How Easy is it to Buy or Sell a Private Plate?

If you’ve never bought, sold or allocated a private plate to a vehicle in the past you could be forgiven for assuming that it’s a complicated, time-consuming and potentially very expensive activity. To be fair, it certainly used to be all that and more, but not today. The whole private number plate business is now incredibly easy; so much so, that I even got one myself this year, despite vowing many years ago that I’d rather give up driving than ever go through the trauma of getting a private registration number.

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How things have changed

When I was selling new and used cars for a major dealer group, customers didn’t think it was a big deal that they had a private registration number on the car they were trading in that they wanted to be transferred to the car they were buying. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and most of the time I’d rather have given the sale to someone else than put myself through the whole number plate transfer process.

Getting a plate allocated to a car or transferring it from one car to another used to mean a visit to a DVLA-authorised post office with a file full of paperwork that all had to be 100% present and correct; even to the point of using the correct colour ink! With used cars, you needed the logbook, MOT certificate, and even the current insurance certificate.

Nowadays, the DVLA has access to databases that show every vehicle’s registration, MOT, insurance and road tax status, so you don’t need to send them in or even email copies of them t the DVLA. Even if you choose to do the process through the post rather than online, you still don’t need to send those documents in with your …

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Private Plates and Your Motor Insurance

Most of us don’t think about our motor insurance much until we need to make a claim or when the time comes to renew it and your insurer wants twice as much this year as they did last year even though you haven’t made a claim. You’ve probably thought even less about any motor insurance implications associated with having a private number plate, but there are some things to consider.

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Just because someone has the physical plates doesn’t mean they actually have your number. All you’d have to do in these circumstances is get another set of plates made and fit them to your vehicle. You also ought to inform the police of the theft in case the thief puts them on another car to avoid that vehicle being traced back to them. That way you can avoid being involved in any disputes about you being involved in any wrongdoing.

Should you inform your insurer if you have a private plate?

If a vehicle has a private plate assigned to it when the current insurance policy was taken out then your insurer will obviously already know about it. On the other hand, if you go out and buy and assign a private registration number to your vehicle after you’ve taken out a policy under a different registration number you absolutely must inform your insurer right away. Let’s face it, every insurance company and loss adjuster loves a loophole, and if you make a claim and your vehicle has a different registration number from the one on your policy you’re going to be in a fight to get paid out.

Does a private plate affect your insurance premium?

In general, having a private plate on a vehicle isn’t going to affect your insurance premium one way or the other. Many different …

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