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South Australian Car Registration 1906-1927 Notes and Sources
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Notes on Sources and Limitations for South Australian Car Registration 1906-1927

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Waymouth Motor Co. books:

Much of the newsprint in the Waymouth Motor Co. books has become fragile and discoloured with age. The cutting-out and pasting-in were sometimes careless.


Until 1916 the maker's nominal horsepowers were used, after that the R.A.C. (Royal Automobile Club) formula,  D2N/1613 where D was the diameter of the cylinders is millimetres and N the number of cylinders. In many cases the figures given were incorrect.

Missing Makes:

From 430-989 and 1263-3313 no makes were given and where they are shown in this list they have been obtained from photographs, newspaper references, for sale advertisements, surviving cars, family and district histories, etc.

Reallotted Numbers:

Until 10900 and again from 35380 (with a brief exception at 42075) only the first issue of a number was recorded. Numbers could be transferred by an owner to a new car or transferred with the car to a new owner. The  “Reallotted Numbers” recorded in the interval 10900 to 35380 were not a complete record of the transfers.

Some cars not in records:

Owing to the transferability of numbers, some cars did not appear in the records, at least at their first registration, the owner using the number from his previous car.
Printers' Errors: These were not infrequent and there were also clerical errors, no doubt arising from the difficulty of deciphering handwriting on application forms.

Hire Cars:

Until November 1913 hire cars on stands in the city of Adelaide carried numbers issued by the Adelaide City Council. They were black on white with an “A” in front of the number. After that date, normal government numbers.

Trade Numbers: 

Part of the normal series, but red on a white ground.

Commercial Vehicles:

Usually there was no indication as to whether a vehicle was private or commercial.


Numbers were white or silver on a black background, trade and hire car numbers as above.

Further Information:

See the paper "Motor Registration Records in South Australia, 1906-1934., by G.H.Brooks, in the "Journal" of the Historical Society of South Australia, No.8, 1980.

The sources of this list of registration numbers was as follows:

1-306: "The Tourists' Road Guide" (W.K.Thomas & Co.), 1907 edition.

307-429: As above, 1908 edition.

430-989: "The South Australian Motor", June 1913. Makes not given.

990-1263: "The Australian Motorist", August 1910 to February 1911.

1264-3313: "The South Australian Motor", June 1913. Makes not given.

3314-9999: As above, July 1913 to February 1918, with makes.

01-06078: As above, February 1918 to April 1920.

06079-10000, 10001-18609: "List of Registered Owners of Motors", W.K.Thomas & Co., printed circa February 1923.

18610-37420: "The Register", cut out and pasted into notebooks by the sales department of the Waymouth Motor Co.

37421-38100: Not printed. Office of Registrar of Motor Vehicles in Richards Buildings, Currie Street, destroyed by fire on 10th. November, 1924, and all records lost.

38101-40192: "The South Australian Motor", November 1924 to February 1925, in Waymouth Motor Co. books.

40193-45634: Waymouth Motor Co. books, from newspapers.

45635-74898: "The South Australian Motor", April 1925 to Motor Co. books. April 1925 to August 1927, in Waymouth Motor Co. Books.


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