, which could look similar from a distance, if it was the right brand.

Seat Ibiza Illegal Front Plate [C9RYF]

Seat Ibiza Illegal Front Plate [C9 RYF]

Next time I get over that way, I must find out what that graphic is, and kick myself for missing it first time around.


January 15, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

The illegals – REM 11M

While I enjoy having a light-hearted spotting of the surprisingly numerous illegally prepared number plates, and their longevity – it seems that unlike the traffic police seen on the various TV programmes, our own police north of the Border seem to be largely uninterested in this particular flavour of naughtiness.

This is a bit of a poke in the eye for the conspiracy theorists, as one of their favourite rants is against the police, and how they employ any means of automatically raising money while having no interest in policing. Naughty plates don’t register on ANPR systems, and they’re missing an easy take of up to ÂŁ1,000 for each plate offence as well.

God forbid good honest conspiracy theorists might be wrong (or deranged), but…

If you follow the media, then you might also have noticed that various sources have decided to start 2018 by highlighting illegally prepared number plates, and have almost been wetting themselves with joy at headlining the ÂŁ1,000 fine for such offences.

I’ve read a few of these recently, some apparently promoted by insurance companies, and keen to point out that such plates are also MOT failures when found during VOSA inspections.

Of course, if you drive a car without a valid MOT, then the small print in your insurance usually means that even if fully paid up, your insurance is cancelled/void, and not valid either, so you are driving with insurance and MOT.

This Express article is typical of what was being copied and repeated by bloggers who just cut-and-paste the work of others:

Number plate mistakes that could see you fail your MOT and land you ÂŁ1,000 fine

Conveniently, this handy example drove past just as I was about to tap this post out.

Suzuki [REM 11M]

Suzuki [REM 11M]

January 14, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The illegals – DD08 NLD

If I could afford to change Mercedes this often, and run the risk of a ÂŁ1,000 fine for illegal spacing on my plate, I think I’d put this plate on retention at the moment, and temporarily replace it with another from my little collection.

I’d be too embarrassed to be seen in public with it, at least while the ignorant orange moron baby was still able to keep up the payments to stay in power of the US.

Last year.

Badgeless Mercedes [DD08 NLD]

Badgeless Mercedes [DD08 NLD]

This year.

Badgeless Mercedes [DD08 NLD]

Badgeless Mercedes [DD08 NLD]

It would seem to be a Mercedes-Benz C 220 AMG Line Premium +.

Bonus Mustang

Not a GT but the possibly more sensible Ecoboost, parked behind the above, so not ignored.

Mustang Ecoboost

Mustang Ecoboost

I’m not entirely sure of the details, but I think this turbo version is easier on the pocket, develops the same horsepower as my V8 (which is twice the size), matches most of the performance, and uses almost half the petrol.

Such is progress, and that doesn’t even consider the performance of electric vehicles – of which this country seems to sadly lag about 5 years behind the reality.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The illegals – G4 UDS

Spotted G4 UDS while on a recent late night wander.

Illegally spaced as G 4UDS I can’t see any obvious meaning to the casual (or even not so casual – who knows that ‘4’ is sold as being able to be read as ‘A’) observer, I wonder if the potential ÂŁ1,000 fine now on offer for this offence is worth it.

Quite a few owners of obscure (and not so obscure) registration translations conveniently add what they imagine the plate reads to them if not the rest of us, so we are not driven up the wall trying to see what they see. Maybe not having that line should also be an offence, as the traders selling some plates must do some fast-talking to convince some buyers to part with their cash for some really convoluted interpretations.

If the 4 had been a 5, then at least it would have been funny… G 5UDS, or GEE SUDS!



By way of ‘compare and contrast’, this (legally spaced) plate doesn’t need a degree from the Trader’s Little Black Book of Obscure Character Translation (I kid you not, you can find this online as they contrive to try to sell more registrations) to make something interesting, or raise a smile from anyone interested.



January 3, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

The illegals – XK11 TTY… still naughty even if K11TTY

I don’t usually post horrible pics, but this one is exceptional as I actually managed to recover the detail I needed from it (the registration number).

While I usually have the instant response of a dSLR (with ‘Sport’ option selected if I know I will need a fast hand-held response) to rely on, I can’t carry one ALL the time, so rely on a pocket compact (oh for the day I can afford a tiny mirrorless replacement) when the real camera has to be left at home. There’s a further advantage as careful setup means that pics can be taken in low light with no need for flash, or even camera shale in most cases. I notice the maker recently added a new body to the range, and apparently has omitted even the tiny pop-up flash – maybe not ideal in the real world. Admittedly I seldom rely on it, but it does come in handy if more than 20 metres from the nearest street light, or where there’s no ambient lighting at all.

Back to the compact, and I had to drop what I was carrying to dig in my pocket for the little horror when this Range Rover ambled past me in a car park. You can estimate how long it took to find the camera, find the ‘ON’ button, wait while it started up (this involves pushing the zoom lens back and forth), turned on the LCD on the back, read the scene, and chose an exposure mode. Note the streetlights – it was darker than it looks.

I had to forego any attempt at framing, or pressing the button to zoom the lens (the lens is too slow to move, it always overshoots, plus there is no viewfinder, only the LCD) to get in closer. With the vehicle moving further away all the time, there was only time for one ‘Panic shot’ before it would be gone completely.

Just as well I grabbed it, as I’ve never seen this one before – or since!

The vehicle’s not really of interest, just another huge Chelsea Tractor that’s probably never seen mud let alone a field, but is noted as a Land 2015 Rover Range Rover Vogue TDV6 AU.

The real interest is the registration: XK11 TTY.

Of course, modified with a little illegal spacing to look like X KIITTY, but with such a fuzzy pic, this is one I can’t show off as part of the collection. It took some effort to get it back with the application of filters – yes, I had forgotten what the registration was by the time I got home.

Range Rover Vogue [XK11 TTY]

Range Rover Vogue [XK11 TTY]

September 23, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – Still illegal even if you are S600REE

Spotted in a local car park, another illegally spaced plate which I guess the sales rep convinced someone it either looks like their name, or perhaps they are immigrants from Canada, and want to make sure everyone knows they are sorry via S600 REE, as displayed with no space on this grey 2015 Vauxhall Insignia SRI CDTI Ecoflex.

I’m only having a fun guess at this one, and might even be right in my interpretation, but as I generally note these days, I’m not really that impressed by the sometimes dire interpretation the plate sellers put on some of their offerings (reading private ads can sometimes be hysterical, when a seller’s imagination is possibly/clearly influenced by drugs or alcohol), when you need to spend time with a code-book to hand in order to work out what they mean.

Barring novelty plates, if you can’t ‘read’ it within a few seconds of seeing it, it’s a fail.

Maybe that’s why I have a soft spot for plates with only 2 letters – probably initials, and seldom needs guesswork or screwing up eyes to ‘see; what the salesperson saw.

But who cares? It looks interesting.

Be nice to know what it REALLY represents – if you know, please add a comment below.

Vauxhall Insignia [S600 REE]

Vauxhall Insignia [S600 REE]

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

The Illegals – B19 OBY

Got to be fast, or they get away!

I didn’t realise I had actually been walking along the street next to Mr Blobby, or maybe Bobby, it’s hard to tell nowadays as sellers of cherished or personalised number are so slimy nowadays, they will distort the interpretation of numbers and letter into utterly fantastic ‘re-imaginings’ of names and words in order to make a sale, and a fast buck if they can bump the price up.

2010 Audi S3 Quattro [B19 OBY]

2010 Audi S3 Quattro [B19 OBY]

I almost lost this one, as the chap I’d been walking beside jumped into this 2010 Audi S3 Quattro and drove off instantly.

I was surprised the camera powered up fast enough to grab the shot (I have to go back to carrying a dSLR and not a compact).

As it was, although it got the pic (and ANY pic is better than NO pic), it was also one of the first I’d taken since this particular camera had enjoyed being thrown across a room, bounce of a metal cabinet, and coming to a rapid stop when it finally landed on a solid stone floor.

(Short story, it got caught on something else, and launched).

The above is clipped from a larger image as it fires up in wide-angle, and there was time to hit the zoom button.

Focus is poor now, after the flight, and compact cameras have poor resolution anyway as the recorded images are highly compressed (and this cannot be adjusted) which does not help. Not visible here is a further problem noted, as the focus is no longer linear across the image.

If you think this version looks bad – this is the result AFTER processing through various sharpening filters and other corrections.

Guess I will have to wear out another pair of shoes tramping around Glasgow trying to find a replacement.

I think I bought five or more (and returned them all) before I decided this was the best of the bunch for a half-decent tiny compact.

I’d love a tiny mirrorless – but they are even more expensive than dSLRs (for the ones I’ve tried and liked at least). The last one I touched almost landed me in A&E with shock… it was THREE times the price of my dSLR (actually almost FOUR)!

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

1VAN is rather nice… but still one of ‘The Illegals’

This was a lucky catch, after seeing this one speed past me on the road, and just managing to spot the imaginative use of illegal number and letter spacing on the plate, I later found the same car in the car park of the local supermarket.

If this was an American blog, I’d now be having a hysterical breakdown of some sort as the car is not only parked on the lines of the slot, in the ‘Parent and Child Zone’, but also not even in the car area of the slot, but on the marked area intended to be left clear for doors to open freely to allow parent to access child seats and carriers.

Americans are getting seriously scary about the hysteria they can raise on ‘social media’ sites with such a pic, and I think it is only a matter of time before someone is injured, or even shot. And this same madness is becoming evident here now (note I deliberately avoided this aspect, and could have taken a pic showing this clearly – but my observation/comment/point is on the US).

This one’s interesting for me for various reasons.

I really am behind on Mercedes models, and noting this as a 2011 Mercedes-Benz Cls350 CDI was a bit of a surprise, I really didn’t think the car/model was that old.

And, while I’m still not a great fan of the current UK registration number scheme, I rather like the way this one looks.

Mercedes CLS350 [CS51 VAN]

Mercedes CLS350

July 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Illegals – KK51 SSS

It’s not often I can make a chance catch using the compact (I always claim to be able to go and make a cup of tea while it grinds and whirs into life after pressing the ‘On’ button), but on this occasion got lucky thanks to the many traffic lights which hold traffic on one of the relatively new sections of the M74.

As I find myself saying with increasing regularity, I am NOT impressed by modern-day personalised registrations that need a ‘Code Book’ to interpret them, and in this case, even LESS impressed by some slimy sales person who convinced Chris that KK15 SSS somehow looked like their name.

They certain;y earned their commission talking the buyer into ‘buying’ that!

This is another one I doubt is worth the fine and points that driving around with this on show are likely to arrive as the police become increasingly strict on illegal letter and number spacing, as they seek to increase the effectiveness of the ANPR system.

Transit [KK15 SSS]

Transit [KK15 SSS]



I thought this was some sort of naughty-naughty word play on KISS – until I noticed this while processing the image (and I had a look at the smudge at the bottom of the plate). Whoever sold this should be dragged into court for misrepresentation:

KK51 SSS Chris Plate

KK51 SSS Chris Plate

July 11, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Illegals – AB11 LTN

I have to confess I wasn’t really sure what this was supposed to be (and my original guess was wrong).

But as you’ll see in the comments, we got lucky this time, and it seems we don’t have to rely on my imagination. I wonder what the odds are that anyone who might actually own something featured in here might also happen to look in, or spot the relevant post?

(And now you also know why I keep my posts polite… unless you are an orange moron and your name is Trump).

I don’t normally allow identification online, but when someone adds the info, and we can thank Alan Bilton for the update.

I wish someone would come along with a ladder one day, and fix that PDSA sign on the lamppost. Sorry about the focus, but it was a grey and grimy day when I grabbed this one.

It’s been pointing the OPPOSITE way from the actual PDSA centre for years – I think it’s loose, as it sometime points in different directions when its windy.

BMW M135I  Auto [AB11 LTN]

Grey BMW M135I Auto [AB11 LTN]

June 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | 2 Comments

An illegal getting pulled? Surely not?

I didn’t notice it in this random pic I collected one day, but it looks as if I might be proved wrong (on one occasion at least) and our Scottish Police DO pay attention and give illegal registration plates a pull (just not perhaps as enthusiastically as their cousins down south, as seen on Police Interceptors etc) – assuming this driver was not doing something else.

Since this was just a ‘snap’ it missed the full registration number, so all we know is that it was ‘4 NNX’ – but illegally spaced to read ‘ 4NN X#.

Naughty naughty Ann.

Cough up and buy a legit personalised registration like the rest of us – and don’t cheat by buying a cheap one and fiddling with it like that (and making life harder for us).

Police BMW Stop - Illegal Plate

Police BMW Stop – Illegal Plate

June 7, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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