FAQ’s & Site Search

THIS IS NOT A REGISTRATION SEARCH! To search our database of number plates please use the search box in the header (above and right.) The box below allows you to search our website content - the pages and articles - for information about us, the DVLA and number plates in general.

Buying Number Plates

Common questions on buying number plates are listed below. Just click to see our answer!

Q. How can I buy a number plate?

A. The easiest and cheapest way to buy is online. Save at least £10 when you buy online! You can do this via our safe & secure website 24 hours a day! You can also email us or give us a call on 01902 791 997.

It really is very simple, in fact easy as A, B, C

  • a) You decide which registration number you want remembering that you can not make an older vehicle look newer.
  • b) Pay for it using either a credit or debit card.
  • c) Wait for your document to arrive (approx 5 working days).

We will supply the registration number on a DVLA Certificate within 5 working days, together with a letter explaining all you will need to know to transfer the number to your vehicle.  You can transfer the same day or at any point in the future , making number plates ideal as gifts.  The Certificates we supply will have up to 10 years validity remaining before the mark must be assigned.

Q. I’ve bought a number plate. What do I own?

A. Technically you can’t buy a registration. Like a Passport or Driving Licence you don’t own it, but have certain rights to use it. Ownership of the registration remains with the Government. You gain the right to either assign the registration to a vehicle, or to retain it for future use.

What you are actually doing is buying from the Department of Transport the appropriate form that grants you the right to either permanently assign the number to a vehicle (form V750), or to retain it (form V778) for a specified period – 10 years usually from the time of purchase. Read more about the documentation and processes in our dedicated DVLA transfers section.

Q. What happens to my existing number?

A.When you assign a new number to a vehicle, the previous number is no longer associated with it and reverts to the DVLA. However, you may want to keep the previous number. Reasons for this could include:

  • the previous number is personalised and you’ve already paid for it
  • you intend to sell the vehicle later with it’s old number and keep the new one

To keep the previous number you need to apply to the DVLA to retain it using form V317 application to transfer or retain a vehicle registration number along with appropriate fees and documents.

Q. Do I need a car to buy a number plate?

A. No, you do not need a vehicle to buy a number plate as we can provide the number on a DVLA certificate of entitlement (form V750) or certificate of retention (form V778).

The retention certificate allows you to keep the number for a specified period e.g. for future use or as an investment. The entitlement certificate can be issued in someone else’s name e.g. as a gift. Read more about transferring a registration.

Q. Can I buy a registration in someone else’s name?

A. Yes, you can purchase a registration entitlement for someone else as a gift providing you know the name the intended vehicle is (or will be) registered under.

Q. Can CarReg transfer registrations between cars for me?

A. Yes, here at CarReg, our aim is to satisfy the needs of all customers.  Some prefer to do the transfer themselves when they are ready and others with limited time, like us to take care of it all so all they have to do is fit the number plates once they are notified to do so.  When buying just tick the box ‘Full Transfer Service’ in the Essential Extras part of the order form.

For only a £25.00 fee you will then receive an email advising you to send us your vehicle documents: V5C & your current Tax Expiry date.   Pop these in the post to us and we’ll do the rest!  The fee to transfer your registration on to subsequent vehicles is £80.00.

Q. What happens if I decide not to put the number on my car yet?

A. The DVLA Certificate of Entitlement or Retention Document we supply is valid for 10 years.  If it has not been assigned to a vehicle by the end of this period then it should be possible to extend free of charge if that time arises.

Q. What if I want my new number plate supplied on retention?

A. By default we will be more than happy to assign the Registration number purchased onto your receiving vehicle.  However we can easily arrange for a DVLA retention form to be released to you instead.   Once you have the retention document you will be responsible for assigning the mark to the vehicle via DVLA using the instructions provided.  CarReg strives to help our customers where we can, but can not be held responsible for any lost certificates once initially received.  We can usually assist with obtaining duplicate documents for you should you lose them and charge an administration fee of £30+Vat.

Q. Can I buy a registration number and pay the transfer fee later?

A. No, the transfer fee is always payable at the time of purchase. The DVLA will not provide assignment or retention certificates prior to receipt of payment.

Q. What if my vehicle documents are at the DVLA at the time of purchase?

A. No problem, we can leave the number on the donor vehicle until you are able to forward the necessary documentation, provided this will be within 4 weeks. For longer periods we may need to obtain a retention certificate from the DVLA, in order for us to settle up with the Donor client more efficiently.

If you’re unsure what you need to do, please Contact Us.

Q. What happens to my payment if I change my mind before the transfer and no longer want the registration I have purchased?

A. Our purchasing service commences immediately after we receive full- or part-payment to secure your registration, so we will already have bought the item(s) requested by you. Therefore, all payments or part-payments are non refundable regardless of the value of the item purchased. We do not offer any refunds if you change your mind or cancel the order.

However, if you buy a registration you decide you don’t want all is not lost. We can attempt to Sell the Plate on your behalf to recoup some or all of your costs – or even make you a profit!

Q. Does the price include the vehicle?

A. Wouldn’t that be great! But unfortunately No, you are merely acquiring the right to assign the registration number to your own vehicle.

Q. Are registration numbers good investments?

A. We believe so – after all we’ve made a successful business for over 20 years by trading them! Historically, values of all numbers have increased over the past few years and there is no reason why this trend should not continue within reason. Most registrations will always be worth the same if not more in future.

However, future values will often depend on the popularity of the registration and on ensuring you use our advice to buy at true market value rather than paying over the odds.

Q. What happens if CarReg are unable to supply the registration I have ordered?

A. You will receive a FULL REFUND should we be able to meet your order or provide an acceptable alternative. We GUARANTEE to give you an instant refund in the event of default by any third party supplier, or in the unlikely event the transfer should be failed by DVLA Swansea.

Our liability is Strictly Limited to a Full Refund Only. No claims for damages, interest on monies paid or any other expenses will be entertained. We DO NOT Accept Liability if the sale fails due to you not supplying the necessary documents within the period of time required by us. In this case, No Refunds will be given. Issue of the new V5C by Swansea shall be deemed proof of acceptance and conclusion of the transfer. CARREG PRIVATE NUMBER PLATES’ liability is confined to the initial transfer only.

See our full Terms and Conditions.

Q. When can I use my new number plates?

A. Number plates MUST NOT be displayed on the vehicle until advised by either CARREG PRIVATE NUMBER PLATES or DVLA Swansea. The issue of a V948 document or the issue of a new replacement V5C will enable you to purchase new number plates. The majority of our transfers are completed within two weeks and many in as little as 5 working days.

Q. How do I know if the number plate I’m buying is genuine?

A. Any registration currently held on a DVLA Government Certificate (either a V750 Certificate of Entitlement or a V778 Retention Document) is deemed to be genuine.  CarReg always aim to transfer the mark via the DVLA before monies are released to third party vendors. This safeguards all involved.

If the mark is held on a motor vehicle, sometimes the donor vehicle will require inspection to ensure that it is the genuine vehicle for the registration mark. This usually occurs only if the vehicle is either old or has had a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) applied for in recent months. We’ll take care of all this for you!

PLEASE NOTE: If any discrepancy is found the registration transfer can fail. CARREG PRIVATE NUMBER PLATES cannot be held responsible in the very unlikely event of this occurring, but you will of course be fully reimbursed should this happen due to the donor vehicle’s status.

Q. Does the recipient vehicle need to be inspected by the authorities?

A. Normally No. However, if for example there was a change of construction of the recipient vehicle then the authorities may then want to inspect it. We would notify you if this was the case.

Q. How long does the Registration Transfer process take?

A. The average time scale is around 7-10 days, but it may take a little longer if for example are awaiting the Donor/Recipient V5C from DVLA Swansea. We ensure that every transfer is expedited as quickly as possible. In some instances transfers can take longer and the time period cannot be guaranteed, but we would keep you informed of the progress in any event.

The application to transfer cannot be submitted to the DVLA until we receive the relevant documents from both parties and cleared funds from the purchasing client.

Q. What happens if I need to Tax or MOT my vehicle whilst the transfer is being processed?

A. The receiving vehicle must have a valid MOT & Tax during the time the transfer is taking place. It is preferred that the vehicle is re-taxed prior to sending documents to us if the Tax is due to expire within 14 days.

Q. Is it possible to buy a new registration for a vehicle registered with a “Q” mark?

A. No, transfers are not possible to Q registered vehicles.

Q. Do I have to keep the car registration on my vehicle for any specific time period before I can transfer it again?

A. No, there is no time restriction for subsequent transfer. Transfer is a simple procedure for which you can apply directly to the DVLA. Your cherished number can be transferred to a vehicle of your choice. The donor vehicle will be assigned a replacement registration number appropriate to its year as part of the process.