Singapore 2013 checkover

April 19, 2013

SINGAPORE

April 2013.

Singapore’s plates continue as shown in RPWO and a wide variety of colours and codes are enough to keep a keen spotter occupied for some long time.     Two of the outer islands have been allocated their own plates – Sentosa and Ubin – and these cannot be used on the ‘mainland’ of Singapore.      If they must go over there, for repairs etc., they will carry SGP trade plates for the journey.

Sentosa’s colourful plates have been known to us since about 1998.

(SGP3)(Sentosa)(mc)_RU 1115Y_VB_resize

This Vespa RU 1115 Y is one of few two-wheelers registered on Sentosa.     Brumby archive 1987.

RU 2424 Z is the Restricted Use plate for Sentosa Island, a hundred metres off Singapore's coast.

RU 2424 Z is the Restricted Use plate for Sentosa Island, a hundred metres off Singapore’s coast.    Brumby archive 1987

The Sentosa Development Corporation, whatever that is, has a few buses, which are allowed on and off the islet, and have a special SDC code issued!

SDC 26 M is one of the island buses, registered on the 'mainland'     Brumby archive

SDC 26 M is one of the island buses, registered on the ‘mainland’ .              Brumby archive 1987

 

UBIN

But we have only recently become aware of the special plate colour given to the few vehicles on Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island), which is a mile off the North-East coast of Singapore, by Changi airport.     The island is lightly populated by fishermen and kampong farmers and has completely escaped the rapid advance to the six-star first-world status now enjoyed by the Republic of SGP.     There are about ten mopeds on Ubin, of which half still work and about 15 minibuses, which carry the islanders and some of the weekend visitors along the narrow island roads to various camping sites and hiking/cycling trails, for which Ubin has become a popular, rat-race getaway.

(SGP3)(Ubin)_PU 4 P_VB2013_resize

The fourth motor vehicle registered on Ubin Island is a Honda moped, still in running order, PU 4 P.                                             Brumby archive 2013

(SGP3)(Ubin)_PU 104 J_cuf_VB2013

One travels to Ubin by bum-boat, for 3 ringgit ($1US) which takes fifteen people at a time on old vessels which you would not expect to be still in service, but which are the pride and joy of their rough-looking but friendly owners.     Since registrations started on Ubin, perhaps in 2000, and originally only for a few small motorbikes which had previously run plateless, about 135 total registrations have been made, of which perhaps 15 to 20 remain in use.    The system is that of the Singapore mainland, using the PU area code, a serial number (current highest 137) , and a check digit, all in white on a pea-green background.

One of the island minibuses, PU 102 P.     Brumby archive

One of the Ubin island minibuses, PU 102 P.                       Brumby archive 2013

PU 130 H is just seven off the highest number on Pulau Ubin, the. latest minibus being PU 137.      Note that all the plates are properly made, even though this island is quite primitive.... Brumby archive

PU 130 H is just six off the highest number on Pulau Ubin, the latest minibus seen, being PU 137.       Note that all the plates are properly made, even though this island is quite primitive….
Brumby archive 2013

There are a few special purpose vehicles on Ubin, such as Police Land-Rovers and a couple of biggish lorries for construction jobs, and as these are there temporarily, they retain their normal Singaporean plates.

QX 5045 K is a standard Singapore police plate, coded by the QX.    This is one of two allocated to the island - surely an easy posting for the island coppers!      Brumby archive

QX 5045 K is a standard Singapore police plate, coded by the special code QX. This is one of two allocated to Ubin island – surely an easy posting for the island coppers!                               Brumby archive 2013

 

Singapore Specials

The SGP government is sponsoring experimentation in clean/non-emission vehicles and has allocated a dedicated ‘Research and Development’ numberplate to the handful of cars being tested on the island.

A Renault experimental electric car RD 3073 K, one of two seen at the Renault distributor in SGP.  Brumby archive

A Renault experimental electric car RD 3073 K, one of two seen at the Renault distributor in SGP.   April 2013.                                    Brumby archive 2013

RD 6096 A is carried on a Mitsubishi minicar and has a 100km range, recharging 80%  in 20 minutes.   It says here.     Brumby archive.

RD 6096 A is carried on a Mitsubishi minicar and has a 100km range, recharging 80% in 20 minutes.   It says here.         Brumby archive 2013.

There may be up to 50 vehicles on test, each of which is connected by wifi signal to a central office, in which its location, performance, battery-condition, range etc is transmitted every 5 seconds for analysis.

This category uses such high numbers that they must be split in some way, perhaps the first two or three numerals indicating a code for the few participating bodies in the experimentation.    Certainly there are not more than a hundred of  these low-emission category vehicles in the whole country, so 6096 seems optimistic….

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It is of mild interest to note that Singapore vehicle owners can choose for themselves whether they plate their vehicles with the original silver/white on black plates, fore and aft, or Euro-style black on white (front) and yellow (rear).     About 20% favour white on black, I estimate.

Light goods vehcle codes seen here with both plate colour options.     Brumby archive

Light goods vehicle code G seen here with both plate colour options.         Brumby archive 2013

TR – Singapore trailers are now up to TRE, having exhausted TR and  TRA to TRD.

Another unusual SGP variant is the recently-adopted orange background to distinguish lorries wh.ich carry hazardous cargo, such as fuel and chemicals.     These cannot enter tunnels and need to advise police and fire when they need to access certain zones of the island.   The Y starter letter tells us that the truck exceeds 3 tonnes unladen; the M is serial.      Brumby archive.

YM 942 S – Another unusual SGP variant is the recently-adopted orange background to distinguish lorries which carry hazardous cargo, such as fuel and chemicals. These cannot enter tunnels and need to advise police and fire when they plan to access certain zones of the island.    The Y starter letter tells us that the truck exceeds 3 tonnes unladen; the M is serial.        Brumby archive 2007.

SH – Taxis have progressed to SHA, SHB and now to SHC.

SHA 5376 H is the Singapore Hire code with suffix serial A, on a typically smart, clean, new car, a credit to the taxi fleets.    Brumby archive.

SHA 5376 H is the Singapore Hire code with suffix serial A, on a typically smart, clean, new car, a credit to the taxi fleets.         Brumby archive 2013.

New private cars are up to SKJ, having jumped SH (kept for psv’s) and SI (‘I’ never used) and having presumably used up SJA-Z (though not seen).

 

Odd Chauffeur-drive/Private Hire possiblity.

We have believed that the special series for hire cars, SZ and SZA, had been long abandoned.   But now e find SZA 8 R, from the  current series on a chauffeur-driven/livery Mercedes, outside the Copthorne Waterfront hotel.   When questioned the driver claimed it was just a standard plate issued alphabetically in the normal series, but we know that Singapore is nowhere near 'S' inits alpha issue.   So perhaps there are a few (note this is only car 8) special-category registrations continuing to use the SZ prefix.     This was the only example seen.     (Brumby archive 2013)

We have believed that the special series for hire cars, SZ and SZA, had been long abandoned. But now we find SZA 8 R, from the current series, on a chauffeur-driven/livery Mercedes, outside the Copthorne Waterfront hotel. When questioned, the driver claimed it was just a standard plate issued alphabetically in the normal series, but we know that Singapore is nowhere near ‘SZ‘ in its alpha issue.      So perhaps there are a few (note this is only car 8) special-category registrations continuing to use a version of the old SZ hire/rental prefix.   (This was the only example seen.)    Brumby archive 2013

Here is SZ (Singapore Rental-Hire) carried on a new Toyota in 1968, seen at Singapore docks.     Brumby archive 1968

Here is SZ (Singapore Rental-Hire) carried on a new Toyota in 1968, seen at Singapore docks.                       Brumby archive 1968

680224 3 _4532TT25 at docks_resize

The only other SGP hirecar plate I ever saw was on this Vauxhall Victor, SZ 1779, also at the docks in 1968, alongside the Peugeot 4532 TT 25 which we drove back to Britain over four months.         Brumby archive 1968

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A very rare sight in Singapore is the semi-diplomatic plate allocated to foreign technical aid personnel.    TE is the suffix code for these ‘Technical Expert’ vehicles and this BMW 525 example is coded 36 for the Philippines.

S 3682 TE is a semi-diplomatic plate for foreign technical aid personnel.   Brumby archive

S 3682 TE is a semi-diplomatic plate for foreign Technical Experts personnel.   36 is used by the Philippine embassy.         Brumby archive 2012

The Consular Corps variant is also hardly-seen, but Taiwan had code 66 in this category (photographed there in 1993, so possibly not current).

Taiwan's mission code 66 seen on a Volvo given Consular, rather than diplomatic recognition, presumably due to pressure from PRC to sideline the territory they hope to recover some day.     Brumby archive.

Taiwan’s foreign-mission code 66 seen on a Volvo 240, given Consular, rather than Diplomatic recognition, presumably due to pressure from PRC to sideline the Formosa territory they vainly hope to recover some day.        Brumby archive 1993.

Motorcycles exhausted their two-letter FA-FZ prefix codes some time ago and current registrations, for every size of  2-wheeled bike, has re-started from FAA…..     Note that, against the trend, SGP still requires a front plate to be displayed, either double-sided along the front mudguard or a forward-facing plate adhering to the faring.

Examples of motorbike front plate mounting positions.    Brumby archive

Examples of motorbike front plate mounting positions.     Brumby archive 2013

The current motorcycle format now uses two serial letters, the leading F, designating 2-wheelers.    Brumby archive

The current motorcycle format now uses two serial letters, the leading F, designating 2-wheelers.                          Brumby archive 2013

There is an auxiliary police orce,it seems, but they use normal private m/c plates.  FBA 6232 B.     Brumby archive.

There is an auxiliary police force,it seems, but they use normal private m/c plates, as FBE 5246 A.                              Brumby archive 2013.

The author’s first visit to Singapore was in 1966, when the vast majority of the vehicles were made in Britain, from motorcycles to double-deckers.     I still enjoy finding the leftovers from that period and recognise that many owners are very proud of their cars, which are now collectors’ items!

A well-restored MG TC sporting the special, low-tax plates of the approved vintage and veteran cars and bikes in Singapore.    SCL 69 D is a normal registration issue, and it is the plate colour which gives the privileged status.    Brumby archive.

A well-restored MG TC(?) sporting the special, low-tax plates of the approved vintage and veteran cars and bikes in Singapore.    SCL 69 D is a normal registration issue, and it is the plate colouring which gives the privileged status.                                Brumby archive 2008.

 

Singapore Historic

 

About 1960, many British Army, Navy and Air Force personnel served in Singapore and it was a period of very heavy registrations, as most  purchased a car there or duty-free at home, to take out.    This Austin A40 Farina belonged to a Wing-Commander, whose daughter June, modelling here, now dwells in Ottery St, Mary and makes jam for the W.I.     Brumby archive.

SS 9806.   A plate from the former series.       About 1960, many British Army, Navy and Air Force personnel served in Singapore and it was a period of very many new registrations, as most of them purchased a car there – (or duty-free at home, to take out and register there).    This Austin A40 Farina belonged to a Wing-Commander, whose daughter June, modelling here, now dwells in Ottery St, Mary and makes jam for the Womens’ Institute.                Brumby archive-June Harvey.

Finally, a photo which has materialised recently is certainly worth display.     Here is Singapore’s eighth car looking as  if it had just come off the ship from the Britton* motor factory in England.    Unusually for a British territory, Singapore used a dash or dot separator from inception to the mid-1930s; S-8 favours the dash.      The driver was known in those times, out east, as a syce – an archaic term for a horse-carriage driver/groom, which carried on into the age of the car.

*I can find no reference to the Britton marque after a quick search……..

S-8, among the very first automobiles to reach the Straits Settlement of Singapore, in 1911.    anon.

S-8, a Britton, among the very first automobiles to reach the Straits Settlement of Singapore, in 1911.     (No details seems to survive of this marque.)                   anon.

...and to conclude, another elegant car from another of the Straits Settlements, Penang no. 64n, the car of the Chief of Police there in the early 1900s.     June Bennett

…and to conclude, another elegant car from another of the Straits Settlements, Penang no. 64n, the car of the Chief of Police there in the early 1910s.     It may be a Stutz Bearcat.                       June Bennett

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2012 – German Car rental in Paris

March 13, 2013

I hope this is of some kind of interest for this Blog –  last year from January to November 2012, I noted the registration of the many German rental cars that visit the streets of Paris.

Here is an overview of the regions and sequences used by the main German rental-car companies:

Hansestadt Hamburg


This Lander uses particular sequences in the following order

1- HH-Bx-8xxx

Overall sequence from HH-BJ 8532 to HH-CI 8795 (not observed from BA to BI then CC to CF and CH)
(Numerical sequence observed from 8033 to 8999)
1 – HH-Ox-7xxx

HH-OA 7172 to HH-OT-7726 (not observed OC to OF OH to OJ, OK, ON, OQ and OR) (Numerical sequence observed from 7019 to 7726).

Observation from HH-OA-7172, HH-OB 7019 then HH-OG 7xxx, HH-OI 7620 to HH-OL 7xxx, HH-OM 7421 then HH-OO 7xxx, OP 7xxxx & HH-OS 7xxx, OT 7726

3 – HH-Px-7xxx (May be the next sequence)

One observation HH-PE-7093

Düren

Düren uses two sequences in this order

1- DN-Hx-xxxx

Overall sequence from DN HO 3746 to DN-HZ 8852 (all series DN-HO to HZ-observed) (numerical sequence observed from 10xx to 9xxx)

2- DN-AA-xxxx (Must be the next sequence) One observation DN-AA 7032

Wiesbaden

Only one sequence observed for Wiesbaden

Overall sequence from WI-AG 8889 to WI-AK 8068 (all series observed from WI-AG to AK) (numerical sequence observed from 1791 to 9694)

München

München’s area seems to have several sequences at the same time, no specific order

M-OA to M-OJ (all series M-OA to OJ observed) (numerical sequence observed in 10xx 9xxx)

M-GA 5042 to M-GD 6556 (all series observed from M-GA to M-GD) (numerical sequence observed from 50xx to 6xxx)

M-AB to M-AG 2912 (not observed AD and AE) (numerical sequence observed from 4226 to 6556)

Neuss

Only one sequence observed  from NE-RQ 4573 to 5365

Bonn

Only one sequence observed from BN-P 744 to BN-P 3168

All photos come from Bruno Vernhes’ collection

Europcar

Hansestadt Hamburg Europcar HH-Ox-7xxx sequence

Hansestadt Hamburg Europcar HH-Bx-8xxx sequence

Hansestadt Hamburg Europcar HH-Cx-8xxx sequence

D-DN-HZ3309-P

Düren DN-Hx-xxxx sequence

Mûnchen M-Gx-xxxx sequence

Bonn BN-P-xxx and xxxx sequence

Neuss NE-RQ-xxxx sequence