Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Everything you wanted to know about licence plates

On the back of this superb 2cv there was a sticker saying: "this is not a car, but a lifestyle!". Funny. I'd like to take advantage of this post to explain the French licence plate system. The number on the left is just an incremental number (3 or 4 digits, depending on the number of letters). The letters are also incremental and they allow more or less to find out the year of the plate (ie, the first plate of 2006 in Paris had the letters QLJ). And the two numbers on the right show the region: they go from 01 to 95, according to the départments (sort of counties or States). So here, I can tell you that this licence plate was issued in 1996 and that the owner of this car lives in the west suburbs of Paris! If you're interested check this site (in French).

No relationship with the photo, but I'd also like to take advantage of today's post to thank Kathy Cheng for her nice interview on her They blog blog. It's very rewarding when people think what you do is interesting enough that they want to know more about it.


  1. et voila! je suis la premiere :-)

    eric, c'etait vraiment un plaisir de parler un petit peu avec toi :-)

    i wish i had a car like that to zip around paris...hmm maybe they're selling it on craigslist?

  2. Bravo Nahal (FYI, I just had a chat with Nahal on Skype, all in French). Really good.

  3. Love the Deuch Eric!
    Was my very first car. Red pompier though. Was the best and cheapest cabriolet, wasn't it?! Some many memories...

    I thought a new licence plate system was about to take place in France. Wrong info?

  4. Interesting car. You know what my license plate tells people? I'm such a huge Red Dwarf fan that I put an obscure saying from it on my car. Only true fans will know I'm insulting everyone else on the road!

  5. Without a doubt, this car is a French classic!
    It's interesting to read about the plate system in Paris. I've always wondered how can a gendarme remember a plate when the car is running too fast! If the system is logical, then it gets a little simpler.
    And BTW, congratulations for your interview. I can see that Kathy Cheng thinks Santiago is a very distant city!!! (only for being antipodal to Seoul) LOL...

  6. This is one cool car!!! Read the interview, Bravo Eric!

  7. :)
    anyway, its a long number to remember for me. actually i noticed the color more...
    yellow and black is the best match even when we choose the clothes to wear!thats what i like~~

  8. What a beautiful thing!!! I'm practically speechless!!!

    I have a picture of her little sister in San Francisco, but this one is just REALLY sexy!

    I hope you don't mind, Eric, but I'd like very much to put it on my desktop.

    En regardant cette photo, tant de souvenirs de jeunesse sont revenus ... sigh ... C'est pas seulement la voiture mais aussi et surtout le quartier!!! (gros soupir)

  9. Ah, zut, du coup j'ai complètement oublié ...
    Got so distracted by the picture, I completely forgot...
    Very nice interview with that Blogueur, Eric. Congratulations for being recognized by more and more people. Well done!

  10. Ahem, sorry, it's me again, I forgot something else...

    By the way, Buzzgirl, that car would look really good on you, pefect color match! :)

    (What, I said I was "practically" speechless, not actually speechless!!!)

  11. What a cool yellow car! That info about license plates in France is also good...now I "kinda" understand what all those numbers and letters mean! Here in the Philippines we only have 6 digit license plates, 3letters, then 3 numbers :)

  12. Lovely 2cv. This reminds me there is a light yellow/brown one I see often that I've been meaning to capture for you. Hopefully soon!
    Congrats on the interview!

  13. A la dodoche, ma 1ere voiture, impossible a faire retourner, grandiose (a part peut-etre en plein hiver, ou on se les cailler fort).
    A cote d'evry il y a une expo de dodoches, j'espere avoir le temps d'y aller prendre des photos et de les mettre sur mon blog.

  14. Snap today Eric, as I've put a Dubai plate on my subsite!
    The car looks in mint condition for a 10 year old 'tin snail'.

  15. There is a guy with one of these cars around where I live in Australia and every time I see it I smile. Love these cars.

  16. Eric, I wish this picture could convince my partner we should drive nothing else but une deudeuche !…

  17. PS : how come I have the strange feeling I know that male face shopping around in the background…

  18. the car is a star, i like things with a character, great =)

  19. Love the car, and love the interview! Here's hoping you get your 100,000 visitors!

  20. Glad you were recognized for your great job of photographing Paris, our favorite big city. That blog, as I continued reading it, talked about restaurants of NY. Is there such a link telling of restaurants of Paris? I started my list for next Spring from Parisdailyphoto that includes the spaghetti bar and Cafe Moderne. We also have started a "must see" list from your terrific site. Your blogspace is part of my daily ritual. I love it.

  21. Only the latest technology and safety features in these. I used to have a love-hate relationship with one. I do miss the sound of its little engine rattling away.

  22. Yes, Tomate! It's a buzz-mobile!

    The license plates are still confusing to me (except the departement number)!

  23. Thanks for the link to your interview and thanks for your marvelous blog. I live in Paris and enjoy it even more with your pictures. I didn't know you were the one who launched all the DP blogs around the world, great idea.

    I was lucky enough to have had 3 2Cv, one after the other. they were all blue, and ooooh, how I miss that car, it was so pleasant to drive ;o)

  24. Thanks for the link to your interview and thanks for your marvelous blog. I live in Paris and enjoy it even more with your pictures. I didn't know you were the one who launched all the DP blogs around the world, great idea.

    I was lucky enough to have had 3 2Cv, one after the other. they were all blue, and ooooh, how I miss that car, it was so pleasant to drive ;o)

  25. Ok, ok Eric, so it's an old yellow car...what is it with you Europeans and old cars? ;-) I know that Cuba is a popular place for tourists because of the old American cars we dropped...er...I meant...gave them, but truly, what is it?

    Great photo though!

  26. Michael: In France the 2CV is quite the mythical car for everybody because almost everybody associate good memories with them for some reason.

    First of all, it was the cheapest car for the longest time, so consider it a starter car, so to speak, for a lot of French families, or the only car students or young people could afford ...

    Plus, they have a friendly cartoon-like "face," even more so than the WW bug. The WW is more of a "hippie" car in people's mind, but the 2CV is really the People's Car.

    Look at it maybe like the golden retriever or labrador of all French cars.

    I don't know, may be it's a cultural thing? I'm sure if you ask French people, they'll explain it a lot better than me. Also, it's usually a good conversation piece. Everybody over there has something to say about that car. :-)

  27. Great photo of a great car! The reflection on the hood looks like it could practically s-q-u-e-e-k it's so shiny.

    Pity they don't have cars like that here in the states, where automobiles are all way too big and they all look the same and are boring.

    Even Renault has withdrawn from the US market... and they used to be seen with some frequency on the streets here.

  28. Renault might be back though... Through GM!

  29. Actually I mean Peugeot, my mistake... and for some reason Renault popped into my mind. The sight of those luxurious looking Peugeots were almost common on american streets back in the 1970's.

  30. cette citroën porte les couleurs de la rosalie! (vieux modèle pas très joli...)

  31. For those of you who are interested, the Mondial de l'Automobile 2006 (World Auto Show) is taking place now in Paris.

    At the PARIS EXPO
    Place de la Porte de
    75015 - PARIS

    Open to the public :
    From Saturday 30 September through Sunday 15 Octobre

    10:00am - 10:00pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

    10:00am - 8:00pm Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays

    Price :
    12 EUR (free for children less than 10 years old)

  32. I'll be right there, Michael! ;)

    (By the way, is the Pub Renault still open on the Champs Elysees, left side, around metro Station George V?)

  33. Sure is Tomate, but I'm not sure that having a drink there is half as fun as talking to a car salesman. I just love that experience!

  34. Thanks, that was worth noting. Steve @Car Tips

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