With the trend moving upwards for love and passion towards possessing motorcycles and bikes, demands for buying personalized or private number plates have been steadily increasing. Private number plates can be symbols showing off status, fashion statements or simply a wish of the owner who might have disliked the original registration are some of the reasons to buy a personalized number plate.
Expenses for Owning a Private Number Plate
Needless to say, a private number plate will burn a hole in your pocket and can be easily considered as an investment. To possess a personalized number plate an individual needs to shed nothing less than a hundred pounds or more. A few past auction examples can help you understand more about the cost, such as a registration plate IG 1 was auctioned by DVLA and sold for £222,000 (exclusive of buyer’s premium and VAT). This one was considered as the third expensive number plate in the UK, the former two were 25 0 and 1 D which were sold for £400,000 in 2014 and £285,000 in 2009 respectively.
Well, private number plates do not always pinch your pocket, as there are a lot of factors deciding the cost. It depends upon where the registration plate is coming from, the concerned person from whom it is arriving, the age of the number plate in the market and the uniqueness of the cherished number plate.
The equation is almost similar to any “supply and demand’ case scenario. The more the demand is and less the supply, the price increases with time, whereas similar number plates would cost less and are easily available. For example, a personalized number plate from Northern Ireland will cost as low as £49 (excluding the VAT and transfer fees) in the UK mainland and are legal on registered vehicles.
These number plates come at such a pocket-friendly cost because they are Government issued plates and costed almost nothing to the owner.
Maintenance Cost of a Private Number Plate
There is a thin line between the cost to buy and maintain a private number plate. The charges to buy a number plate varies, however, maintaining the same does not need anything as once the plate is bought it belongs to the vehicle and not to the individual who bought it. Which means, there are no annual charges to pay as long as the personalized number plate is on the vehicle. Only if a tax or MOT is required to be paid, that has to be paid but nothing in particular towards the number plate.
An important expense to consider while buying a private number plate is the “transfer costs” levied by the DVLA for vehicles to transfer or change their registration and also for the people who reserve registrations on certificates.
From Vehicle to Vehicle: A minimum fee of £80 is applicable to transfer a personalized registration from one vehicle to another. This transfer fee can be submitted to DVLA either online or by post along with relevant vehicle documents (mainly the V5C) along with any requested DVLA paperwork (typically the V317). Both vehicles must have an up to date MOT and being taxed.
The £80 fee includes the cost for a new number plate for the donor vehicle (i.e. the vehicle giving up the registration) as well as the private number plate emolument for the receiver vehicle that will be listed under the transferred registration (apprising of all the MOT and associated tax records). For the donor vehicle, DVLA issues a standard age-related plate to take up the place of the private plate. Since the buyer of the private number plate has to pay the transfer charges to the DVLA, most transfers are arranged through dealers who collects and submits the paperwork and the check on behalf of the customer and are considered to be the most important safeguard by paying the seller only after DVLA has approved the transfer. These dealers are safe to connect with as they are operated through number trade organizations, such as RMI (Retail Motor Federation), CNDA (Cherished Numbers Dealers Association) and MIRAD (Cherished Numbers Guild and Institute of Registration Agents and Dealers). Last but not least, there is the cost of manufactured registration plates implied for both vehicles.
On Purchase of a Certificate of Entitlement or Vehicle to Retention: One can apply for a retention certificate (V778) if they want to take a registration off the vehicle and use it later. If the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria, the owner can apply by post or online and make a payment of £80. A certificate will be generated and sent against this application that will state that for the next 10 years you have the authority to allow the registration to a vehicle.
The certificate can be renewed for another 10 years if you have not assigned it to a vehicle within the timeframe. An email will hit your mailbox as a reminder regarding the usage and the expiry of the private number plate.
Kent Charlie is associated with a vehicle registration agency that also deals with the personal number plate design. He has also been writing for many online publications on a freelance basis. Kent loves traveling and adventure riding, which he often does alone. Collecting heritage car number plates is one of his favorites and he takes pride in that. He takes inspiration from Plates4Less which sells number plates for vehicles.