In this paper, a novel colour edge cooccurrence histogram (CECH) method is proposed to match images by measuring similarities between their CECH histograms. Unlike the previous colour edge cooccurrence histogram proposed by Crandall et al. in , we only investigate those pixels which are located at the two sides of edge points in their gradient direction lines and at a distance away from the edge points. When measuring similarities between two CECH histograms, a newly proposed Gaussian weighted histogram intersection (GWHI) method is extended for this purpose. Both identical colour pairs and similar colour pairs are taken into account in our algorithm, and the weights are decided by the larger distance between two colour pairs involved in matching. The proposed algorithm is tested for matching vehicle number plate images captured under various illumination conditions. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can be used to compare images in real-time, and is robust to illumination variations and insensitive to the model images selected.