Number plates are bought and sold in what has become a burgeoning trade in the UK over recent years. Cherished and personalised plates can command price tags that range from a few hundred to many thousands.
If you’ve got a plate that contains a common phrase, word or name, or characters that resemble one, you might be looking to sell on your number plate to make a profit. While many choose to sell through online brokers who’ll handle the entire transaction - including transferring entitlement - if you feel confident, you can manage the sale yourself privately. If this is the case, you’ll need to know how to transfer a number plate to another person.
Number plates also make interesting and unique gifts for friends and family, but you might be unsure how to transfer a number plate to another person. Read on for all the answers you need when you want to pass on your plate.
Selling on your number plate
You can remove your number plate if it’s on a vehicle by putting it on a retention certificate for a fee of £80 paid to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You’re then free to sell it to a buyer of your choice yourself. You won’t require any vehicle documentation until the buyer wants to attach the registration to a vehicle.
The DVLA strongly suggests that you never share photographs or scans of private documents online, as someone other than your selected buyer might make use of them, assigning your registration details to another car.
If you sell your number plate to a buyer with a vehicle, you need to assign it to their car. This can be done by post or online - simply fill out the V778 form and include the vehicle’s V5C registration document or go online and follow the simple step-by-step instructions.
Gifting a number plate to someone else
Number plates, especially personalised ones, make great gifts for friends or family members. You don’t even need a car or driving licence to buy one, so don’t worry if you want to pick one up as a present. Just like when selling a plate, you can gift someone a number plate, but if they want to use it on a vehicle, it will have to be assigned either online or by post.
Assigning a number plate to a vehicle online
Assigning a registration plate to a car can be done quickly and easily online. You’ll need either the certificate of entitlement or the certificate of retention with the registration number on it, and the V5C registration document (log book) to complete the process. If the vehicle you’re assigning the plate to is older than three years, you’ll also need a valid MOT certificate.
As soon as your application is accepted, you can start using your new plates, but make sure to contact your insurer and update the information held on your registration.
Where should I get my plates made?
If cost is a concern, getting your plates made at a high street retailer like Halfords is an economical and easy solution. They’ll make the plates while you wait and even fit them for you for a small additional fee. You’ll need to supply your certificate of entitlement to the number plate if your new log book hasn’t arrived yet (this can take up to six weeks) as well as photo ID like a driver's licence or passport, and proof of your address such as a recent utility bill or bank statement.