GB car stickers are being swapped to UK versions from September

·1-min read

If you’re planning a post-pandemic road trip through Europe later this year, there’s an important rule change to take note of.

From September 28, 2021, the GB sticker or magnet that’s placed on the back of your car will no longer be valid.

Instead, you’ll need a ‘UK’ sticker, while those with ‘GB’ on their number plate will now also need a sticker or order a new number plate with the UK designation.

The update has been outlined by the United Nations, which said it had received “a notification stating that the United Kingdom is changing the distinguishing sign that it had previously selected for display in international traffic on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom, from ‘GB’ to ‘UK’”.

No official reasons have been given, but it is believed to be a sign of solidarity with Northern Ireland post-Brexit. GB refers to Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland and Wales, while UK refers to the United Kingdom, which is Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Mazda3 with UK Plates
(Mazda)

The lack of communication from the Government has angered some, with the Telegraph reporting that the AA now has 50,000 GB stickers in stock that are now almost worthless, while it’s a similar story for number plate suppliers with GB plates.

This is the second change to the number plate style this year, as Grant Shapps announced a new GB design with a Union flag on January 31. A new green number plate was also introduced recently for electric vehicles.

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