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How Much Is My Number Plate Worth?

If you have a private number plate, you may be looking to find out how much it’s worth. Perhaps you’re thinking of selling it, or are simply curious. Either way, you can approach the question of its value in much the same way as you would if you were looking to buy a personalised plate.

There are many companies now selling private registrations, and they all have to get their plates from somewhere. This is where those keen to sell a number plate come in. A whole host of websites that specialise in selling private plates would love to take yours off your hands so they can sell it on to a willing buyer.

Search online and you will have access to a wealth of sites that will give you a free valuation for your personalised plate. Simply complete a form or call them and they’ll give you the price they’re willing to pay. As with most matters, it pays to get at least a few quotes, as these can differ quite considerably from one firm to the next.

Number plate pricing isn’t an exact science, as it really boils down to what someone would be willing to pay for your unique marque. There are some factors that can make one number plate more desirable than the next, however.

The most desirable number plates

If you’re wondering ‘how much is my number plate worth?’, then consider whether it contains any of the most sought-after characteristics.

Supply and demand

The good old rule of supply and demand comes into play here. When a lot of people are interested in a particular combination of letters and numbers, the plate displaying that combination is likely to fetch a high price.

Number plates that contain a name, initials or word that a lot of people want on their car will be more desirable and therefore more valuable. With perennially popular names, there will always be a demand. If the name is short or can be abbreviated, like Ben, Dan, Jon, Sal or Sue - then there will be a vast number of individuals who would like to place this on their vehicle. Therefore popular names will almost always command a higher price.


When it comes to numerals, 1 is usually the most sought-after - after all, doesn’t everyone want to be number one? However, numbers can also be important when they match car model numbers, especially when it comes to the more exclusive end of the market. Some numbers also look very like certain letters, so they can be popular when they help to spell out a particular word or name, such as BO55.


If a number plate has a significant history, then it can become extremely sought-after. One example is when a private plate has been used by a celebrity, or if was previously used on an iconic car. People who own classic cars, meanwhile, might well want a number plate that reflects their vehicle’s age - or even the region of the country in which they live.

Type of plate

Number plates are divided into four distinct categories. There are dateless plates, which tend to cost the most. There are also suffix and prefix plates, which reflect the timespan in which the car or plate was issued. Then there are the new style registrations, such as 51, 07 or 63. It is worth noting here that it is illegal to use a plate to imply that a vehicle is newer than it actually is.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

To find out the registered keeper of a vehicle number plate here in the UK, apply in writing to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). However, it will only provide these details if you have a reasonable cause.

UK number plates change every March and September, on the first of the month. This is when the year identifier changes, for example from 19 to 69 in 2019/20. The former applies from March, and the latter from September.

Personalised number plates can be a good investment as they nearly always retain their value and often increase in price. Investing in these plates is not risk free though, so it shouldn’t be undertaken without careful research.

Much like a personalised or cherished number plate in any other part of the UK, all personalised number plates in Northern Ireland must be registered with the DVLA in Swansea. This system has been in place since 2014.

Acquiring a private plate won’t mean your car insurance goes up, but you’ll need to inform your insurer of the plate change and should ask for a letter confirming they have no interest in your private plate.

You can discover certain information about the vehicle that a number plate is on fairly simply, but to find out who it actually belongs to is a little more tricky. Your best port of call is the DVLA.

Having an illuminated number plate is a legal requirement, so it's important that you replace your number plate bulb if it fails. This a simple process which anyone can complete, and replacement bulbs are readily available in shops and online.

A simple transfer from one vehicle to another can be completed online with the DVLA and you can make the switch as soon as you've finished the process. Organising it by post takes longer – expect two to five weeks.

You must inform the DVLA if you wish to remove your personalised number plate and replace it with the car’s original plate. It costs £80 to remove personalised plates and this can be done online or by post.

It’s widely believed that you cannot add a personalised number plate to a leased car, but as long as you liaise with the lease company and take a few simple steps, you are able to change the number plates.