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How To Sell A Number Plate Privately

There are two main reasons to sell a private number plate. The first is simply personal choice; you may feel like a change and are looking to replace the plate with something else, or you might have changed your name or job which means that the plate doesn’t suit you anymore. Alternatively, you may be looking to sell your registration for profit. Either way, it’s helpful to know your options.

Why sell my number plate privately?

Selling your number plate privately has one simple advantage over other means - money. You are likely to make more money if you sell privately, as there is no auction house or website fees to pay. Nor do you have to let a number plate sales company take a hefty cut. You might, however, have to fund some form of advertising, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Read on to find out more.

Selling via a personal ad

Decades ago, the only option people really had when it came to selling something locally was to place an ad in a local newspaper, or perhaps in the newsagent’s window. Now, this has all changed, and people trade with locals very quickly and easily in comparison. If you have anything to sell, from trinkets to clothing, furniture, or a car, you can place an ad that people in your area will see.

Gumtree is a very popular site for this purpose, and members of the public now secure everything from jobs to flat shares via the site, as well as vehicles, furniture and a whole host of other items. There are also other selling sites and apps popping up, such as Shpock, which is often advertised on TV.

Another means that is rapidly growing in popularity is Facebook Marketplace. It’s free to list here, and you can share your item to all the local groups at the same time. Your item should pop up on the feed of those who have searched for similar or related items, so if someone who lives near you is looking for a number plate, then you might be able to connect with them almost instantly.


The advantages of this method are simplicity, speed and the fact that your listing is free. The latter means you get to keep every penny in profit from the sale.


Potential pitfalls await those who are not familiar with how Gumtree or Facebook work, and there may also sometimes be security concerns. As people who sell regularly will tell you, there is also often a high number of no shows - people who simply don’t turn up to view or collect the item as promised.


If you want to reach a bigger audience, for example nationally rather than just regionally, then selling via either an auction site like eBay or a traditional auction house is another option to explore. Both are very likely to involve listing and selling fees, but you may claw this back and more by achieving a higher price due to increased exposure.

Number plate websites

You can instantly connect to interested buyers by listing your number plate with a site specialising in selling private registrations. This option usually involves the highest costs, but will also get your plate far more views and hopefully this will translate into a better price.

Sites may also offer to buy the plate from you for their own stocks. This applies especially to highly sought-after combinations. It’s a very quick and easy way to sell, but you may achieve a lower price.

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 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.

Yes, you can sell on your car with a personalised plate attached. It’s also possible to keep your private registration if you want to by completing a V317 form and paying a fee of £80 to the DVLA.

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.

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.