Is Trading Private Number Platesa Lucrative Business?

Selling private number plates is considered a lucrative trade, the whose projected value was almost £2.3 billion a few years back. For example, the “25 O” number plate was...
Car Number Plates

Selling private number plates is considered a lucrative trade, the whose projected value was almost £2.3 billion a few years back. For example, the “25 O” number plate was sold for £518.000 at an auction held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the year 2014. This is an excellent example to prove that selling a number plate is a great option to bag in some handsome cash.

To start with, evaluation of the number plate is important; however, there is no seamless rule to follow, nor is there anything like a perfect quote for a personalized number plate. The prices would always vary but within a similar range. The price of each registration plate depends on the requirement of its buyer and the preferences of a different set of consumers. In general, number plates with nameplates and initials are easy to sell than customized ones. Also, when there are more than 30 similar pattern plates, the price of those will indefinitely go down.

There is no specific time limit to sell a registration plate, while it is difficult to sell out phrases; popular names and initials are easy to go. A prospective buyer can approach DVLA for a new number plate or can approach a second-hand private number plate trader either via a dealer or by checking out their ad.

Different Trading Options

  • Sell Online: A trader can register online on any of the websites that allow the auction of a number plate, like eBay. This helps to connect with the right buyer and receive the desired amount effortlessly and within a short span if luck favors. But this is not a fool-proof plan that can guarantee the sale with the estimated price.
  • Dealer Companies: There are numerous registered companies, like,, etc. who will advertise on your behalf and will search for buyers. These companies charge fees for their services, and they also do the valuation of the number plate on sale.
  • Self-Service: One can always opt for self-service, that is selling a plate by advertising of their own to avoid paying fees or percentage share to any company. This is definitely a cost-effective method as well. Publish the ad in local ads or free advertisement websites, such as Gumtree, for a successful sale.

Easy Methods of Self-Advertisement

  • The easiest way to advertise without even spending a penny is to keep the registration plate on the car, and people may approach to bid on the same.
  • Some websites do not charge any fees or commission to advertise and sell number plates. This is because they may be charging the buyers and not the sellers. A considerable crowd uses these professional sites to buy and sell plates, thus gives more exposure than any other social media sites like Instagram or Facebook, or any other sales sites.
  • If anyone is selling the personalized number plate without using any of these given methods, it is suggested not to disclose the certificate number to the buyer before the monetary transaction has taken place. Revealing the number to the buyer upon request for ownership proof may lead to financial loss, as the prospective customer may transfer the private number to his name even before money transfer.

Process to Follow

Once the deal is finalized, the buyer would also require assurance of the legal entitlement of the seller to the registration plate. Produce a photocopy of the Certificate of Entitlement or V5 Retention Document to prove the ownership with legal rights to transfer the same. Remember to secrete the reference number or certificate number to avoid forgery. Use a reputed and protected payment gateway to transfer the money. At times people are more than happy to welcome a physical transfer of both plate and cash. After receiving the payment from the buyer, it’s time to hand over the registration to the buyer.

In case the number plate is still flaunting on the seller’s car, it has to be removed and placed on a Retention Certificate that can be easily done online through DVLA. This can also be completed by filling up a V317 application on paper. DVLA charges £80 to complete the process. If a seller wants, he can add up this amount to the cost of the plate. Post the removal of the number plate from the seller’s vehicle, the ownership can be transferred ‘on retention,’ and one can now reveal the Certificate Number to the buyer who will instantly license the transfer to the buyer’s vehicle.

Number Plates
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