Selling Private Number Plate - Is It Possible?

A personalised number plate often has sentimental value and can mean a lot to drivers. However, there may come a time where you feel as though you no longer want, or need, your private number plate.

The question remains: what do you do with a personalised number plate if it is no longer required?

You could dispose of it, but then this would mean a loss of money. So is it possible to sell a number with a private plate? The short answer is yes.

Selling your private plate is a great way of making some extra cash whilst passing it onto someone else to enjoy on their vehicle. However, as with selling any asset, it is important to be patient and carry out thorough research before a transaction is completed.

What to consider before selling your private plate: A checklist

There are a few things that you need to check first before selling your private number plate to ensure that you are not in breach of any regulations set out by the DVLA.

  • Can you legally sell the plate? - Check that your paperwork does not include the word 'non-transferable'
  • Is the vehicle registered under your first and last name?
  • Are you the official purchaser or grantee with either a Certificate of Retention (V778) or Certificate of Entitlement (V750)?
  • Do you have access to the vehicle logbook or V5C registration document?
  • Accurately value your plates - Too high and you risk putting people off and not selling. Too low and you could end up not getting the true value for your plates and losing out on money
  • Advertising your plates - Ensuring you reach as wide an audience as possible by registering with a database such as ours.
  • Get an offer and complete the sale - Once you have received an offer you are happy with, put it on retention and transfer the registration number.

Can I sell my registration back to the DVLA?

Unfortunately, this is not an option. The DVLA does sell cherished plates, but only new ones and will not buy back cherished plates that have already been issued to a vehicle. The best way to sell your private number plate is through a private dealer or a car registration company like Click4Reg.

Can I give someone else my private registration?

Yes, you can give your private registration plate to someone else as long as the number is assigned to their vehicle before they use it. This can be done online or by post.

Will I get my old registration back?

Yes, in most cases, once you take your private registration off your vehicle, your old registration number will be reassigned back to you. If you wish to sell the vehicle, you can sell your private number plate separately and put your old registration back on it. This must be done before you sell it, in accordance with the law.

Do private number plates hold their value?

Personalised number plates are becoming increasingly common.

One of the most expensive personalised plates ever sold in a UK auction took place in November 2014, when the registration plate '25 O' sold for £400,000. However, the world's most expensive number plate currently resides with Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri in the UAE at the cost of £7.2 million.

It is unlikely that your personalised plate will be worth anything close to these values. However, it could well have gone up in value since you purchased it.

Realistically, you are unlikely to find an interested buyer for a randomly assigned registration mark (i.e. the one that was assigned initially to your vehicle when it was produced). However, if you have purchased a short number plate, it could return a profit as they are likely to be more desirable and harder to get your hands on.

What is the selling process?

Upon a sale being agreed (with you accepting the offer proposed by a prospective buyer) the following steps will take place:

1) Confirmation of intent to sell and recap of terms and conditions.

Once a buyer has signalled their intent to purchase your plate, our sales team will contact you to recap the terms and conditions to ensure you are still happy to sell your registration mark.

2) Initiation of payment

Once you have confirmed you are happy to sell, we will contact the buyer to collect a deferred payment to secure the registration plate for sale.

3) Proof of ownership

Once payment has been collected, we will contact you to request proof of ownership of the registration plate. You will need to send us a valid, recent copy of one of the following documents:

  • V5C Vehicle Registration Certificate (or V5NI)
  • V778 Certificate of Retention
  • V750 Certificate of Entitlement

4) Payment request and contract mailed out

Once proof of ownership is received, a contract is sent to you with instructions on how to sign.

5) Transfer documentation received by us

When your requested registration mark entitlement documents are received, they are checked by one of our team and held until the buyer's documentation is received and checked over.

6) Transfer completed by DVLA

An agent will either complete the transfer online or liaise with a representative from the DVLA headquarters in Swansea in-person to complete the transfer on your behalf.

7) Payment is made

You will receive payment and notification that the transfer has been completed from the DVLA.

Is it possible to sell a number with a private plate?

Yes, it is possible, but it is important that you do the necessary research beforehand in order to arm yourself with all of the information needed for a successful purchase.

There are multiple legal loopholes that need to be jumped through in order to avoid disappointment, so you must be aware of these before you begin the process. After this, accurate valuations must be undertaken to ensure you get the best price possible for your private plate.

Ultimately, something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. But if you are fully prepared and follow the necessary channels, it is perfectly reasonable to expect a successful sale for your personalised plate.

Selling a private plate via Click4Reg

Selling your personalised number plate could not be any easier at Click4Reg. As a registered member of The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), we offer a first-class service which will make the process as seamless and straightforward for you as possible for you.

It is our priority to ensure we adhere to good quality standards within the motoring industry and provide clear and transparent pricing on private number plates being sold to customers.

Why should you choose us?

  • Free to advertise
  • Free valuation
  • Over 600,000 potential buyers a week

Once you have received your quote and you wish to sell your private plate, we can ensure great exposure online, offline in newspapers, magazines and direct mailings. And, most importantly, you get to keep 100% of the sale price!

We will contact you as soon as an offer is made, and it is down to you to decide whether to accept or decline any offers. You can choose the final price, and our sales team will take care of the paperwork for you. It's as simple as that.