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​Tips on Buying Private Number Plates

Many people have private number plates fitted to their cars for a range of reasons, from easy identification to simply a fun addition. If you fancy investing in one for your vehicle, you might find the following tips on buying one helpful.

Set a Budget and Be Flexible

Private number plates can be expensive, so it's important to set a budget before you begin your search and stick to it. Stick to the personalised plate options that you can afford and prepare to be flexible, even if that means compromising. For example, dateless registration plates are always much more expensive than those with dates, so you might need to rethink your plate in order to keep within your budget.

If you can have a few different options in mind when you set out on your search, you're far more likely to get the one you want, unless you're prepared to wait for your ideal plate to become available if the current owner decides to sell it.


Every private number plate should either held on a valid V778 retention certificate, or be held on a vehicle which has a V5 registration document. The DVLA will require one of these documents in order to transfer the registration number to your vehicle.

If the plate is still in use, it will come on a V5 registration document. If the plate is not in use, but is on retainer, it should come with a V778 retention document. Both these documents must be signed by the person whose name appears on them before an application is made to transfer to the new vehicle. The seller of the plate also needs to send a V317 transfer form to DVLA if the registration is being transferred from a vehicle.

​Tips on Buying Private Number Plates |The Private Plate Company

As the buyer, it is your responsibility to gather the necessary paperwork and sent it to the DVLA with a valid MOT certificate. The transfer of a number plate is not difficult but can be time consuming if you are not familiar with the forms. The Private Plate Company offer a service where we will arrange to transfer personalised numbers for just £25 plus VAT in addition to the standard DVLA fee of £80. This way, you know it will be done within 7 days without any hic-cups.

'Q' plates

If you own a vehicle that has a 'Q' in it, it has either been imported with insufficient paperwork to establish its correct age or its a kit car made up of several parts from various vehicles. The idea of the Q registration numbers is to set them clearly apart from other vehicles. If you own a car with a 'Q' in the prefix, you are not legally permitted to apply for a personalised number plate.

Here at The Private Plate Company, we offer an enormous range of DVLA number plates. For more information and advice on choosing the perfect private plate for your car, why not contact us today.