How and where do you get personalised plates from?

When personalised number plates were first sold officially in 1991, it fell into the domain of the ultra-wealthy. In most instances, they would simply give their luxury car dealers a call, and they would handle the rest.


Fast forward three decades later, private registrations are now cheaper than used iPhones. Seriously, you can get a brand new private number plate for just £250 at DVLA’s online auction website.


Since personalised plates are so affordable now, many are quite keen to purchase one for themselves. So, where and how do you go to buy one?



1. DVLA Auction


Your first stop has to be DVLA’s auction site. With over 45 million registration marks in their database, you could literally spend days and weeks poring over the listings. In addition, purchasing number plates from DVLA is without doubt the safest option in the country. DVLA also hold public auctions around the country several times a year.


However, buyers are advised to exercise caution when bidding. Unlike eBay, bidding here is considered binding, and DVLA will attempt to recover the sum from runaway buyers, even if they have to obtain a court order.  Please note that on top of regular VAT, an 8% Buyer’s Premium (minimum amount £40) is applicable on all purchases. Additionally, DVLA’s assignment fee of £80 is billed during payment.


One common complaint about DVLA’s auction is the lack of exclusive and cherished plates in their database. So if you’re on the lookout for these plates, the second option is probably a better bet for you.


2. Private Sales


There is a huge trove of cherished and pronounceable personalised number plates in the open market. Many investors have been collecting these plates since the 1970s, and are only too willing to sell them for the right price. These unique number plates are usually sold through


(i) Websites

(ii) Advertisements and classifieds

(iii) Auctions

(iv) Brokers


Owing to the unique qualities of these plates, the prices are significantly higher than fresh, computer generated ones sold by DVLA. Nevertheless, many of them are listed at exorbitant prices, and customers are traditionally expected to bargain (unless it’s an auction).


When buying personalised plates from any of these locations, please ensure that you are dealing with reputable websites and brokers. Conduct an online search to verify their credentials and experience before signing any sales agreement or parting with your money. Above all, please avoid dealing with middlemen. Not only will the price be higher, you will also expose yourself to unnecessary financial risks.


Copyright © 2018

Bailey Carpenter