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Do Insurance Companies Charge for Change of Number Plate?

When it comes to insuring your vehicle, it is a known fact that your car, postcode or mileage can have an impact on the cost, but were you aware that your licence plate can have an impact too? If you are thinking about purchasing a personalised number plate, this is something you must consider and be aware of.

First things first, when you get a new number plate for your vehicle, you must assign your number plate to your car and inform your insurer and the DVLA immediately. If you fail to tell your insurer and an incident occurs, such as an accident or theft, there could be issues proving that you’re properly insured which can spell disaster. But the question on most peoples lip's is, does a private number plate increase the cost of your insurance quote? 


Does a private number plate increase your insurance?

There should be no cost to change your registration number plate, but it is entirely dependent on your insurance provider, as each firm operates differently.

By most insurers’ standards, a personalised registration plate doesn’t count as a “vehicle modification” as it is simply a way of identifying the vehicle. Therefore, no added cost should be added to your vehicle's insurance. However, to be on the safe side, it is always worth checking with your insurer if you’re unsure what’s included or covered by your policy, to avoid being caught out by any unnecessary fees.

This is even more important following some research conducted by comparison website, GoCompare. They looked into 302 comprehensive car insurance policies and found that only 19 covered the loss of a personalised number plate.

Therefore, it is advisable to check with your insurer to ensure your personalised number plate is covered in your package, otherwise you may face one of the following for failing to insure your car:

- a fixed penalty of £100

- have your vehicle wheel-clamped, impounded or destroyed

- face a court prosecution, with a possible maximum fine of £1,000 


Ask your insurance company for a "letter of no interest"

As a result, When you are informing your insurance broker that your registration number has changed, it is wise to obtain a letter from the company confirming that they have no interest in the licence plate. This is to ensure that if your car (along with your personalised number plate) is stolen, your plate will return back to you safely.

In some cases, if your vehicle is stolen, the company will pay-out a lump sum to your bank account, which essentially means your insurer now owns your car and everything that was left inside it. If the car is recovered safe and sound, there is a possibility they will agree to sell it back to you for a fee, but they have no obligation to. This is why it is a good idea to have an agreement in place beforehand, to guarantee you get your personalised number plate back in your hands. 


How can your registration plate affect your insurance?

In truth, your personalised number plate has very little impact on the cost of your insurance. There are other larger factors that play a role, such as the value of your car and your address. 

If thieves are on the lookout, they can tell from the licence plate how old a car is. For instance, a number plate reads LM17 AKZ or LM67 AKZ, it is clear that the car was manufactured in 2017. So, if your car is new, this will be more appealing to thieves, and therefore more desirable. 

Read this post about what happens after you have fallen victim to number plate theft. 

But, as always, it is advisable to check with your insurer directly to find out how you can keep your insurance costs down. 


Feature image credit: vladwel / Shutterstock

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