There are a number of elements to consider while sourcing personalised number plates, such as whether someone already owns them or if they're in the correct format. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for in our number plate search tool, then here is a guide to finding them elsewhere.
Steps to Sourcing a Personalised Registration Plate
When trying to buy a specific private registration plate, several factors must be taken into account. First, the registration must follow the correct format as, in the UK, all registrations must follow a specific configuration in order to be deemed legal.
As well as this, you need to find out whether it has ever been issued by the Department for Transport. If it has, then the next steps are seeing whether someone already owns it or if it's currently for sale
Confirm the Format
There are different formats available for personalised number plates, so first you must make sure your perfect plate fits in with a legal format. The different formats currently available are:
• Prefix • Suffix • Dateless • Current Style • Irish Style
Learn more about these styles on our Number Plates Explained page, as well as helpful advice on finding a personalised registration on our extensive database.
There are other regulations a number plate should fall in line with to comply with the law. Make sure you familiarise yourself with these DVLA directives before purchasing a private registration plate.
Check the Department for Transport
Once you have established that your chosen registration is in the correct format, you should try to determine where the Department of Transport has already issued it. The department has an online service that allows you to view the registrations assigned to each vehicle.
It's unlikely that the registration is still in use if it's not listed on the Vehicle Enquiry Service. Some reasons for it not appearing are that it is not currently attached to a vehicle or the car is scrapped or written off. This means the owner may still hold it on retention to the number plate but it is not being used. If this is the case, the chances of them looking to sell it are quite high, so it's worth searching around number plate selling sites.
The DVLA will be the sole organisation having direct access to the owner's details if a registration number is held on a retention document.
See Whether Someone Already Owns It
If you can't find your preferred registration plate on our database, but it has already been issued by the Department of Transport then it is likely that someone already owns it. The plate can be held with one of the following certificates:
• V5C (Vehicle Registration Document) • V750 (Vehicle Entitlement Certificate) • V778 (Retention Document)
Unfortunately, the DVLA will not release information on the person who currently owns the plate so it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Is there a way to introduce different numbers/letters to still get the desired design?
Check if It's for Sale
If your preferred personalised number plate is already owned by someone else, you could check if they're selling it. Whilst you won't know who it is, you could look at buying and selling websites such a GumTree and eBay or simply search online. You may think the chances are slim but you could always be lucky.
If not, then you can use our number plate search tool. Input any combination of letters or numbers and we'll show you hundreds of plates that match your style to choose from.
GDPR and Finding Personalised Number Plates
If a registration is currently issued to a vehicle, the DVLA is the only organisation that has information about the car's owner. The DVLA will only give this information for legal and formal requests, such as locating a car that has been involved in an accident or tracing the registered keeper of an abandoned vehicle, due to Data Protection requirements.
According to GDPR regulations, it is prohibited for a firm or government agency to release personal information without the owner's express authorisation. So, if you find a number plate from Click4Reg, we won't be able to share any details about the seller. Don't worry though, this won't halt the process of buying a personalised number plate with us at all.
Buying a Private Plate with Click4Reg
The easiest method of finding private plates is through using our registration plate search tool. There are thousands of plates to choose from so, chances are, you'll find one perfect for you.
The process is incredibly simple - you can even get your new plate in just a few clicks.
Check you're able to attach private plates to your vehicle - Private plates can be installed on most vehicles, however, they must be registered with the DVLA, able to move on their own, have an MOT certificate, be taxed or have a SORN in place.
Choose one and place an order in minutes - When purchasing a private plate from Click4Reg, there's no need to fill out lengthy registration forms, choose passwords, or send out activation emails. Simply choose your desired plate, fill out your location and the nominee's name.
Pick a payment method - When you've discovered your ideal private plate, it's time to make a payment. All major credit cards, including Visa, Amex, and Mastercard, are accepted. Monthly finance options are also available, allowing you to spread the cost of your registration over a period of 12 to 48 months, depending on your needs.
Quickly get your ownership documentation through the post - That's all you need to do! Now you just need to wait for the documentation to arrive at your home, which we'll send out quickly.
This is perhaps the most straightforward method of sourcing personalised number plates, but if you have any other questions, get in touch with our friendly team today.