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How To Sell A Private Number Plate

You may have bought a personalised number plate for yourself and no longer need or want it, or perhaps it was a gift or your name has since changed. Maybe you’re even one of a growing number of people who see private number plates as an investment, and you’re now looking to cash that in. So, where do you start if you’re wondering how to sell a private number plate?

Getting the price right

Whichever option you choose, number plates are generally bought and sold online. The first stage is to get a valuation from a dealer, as this may influence your decision regarding whether or not to sell. The simplest way to do this is to fill in a form online or give the company a call. They will be able to advise about the price you can expect.

Like many items that are tricky to place an exact value on, a private plate is something that is often difficult to price, and each valuation might be different. This is why it’s important to get a number of valuables before deciding which route to take.

How should you sell your private number plate?

Private sale

Selling your personalised plate privately might well get you the best price, but you may have to fork out for some advertising in the first place. Also, where do you place the plate so that the maximum number of people will see it? 

If you have a number plate that’s likely to appeal to a wide audience, then this method might work well; however, you still need your ad to reach that person who wants the plate you’ve got. If you have a more unusual plate that’s likely to be less popular, trying to sell privately could prove to be a pretty long-winded process, and ultimately a disappointing one.


You could sell your private plate via an auction website such as eBay. A large site like this is likely to put you in touch with a greater number of interested buyers, and you can place a reserve on it to ensure it doesn’t sell for less than you’d be happy to settle for.

Alternatively, you can put your plate up for auction via a traditional auction house. They may be able to give expert advice on what price to expect and the reserve you should set, but there’s no guarantee that your plate will sell. Selling via an online or traditional auction will also mean paying fees - probably a listing fee plus a cut of the sale price.

Car registration companies

The specialist companies that sell private car number plates will happily sell your plate on your behalf. If you have a plate that they see as easy to sell, they may offer to buy it outright for their stock, to be sold on to one of their customers at a later date. They may offer this in any case - but will probably quote a lower value for it than you could expect if you wait for a buyer to be found. The key advantage of this method is exposure - large numbers of people looking for plates will browse these sites daily, so there is more chance of the right buyer seeing your plate and snapping it up. The downside is the price you might get, which may be reduced once the company has taken their cut.

Other related FAQs

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

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.

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.

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.