Image Credit: The Plate Market | Flickr
Buying a private number plate is a great way to make your car look unique and stand out from the crowd.
But to a tourist, the idea of having a private number plate might elicit some questions. What are private number plates for? Where do you register one? Are they even legal? If you’re a tourist, it can be hard to wrap your mind around the world of private number privates in the UK.
But that’s why we’re here. In our tourist’s guide to private number plates, you’ll learn everything you need to know about personalized registrations.
A Tourist’s Guide to Private Number Plates
What are Private Number Plates?
Private number plates (also known as personalized number plates, private registrations, or cherished number plates) are personalized DVLA registration numbers which can be applied to any vehicle.
Once you buy and register a private number plate, the new registration numbers replace the default registration plate installed on your vehicle. The good thing about private number plates is that you can buy any combination imaginable. You can even equip your vehicles with branded registrations—a great way to market your business even on the roads.
Where Can You Buy a Personalized Number Plate?
You can buy personalized plates for your vehicle directly from DVLA or from an authorized dealer.
All you have to do is visit the DVLA website, then in the search tool, enter your search criteria (for example your initials) and then browse the available plates.
If you can’t find a certain plate on the DVLA website, it’s worth checking an authorized dealer’s site, such as Absolute Reg. In some cases, you can also get a personalized number plate from a private sale.
How Much Do Private Number Plates Cost?
It depends on many factors, such as where you intend to buy the plate from and how rare the plate is. Plates bought through brokers and classified ads tend to be more expensive.
Generally, the most basic private registrations—those that adopt the current two letters, two numbers, three letters format—play around £250 to £400 on the DVLA website. For example, if your name is Ann, you could have BV61 ANN.
The most expensive private number plate ever sold in the UK was “25 O” sold to a Ferrari dealer back in 2014 for £518,000.
Can I Transfer My Private Number Plate to Another Vehicle?
Yes, it’s possible to transfer your private registrations from one vehicle to another. The DVLA has set out the guidelines for private number plate transfers.
You’ll be able to transfer your private number plates if you’re the registered owner of the vehicle. If you sell the vehicle before you move the registration, you’ll be unable to transfer it. To transfer a private number plate, you’ll need to fill out a V317 transfer form, present V5 registration documents for both vehicles, and pay an £80 cheque transfer fee to DVLA.
What are the Requirements for Private Number Plates?
For a private number plate to be deemed authentic, it must:
- Be made of reflective material
- Feature black characters on a yellow background (back plate)
- Feature black characters on a white background (front plate)
- Not have any background pattern
When buying a personalized number plate, it’s good to ensure your plates don’t contradict any of the laid down rules regarding private registrations.