Vanity plates are a small, inexplicable joy for me. They’re in turns clever, relatable, incomprehensible, or oddly profound. The momentary struggle to interpret them and then the satisfaction of the reveal always makes my day a little better.
In honor of sharing the joy, here’s a selection of plates I’ve seen out and about, rated by my completely arbitrary and subjective standards.
Inspirational. Points for creative abbreviating. When I sent this to my friend, she pointed out the probably-unintentional double meaning of “carpe DM,” which I love. Seize the day, shoot your shot, slide into those DMs.
Punchy. Cryptic, yet oddly cheering. Accurate, too — if you have the $$ for a Range Rover, you do indeed have options.
Rating: 5/10 (but open to bribes, Range Rover owner)
Another punchy one. I picture a high-powered executive in a pantsuit en route to her next meeting. How often do you have to tell someone to “email it” before it defines you? I am in absolute admiration.
“L8,” aka the center of the Venn Diagram between license plates and AIM messages you sent in 2004.
I relate deeply to this plate. At some point, you just embrace your fate of running late every single time you get in the car. Know thyself.
A classic vowel-omission here. This conjures the image of the “Tarantallegra” spell from Harry Potter. What does the 6 mean? Do they have six legs? Is a wildly dancing insect driving this car?
Too many unanswered questions. Rating: 2/10.
Cute! This is a perfect distribution of letters to recreate the sound. The car’s color only enhances the mwah factor.
Rating: 10/10 for pure cuteness.
This plate just emanates nervous energy. It’s something a Scooby Doo character might say, or maybe Arnold from The Magic School Bus. It’s definitely an anxiously sweating cartoon character.
Rating: 7/10. Take some deep breaths, buddy, you’ll feel better.
Romantic. Sweet. A great alternative to getting a partner’s name tattooed. Although it might be referring to Jesus, rather than a romantic partner? It could also be read as “his fever,” which is a lot less cute.
While I get warm fuzzies on the first take, overall there’s too much up for interpretation. Rating: 5/10.
I have a very strong nostalgia for Avatar: The Last Airbender, so this makes me incredibly happy. I, too, would like to pretend I’m riding a giant flying bison every time I’m driving somewhere.
Bonus points for targeting that late-90s-babies demographic.
You could not pick a more fitting license plate for a limo. Top marks for accuracy.
On the other hand, this car feels like a smug show dog who knows everyone is admiring them. Out of (admitted) spite: 3/10.
I have no idea what this means and I absolutely love it. It’s one of those plates that’s simultaneously incomprehensible and extremely satisfying. Plus it reminds me of this iconic Tina moment from Bob’s Burgers, which I couldn’t possibly hate on.
I AM CAR
This is my all-time favorite.
It’s inexplicable why someone would pay for this, but completely inarguable. It is indeed car.
This car knows itself and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. It’s living its best life.