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What to do After Buying Your Private Number Plate

So, you've bought your perfect private plate, what do you do now? There are some steps you need to go through after buying your private number plate before you're able to fit it to your car.

To make the process easier, Click4Reg has put together this guide on assigning a private number plate to a vehicle if your car is still at the dealership, you bought it as a gift, or even if you haven't purchased the vehicle yet.

Eligibility for private plates

You cannot:

• Opt for a private plate that makes your vehicle appear newer than it is
• Choose a number that begins with 'Q' or 'NIQ'
• Install a private number on a Q-registered vehicle

The vehicle must have:

• Registration with the DVLA in the UK
• An MOT or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) test certificate
• The ability to move under its own power
• A SORN or being taxed continuously for the past five years

Make sure your vehicle and private plates are eligible with our guide to legal number plates.

How to assign a private number plate to your car

A number plate can only be assigned to a car that is registered to you. As soon as you've bought your private plate, you can begin the process of transferring it to your vehicle - either online or through the post.

Almost all companies will transfer your personalised number plate for free when you purchase the plate in person. However, if you buy a plate online or wish to assign the number plate yourself, you will need a V750 or V778 certificate so you can finish the process at home.

Read more about V750s and V778s in our comprehensive guide to registration documents.

Here are some easy ways you can assign a private number plate to your car when it is still at the dealership, you bought the plate as a gift, or if you haven't even purchased your car yet:

If your car is at a dealership

In order to obtain the right to use a private plate, you will need either a V750 certificate or a V778 retention document which you should have received when you initially purchased the private number plate. These two documents allow for a personalised plate to be owned without it being associated with a vehicle.

You have two options to assign the number plate if your car is still at the dealership:

1) Give your V750/V778 to the dealer when buying a new car and ask them to apply alongside the other aspects of administration. Many dealerships will do this free of charge, but it is worth asking upfront.

2) Apply for your personalised plate online through the government website or through the post. As long as you are the registered keeper of the new car and the V5C (log book) is in your name, you're able to assign your private plate to your new car even if you haven't bought it home yet.

If you haven't bought your car yet

It's common practice to purchase number plates while not in possession of a car. A person saving up for a new car might consider buying a personalised plate if they see one they like.

In most cases, you can purchase a number plate on a certificate if you haven't bought your car yet. You can retain the certificate until you decide what to do with it, as it proves that you own the number plate.

If you purchase a number plate on a certificate, you can keep it without using it for a period of up to 10 years before it has to be renewed. Essentially, if you keep renewing, you can keep the number plate on the certificate for as long as you wish without ever assigning it to a car.

If you bought a private plate as a gift

You can easily give a personalised number plate as a gift. Similar to what you would do when purchasing your own personalised number plate, the recipient will have two options to assign the plate to their car.

You do not need any vehicle documents when purchasing a personalised number plate, just like if you were buying it for yourself. The recipient can complete the registration process at a later date using the vehicle documents they'll already have.

You can request that the plate be delivered to either your own or the recipients' address. Should you not be ready to gift the plate right away, you can keep the number plate for one year free of charge.

Learn more about how to give a personalised number plate as a present.

Transferring a registration number from one car to another

There are two simple steps needed to process your private plate if it is already on another vehicle. You must first place a personalised number plate on retention (either online or by mail).

If you wish to keep your registration number plate, you are required to fill out a V317 form (section B) notifying the authorities that the plate will be removed. After the number is removed, the form will allow you to choose what will happen to the number, which includes transferring the plate from one car to another.

You will be required to pay a one-off fee of £80 when you remove a number plate. You'll need the vehicle's log book (V5C) if you're switching number plates. If your vehicle doesn't need an inspection, the personalised number will be removed immediately.

If you are completing the application by mail, the number plate will usually be removed within two weeks. To do so, the DVLA requires these documents:

1) V317 form

2) Your vehicle's log book (V5C) or the new keeper's supplement with a completed V62

3) £80 fee

Find out more about transferring a private registration from car to car in our guide to assigning a private number plate to a vehicle.

Can I put my private plate on a financed car?

Yes, personalised plates can be put on your financed cars as well as leased vehicles. Prior to purchasing a private registration plate, it's a good idea to speak with the leasing or financing company to ensure that there are no restrictions on the assignment of a personalised plate to your vehicle. Although there shouldn't be any problems, it's always a good idea to check beforehand.

Financed car

You will be the registered keeper when you take out Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) or Hire Purchase (HP) agreements, which allows you to apply directly to the DVLA either online or by using the V317 form.

An HP agreement gives you ownership of the car at the end of the agreed term so you can continue using your private plate. Whereas you will need to organise the retention of your personalised plate two months before the end of your PCP agreement if you don't intend to make the balloon payment to become the owner.

Leased car

Wait until you have received the car to put your private plate on it. The leasing company should then be contacted in order to be named as the nominee on the V317 form. You'll then be able to transfer your plates to the lease car.

To avoid losing your usage rights, arrange for the retention of your personalised plate around two months before the lease ends.

© 2022 Click4Reg Ltd

(Registered in England and Wales) Company No. 08578609 | Vat No. 165583776


Tel: 0203 600 1234  |  Email:

Click4Reg offers private registrations from both stock numbers & private sellers. DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Click4Reg Ltd is not affiliated to the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations. Click4Reg Ltd is a recognised reseller of DVLA registrations, see our terms and privacy policy.

Registered office address: Click4Reg, Unit 2 Conqueror Industrial Estate, Moorhurst Road, St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex, TN38 9NA.

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC (FRN:704348) & Specialist Lending Ltd (FRN:422339) are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Click4reg Limited FRN: 630511 trading as Click4reg are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker, not a lender - credit is subject to status and affordability, and is provided by a panel of lenders of whom we have a commercial relationship.