How to reduce the chance of your private number plate from being stolen
Last updated: 16 May 2022
Despite not being the easiest things to steal, number plate thefts continue to be a problem for car owners up and down the country. It is estimated that there are approximately 25,000 stolen number plates from vehicles every year in the UK.
Realistically, there is no way to be fully safe from private number plate theft, however, there are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of it happening. Here at Click4Reg, we would strongly recommend that you take as many precautions as possible to prevent your private number plate from being stolen.
What can you do to prevent your private number plate from being stolen?
You never know when you could be the victim of number plate theft, so the more provisions you put in place, the greater your chances are of safeguarding your private number plate in the future.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do, in order to reduce the risk of having your number plate stolen by criminals.
Choosing where to park your car
You should always park your car in the safest place possible. Ideally, this would be inside some form of indoor parking, such as a garage.
If this is not an option, then the next safest option is to park in a busy, well-lit area as crimes are statistically less likely to occur here. If you can, choose somewhere that has visible CCTV and other vehicles.
If it is possible, you should also park as close to a building or entrance as possible, so that people can see your vehicle.
Use anti-theft number plate screws on your private number plate
It is possible for you to fit your number plate yourself, allowing you to purchase and fit an anti-theft number plate screw kit. This will ensure that your private number plate stays securely fitted to your vehicle.
Typically, number plates are held on with a Phillips head screw. This means all a criminal would need to remove your number plate is a Phillips head screwdriver.
These kits normally come with bolts and locking tools to ensure that your screws are fastened as tightly and securely as possible. You can get anti-theft number plate screws that are made from anodized aluminium, meaning they are virtually impossible to remove the number plate without the locking tool.
By using these bolts, it makes it more difficult for the anti-theft number plate screws to be removed, adding a layer of protection to your number plate.
They may not provide 100% protection. However they will still act as a deterrent to any potential criminals.
Use adhesive pads on your private number plate
As an alternative to anti-theft number plate screws, you can apply adhesive pads to your private number plate, much like sticky back plastic.
They are very easy to use, do not require drilling or screwing and are much easier to remove if you need to replace your number plate in the future.
They are however not as secure as screws, and therefore can be removed more easily by criminals.
Consider the type of private number plate you want
According to the Cherished Numbers Dealers Association (CNDA), the chance of having stolen number plates is greatly reduced if your vehicle registration plate is personalised as an ordinary standard issue registration mark.
This will make it stand out less, therefore attracting less attention from potential criminals.
Also, you should consider when purchasing a highly personalised, cherished number plate. These are plates which do not display a year code, making them dateless, unlike the ‘22’ plates, which indicate a car that is manufactured in 2022.
If you are struggling for personalised number plate ideas, then consider things such as your initials or your name. Criminals are less likely to target it because it will make it harder to sell afterwards.
How can you protect your business against number plate theft?
There is nothing more worrying than receiving a letter through the post, informing you that you have been caught speeding, and now face a fine, points and/or further action.
And that feeling is compounded when you know it couldn’t possibly have been you driving up the M62 to Manchester when your vehicle was sitting parked on your drive in Kent at the time.
More often than not, if this situation happens, then you have been a victim of cloned, or stolen number plates.
You can certainly follow the above guidance around choosing a sensible place to park and investing in anti-theft number plate screws. If you have access to a work garage, or secure, private land that is locked overnight, then parking your work vehicle(s) here can also help.
You can also choose to brand your business vehicles with private number plates. This should mean that potential number plate thieves are less likely to steal your plates as they are very specific to your company, and will be more difficult to sell on after.
Additionally, you can invest in technology, such as telematics and in-car tracking, which will allow you to challenge any incorrect speeding charges as well as false insurance claims.
Whilst this will not prevent your number plates from getting stolen, it may deter potential thieves if they know you have this technology. It will also help you to prove your innocence if your number plates are recorded committing a crime.
What should you do if you are a victim of stolen number plates?
We sincerely hope that this never happens to you. However, there are many things you can do if you fall victim to number plate theft.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of having your private number plate stolen, then the first thing is try not to panic or worry.
You should report the incident to your local Police (where you will receive a crime number and date) and then inform the DVLA in writing.
Once you have done this, then you will need to purchase replacement number plates, which is where Click4Reg comes in. You can browse the number plates we have to offer before making your final decision.
If you need to purchase a private number plate on a budget, then we are the place to come to.
We are here to help in any way that we can, so please feel free to contact us if you wish to make a purchase or ask any questions about a registration. Alternatively, you can visit our private number plate FAQ page.
You can easily search for a private number plate to replace the one that is stolen.
If you do receive any fines or penalty notices, you should return them to the sender with a covering letter explaining the situation.