X Things You Need To Know About Private Plates

A number plate is the identity of your car. But it usually does not hold any significance or value to the owner. It's just a number. This is the reason that car owners all over the world are turning towards private plate numbers.

A private plate number can help you personalize your car and make it stand out from the crowd of similar patterns of letters and numbers. So, if you have decided on getting one for your car or are in the process of deciding, keep reading to know some important points before getting a private number plate.

6 Things To Know About Private Plates

Private plates are not for the rich and famous alone. Anyone can get them if they pay the price for it. You may want to get a private plate for several reasons, such as personalized touch, emotional attachment to the car, or as a status symbol. Whatever your reasons, you will find something to add the extra spark of customization to the meaningless numbers.

Before you go about getting a private plate, consider the following things to make the right decision and follow the proper procedure. Let's begin.

1. Private Plates Can Cost You A Fortune

Private plates don't come cheap. You will have to pay premium rates to get that combination of unique letters and symbols. The more exquisite the plate number combination, the higher you will have to pay for it. So, it is best to set a firm budget to spend on getting a customized private plate.

Don't go wild in the playground, or you will end up spending a huge amount on a number plate. If you don't care about the other symbols on your plate, you may have to pay less for the private plate. The completely personalized ones with rare combinations usually sell in an auction or bidding war. They surely cost a lot more than less personalized ones.

Number combinations that are not in high demand go for a fixed price on the DVLA registration website. They can range from as low as 30-40 pounds to as high as thousands of pounds. The demand and supply offset determines the cost.

2. Have Confirmation before Using the Private Plate

It could be tempting to display your new and shiny private plate number, but before you go around on the road with a private plate number, make sure you have the confirmation to use from the DVLA office.

For getting a private plate registered to your name, you will have to pay the DVLA charges, fill out the paperwork, and receive confirmation and assignment for the use of the private number. You must have the V750 certificate to show your entitlement to the private plate number before using it. If you put on the plate before getting all the paperwork and confirmations, and get pulled over by a cop, you could face serious charges.

3. Different Styles of Private Plates

You must also familiarize yourself with the different styles of private number plates available in the market before you decide on one. Here are the four typical private plate styles.

  • Current: Current number plates are for the newly registered cars which have been in the recent time. It is a combination of seven characters — two letters suggesting the region where the car was issued, two numbers indicating the age of the car, and the ending of three random letters.
  • Prefix: The number plates are called prefixes because they begin with a letter that indicates the car's age. It goes as one letter, three numbers, a space, and three more letters.
  • Suffix: In suffix, there is a letter at the end of the number indicating the age of the car. It usually goes as three characters, a space in between, one, two, or three digits, and ends with another character that identifies the age.
  • Dateless: There is nothing in the dateless number plates that indicates the age of the car, which is the reason they are so in demand. The combination is usually made of up to four different numbers and three letters.

4. Legal Requirements for Private Plate Numbers

The first step in the legal process of acquiring a private plate is to pay for the plate. Once you have bought the plate, you will be issued a DVLA certificate of entitlement, which allows you to put the private plate on your car.

You will have to take the certificate V750 and your driving license to a registered number plate supplier, and they will make and fit the private plate on your car.

There are certain rules for the display of the private plate number. The plate must have black font on a white background for the front plate and black font on a yellow background for the rear display. There should be no pattern on the plate. It shouldn't have any altered font or extra spacings. The age identifier should be correct. Also, the plate should be built from a reflective metal.

The DVLA will automatically unregister your old number plate as soon as your private plate is registered. Your old plate may or may not be available for use again if you wish to reinstate it on your car. Don't mix up and change plates as you wish. Only use the one you have currently registered against your car, or you could be fined a heavy sum upon breach of these regulations.

5. Places to Buy a Private Plate

The most important thing you should know before buying a plate is to be aware of where to buy one. Plates are not sold in the common market, and you can't just walk into any shop to get one. There are three different places where you can purchase a private number plate.

The first option is to cut out the middleman and purchase directly from the DVLA. The DVLA has millions of private numbers available with them. You can go to their office and set criteria with them. The will search for available plates based on your criteria, such as your birth date and all options available in that category will be found for you.

You can also bid in an auction with DVLA. They hold open and closed auctions for private plates all year round. Once an auction is started, bid for the plates. If your set an eligible amount, you will be given the plate number.

Another option is to buy through the brokers who buy and resell the private plate numbers. They will cost you more since the brokers are middlemen. If DVLA does not have a plate you like, you can check with brokers.

One last option is to search the magazines or newspapers for their automobile sections. They sometimes have private plates listed for sale in classified ads. These plates are rare to come by, so plates will be expensive.

6. Prerequisite Information to Get a Private Plate

When registering a private plate with the authorities, you will need some information before you get registered. There are no heaps of forms required for this process. You need some basic proofs such as proof of name and address, MOT certificate, tax expiry detail, V750 or entitlement form, and V5 documentation. Don't forget to take your driver's license with you.


These are the most important points you should add to your checklist before getting a private plate number. If you find the right service provider, it can be a hassle-free process to a private plate. And if you truly want to stand out with a car plate, don't just go with a birth date or name letters. Think outside the box and be unique.

How would you customize your plate number if you had the chance?

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