From a general perspective, most people see mass-manufactured automobiles simply as large hunks of attractive metal perfect for travelling long distances to wherever their hearts desire. However, over time, the hours we spend in them change this impersonal relationship to one of a deeper bond forged by journeying toward experiences that eventually become cherished memories.

Hence, many people often attach something to mark their precious metal pieces in the form of a personalized number plate. If you are one of these people, you may find that knowing the process of buying, owning, and transferring a private number plate may come in handy, especially when you plan on doing any of these.

Ways You Can Own a Private Vehicle Number Plate

There are 3 major ways you can go about purchasing a private vehicle number plate. This includes:

1.  Purchase from the DVLA

Purchasing from the drivers and vehicle licensing agency is the most recommended option that you should pursue. This is because, unlike other options, it cuts out the intermediaries and helps you save money, so you don’t have to pay a marked-up version of the original price.

Another benefit is the tonnes of options that are available to you if you purchase from there. You can go for the modern style of number plates, which consists of two letters followed by two numbers and then three letters, or you can choose the prefix style (before 2011) where one letter is followed by one, two, or three numbers and then three letters.

The DVLA also holds physical and timed auctions. In the former, you can bid in-person through your phone or physical presence. In the latter, you need to enter your maximum bidding price into the DVLA website and the system bids in your place. The highest bidder receives the plate.

Once you buy the plate, the DVLA will give you a V750 certificate, which proves your ownership of the plate and gives you the right to paste the plate to your car.

2.  Purchase from a Broker

Maybe you have scoured every license plate that the DVLA has to offer at this point in time, and nothing pulls at your heartstrings. You almost give up your search until you lay eyes on the one car plate on a broker’s website, and suddenly, it’s everything that you are looking for.

Likewise, broker websites often have a wealth of car plate varieties that you may not find at DVLA, but they come with a hefty price tag consisting of markup to earn sufficient profit on their sales.

If you are looking for Cherished Number Plates that capture your heart, there are broker sites that will help you find unique plates, so you can add your own personalized touch to your car.

Brokers can also help you attach your plate to the car. Remember, if you buy from a broker, you need to register your plate with the DVLA. You can do this via their website or write a letter to them. Get new plates insured as well.

3.  Purchase through Private Means

This should be your last resort because finding your ideal private car plate through this can be tricky and confusing. This method is recommended if you know what car plate you want, especially if it is a rare one. You may want to look at newspaper advertisements, car magazines, and other classified advertisements.

Expenses Related to Buying Your Private Vehicle Number Plate

The price of a vehicle number plate wildly varies from a few hundred pounds to six-figured numbers based on a variety of factors. These include:

  • The source of the plate: DVLA auction prices depend on the amount the bidders want to pay, whereas newspapers or other classified advertisements often advertise rare plates, which can get very expensive.
  • The number of characters: Vehicle plates with fewer characters are often highly sought out and desirable, making them quite heavy on the pocket.
  • The demand for plates: As follows the law of supply and demand, plates in high demand will be more expensive than those which are not.
  • How Can You Transfer Your Private Number Plate to Another Vehicle?

    What if you have found the perfect plate but want to sell your car? How can you keep this precious plate of yours? Fortunately, for just 80 pounds, the DVLA allows you to keep your plate when you sell. If you don’t have a car right now, this plate will remain yours until you register your new car.

    To do this, you will need your current car’s V5C registration document, and you can easily do the transfer online through DVLA’s website only from days Monday to Saturday, between 8 am and 6pm.

    After reassigning, if you still have your car, its old number plate must be fitted before it is driven on the road. You will be given a new V5C document, which contains your car’s registration number and V778 retention document, which is proof that you are still the legal owner of your private plates and a reference number.

    How Do You Transfer Your Private Number Plate to the Buyer of Your Vehicle?

    If you intend to sell your car along with the plates, you need to transfer ownership of the plates to your buyer. To do this, fill out the “assign a number”  online form on the DVLA’s website. Otherwise, send in your V778 or V750 form and the V5C document of your vehicle to the DVLA via mail. Don’t forget to fill in sections 1 and 2.

    In general, most people selling their plates do so through a dealer or online. If you sell online, don’t share the details of your vehicle’s V5C document. This is because such an action could result in someone using this information to assign the number plate to another vehicle.


    By following through with the advice given on this article, not only will you ensure that you are buying, owning, and transferring your private plate number legally but also find the perfect private number plate that suits your unique taste.

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