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Buying a number plate - How to get a private plate?

Author Name – Cameron Carroll

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Private number plates are a way for you to personalise your car and make it stand out. However, you cannot simply buy a number plate and stick it on your car. There are certain procedures and regulations that you need to take when applying a private number plate to your car. The purpose of the car’s number plate to identify that particular car with the driver, making it important that the vehicle is registered in the correct way.

Buying a private number plate

There are two ways in which you can buy a private number plate, from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or from a private seller.

Buying from the DVLA

The DVLA has 5 auctions per year which gives you the opportunity to buy a private number plate.  You can get the location, time and date and the auction catalogue online at the DVLA website. It is relatively easy to make a bid for the number plates, as this can be done online, in writing or even over the phone. Once your bid has been accepted by the DVLA you will be given a V750 certificate, that gives permission for you to apply the private number plate to your vehicle.

Buying from a private seller

If you choose to go down the route of buying your private number plate off a private seller, it is also fairly straightforward. Simply, purchase the number plate and make sure that you receive a V750 or V778 certificate to then assign the number plate yourself. However, most private sellers will transfer the private plate for you themselves. 

Private number plate fees

There are a number of different fees included in buying, transferring and owning a private number plate, such as –

Applying a registration mark on retention - £80

This is the cost for separating a private number plate from your vehicle but not transferring it to another vehicle. This is what the retention certificate V778 is used for. 

Transferring the private registration to another vehicle - £80

As the name suggests, this fee is occurred when you want to transfer your private number plate from one vehicle to another. 

Buying a private registration plate -  starting at £100

Private number plates can start at as little as £100 but can rise by a large amount depending on the number plate. In 2014 a private number plate sold for £518,480.

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