Registration Plates


Unique plate on Bus 400

Canberra buses have featured six distinct styles of registration plates.

Pre-1927 Plates
(to date, only three plates – C.94, C.137 and C.166 – are known). It is possible that the authorities re-issued plates, as C.137 was a 1926 AEC Renown while C.166 was a Dodge Bros with Graham char-a-banc body delivered no later than 1925.

February 1927 Plates
These plates, which were issued under the ACT Motor Ordinance. Plates from CO.1 to at least CO.31 are known to have been issued. (more…)


The slow delivery offered by some manufacturers encouraged the Department to seek alternative suppliers of buses. Germany’s standard municipal VOV bus was thought to be an attractive solution to Canberra’s problem and when tenders were called in late 1974 for forty-seven buses, MAN of Munich successfully tendered for ten complete Read more…



Bus 532 in City Interchange

In April 1975, Australia’s first articulated bus was ordered from the MAN company. Faced with increasing patronage among a rapidly growing population, the Department foresaw the need to move more people in the peak period as economically as possible. The introduction of articulated buses would not only reduce labour costs, but would provide greater comfort to passengers in offering more seats to more people. (more…)

Leyland Nationals


Bus 259 at Belconnen Interchange

Cabinet approved in August 1973 a major upgrading of the Canberra Bus Service with the introduction of new routes and improved timetables. A substantial addition to the bus fleet was required and speedy delivery was essential. Leyland appeared to be the only manufacturer capable of delivering all the required number of buses in the time. (more…)