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How much is my number plate worth?

Whether you’re looking to sell your personal number plate or are simply curious about its value, a common question among car owners is ‘How much is my number plate worth?’

There are a multitude of reasons why a car owner might want to identify the value of a number plate in their possession. Perhaps you’re planning to scrap your car and are wondering if it might be advantageous holding onto your number plate or you are looking to sell a vehicle, but you think selling its registration plate separately might be more profitable?
After all, if your number plate spells out a version of a name or popular phrase, in the right market, it might be in very high demand.

Regardless of your reasons for looking into what people might pay to purchase your plate, you’ll find plenty of information on the subject below. From ways you can evaluate your plate to how much it might be worth, along with the many factors that affect its price we’ll discuss all the ins and outs you need to be aware of when investigating the value of your car number plate.

Find out how much a number plate is worth

The most common step for most people looking for a quote for their number plate is to approach either a physical dealer in registration plates or one based online. Sometimes dealers will have dedicated phone numbers you can call for a quote, but online you’ll often find most sites that trade in number plates feature an online calculator that can offer you a quick evaluation.

For the most part, these estimated values are given freely and with no obligation to sell. If you’re dissatisfied with the quote given, you’re then typically encouraged to contact the dealer to discuss. For example, you may feel your number plate has a unique selling point the online calculator has missed, and a call can provide an opportunity to clear this up for a more appropriate estimate.

If you opt to take advantage of the free service of a number plate valuation, you’ll be asked for some details on both you and your car. Your name and how best to contact you will be needed along with your registration number. If the number plate is presently attached to a vehicle, you’ll be asked to provide expiry dates for both MOT and vehicle tax. If the registration number is on a certificate, you’ll also be asked for the date this expires as well.

After supplying this data you’ll receive a reply, often by email, with an appraisal of your plate’s estimated value, as well as all your available options if you intend to sell the registration. Typically, an account will be created for you to sell through the online site, which will also allow you to amend the details of the plate, such as the selling price and if you’d like to increase or decrease the amount used for the advertisement.

The quote you receive for your number plate is normally the exact sum you’ll be awarded after a successful sale with no further deductions to account for. The dealer will usually add their own commission on top of this figure when the item is sold. While this is the usual method for such transactions, always make sure you get to grips with the terms and conditions of any sale, ensuring you understand exactly how selling fees and commission charges could affect the final sale price. 

Number plate price check

Valuing the worth of a number plate prior to selling isn’t a simple task to perform on your own as you’ll find there are several different factors that come into play when making an estimate. These factors include the number of characters on the plate and if popular names or common words or phrases are indicated by the numbers and letters.

If you’re seeking to sell or are simply curious on price, it’s a wise idea to get some expert assistance from dealers who trade in number plates. Always choose a free service that advertises no obligation to sell and make sure you research your dealer well, checking both credentials and reputation.

The selling of private plates has been known to generate large rewards with personalised plates bought for up to tens of thousands of pounds. While a comprehensive valuation for your number plate is always the best way to assess its value, here are a few of the deciding factors involved, which can increase or decrease the price your plate may sell for. While not an accurate assessment, they may give you a hint of the selling potential of your own unique number plate.

Two factors that could help show how much your number plate’s worth are how often individuals are searching online for it and how common it is. If there are many number plates similar to yours, this will detract from its value when sold. However, if it features commonly sought-after initials or names it could be worth a lot more.

While every single number plate is unique and therefore rare, there are some registrations considered rarer than others that command higher prices when sold.

Some names for example, can be described on number plates using a variety of different combinations of characters, so if your registration features a name with multiple possibilities it’ll usually be priced lower than one that bears a name that’s difficult to represent. Popular names in demand, such as John or Sarah, are often well priced too.

If your plate is personalised and clearly spells out a name, word or phrase then it’ll typically be expected to claim a higher price tag than a standard registration plate. When plates have numbers on them, the lower they are the higher the price they fetch. The numeral “1” is usually the most coveted and will add significant value to your number plate when present.

The number of characters on a plate must also be taken into consideration when working out its worth. As a rule, shorter plate numbers are normally worth more. The reason for the popularity of plates with fewer characters is they tend to be older registrations. Shorter plates are not discovered in circulation as commonly as the more modern and longer plate numbers. First utilised over a century ago, they are considered a rarity and priced accordingly as they are highly prized by those who specialise in registration numbers.

The value of your number plate can also be assessed by studying what comparable registration plates are selling for presently or have sold for in the past. A specialist dealer in registration plates will research this history and use it to make an appropriate appraisal of your number plate’s worth. They’ll also be aware of trends in the market and take this into consideration.

Of all the factors when trying to sell a private number plate, price is the most important aspect to get right when looking to achieve a successful sale, so remember to be realistic when deciding on this amount. Acquiring an experienced dealer’s assistance is always advised to get the best possible price for your plate.

If you’re curious to know what a dealer might charge to help sell your registration plate, you’ll be pleased to know this is typically free. However, you also might have the option of a premium paid-for service. Such a service will normally include your number plate being promoted more prominently on the dealer’s site to better attract interest from buyers.

What happens when selling my number plate?

If you decide to go ahead, your number plate is then listed for sale on the dealer’s website. When someone buys your registration, they’ll be required to pay the amount you’re asking and a commission payable to the dealer along with a fee to the DVLA who process the transfer of the plate to the new owner.

Before the deal takes place, you’ll receive confirmation in writing of the whole process. The dealer will request from you the V5C Registration Document, commonly called a logbook, attached to the number plate. If the registration is not on a vehicle but on certificate, you’ll be asked instead for either a Retention Certificate (V778) or Certificate of Entitlement (V750) along with the appropriate authorisation for administration of the certificate.

The dealer managing the transaction should ensure they’re holding fully cleared funds from the number plate buyer before going ahead with the transfer of ownership and should inform you clearly when you’ll receive your payment in full for the sold registration.

It’s the dealer’s responsibility to ensure all pertinent documentation is checked and submitted to the DVLA. They should also keep you informed every step of the way during the process and ensure that you fully understand the procedure of selling your number plate before the deal is finalised.