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Can You Sell A Car With A Private Number Plate?

Private number plates have proved increasingly popular in the last 25 years, so much so that the DVLA recognised it could be a valuable revenue stream for the Treasury and began trading in sought-after and cherished plates.

Whether you’re selling on an unwanted car or even scrapping it, you might be wondering just what happens to your personalised number plate. While many drivers choose to sell on their vehicle complete with plate, sometimes adding to a car’s value, it’s also possible to retain a registration plate and attach it to another car, hold on to it or even sell it on individually.

If you’re wondering ‘can you sell a car with a private number plate?’, read on for further information on your available options.

Selling your car with a private number plate

A personalised number plate can be a unique selling point when you’re putting your car on the market. Short registrations are much sought-after. For example, the first number plate issued in London ‘A1’ has had many exclusive owners and has been sold for a small fortune each time. If your private plate contains or indicates a commonly known phrase or word, it could prove popular and attract a buyer.

Attaching your private number plate to another vehicle

It’s possible to hold onto your personalised plate before you sell or scrap your car. Firstly, you must make an application to the DVLA. You then fill in a V317 application form and pay a fee of £80 to allow you to retain your number plate and assign it to a new vehicle of your choosing. You don’t even have to be the owner of the car – you can easily gift your private number plate to a friend or family member – but you’ll need the V5C registration document for their vehicle to assign it.

Keeping your private number plate

If you’re selling on your car and wish to keep your plate but don’t have a car to attach it to, you can still do this. Known as putting a number plate “on retention” through the DVLA, you can keep your ownership of the number plate on a certificate. From there, you can either hold onto it until you have a car you’d like to attach it to, or sell it on in certificate form. You can keep a number plate on retention for a term of up to 10 years. If you want to retain it for longer, don’t worry, you can simply fill out another V317 form and get an additional 10 years.

Selling on your private number plate

If you’ve got a private plate that no longer has any meaning to you and are looking to make some money from it, you can retain it when you sell your car and find a buyer separately. Number plates can be sold online through private brokers and specialist sellers, as well as privately.

Brokers can be a good way of selling your private plate if you don’t feel confident in finding a buyer yourself. With a steady flow of traffic to their sites, these dealers are better placed than private individuals to find a good selection of suitable buyers. A dealer will also have the experience to price your plate accurately and handle any paperwork or financial transactions for you.

You can also sell your private plate by yourself at auction, in classified ads or online.

Other related FAQs

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

If you want to sell a number plate on retention, follow this guide which explains how to sell the plate and answers your questions about the process and how to get the best price for your number plate.

If you own a private number plate but no longer want to use it, you might be tempted to sell it back to the DVLA. Unfortunately this isn’t possible as the DVLA does not buy back private number plates.

It is possible to sell a number plate privately via a personal ad which you could place on local buying and selling sites or in the newspaper. You can also sell through traditional or online auctions or dedicated number plate selling sites.

You can sell a personalised number plate privately if you wish, or you can use one of the many companies who sell them. They can either advertise it on your behalf, or buy it outright for their own stock.