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Top 10 Myths About Personalised Number Plates

There are several myths and misconceptions about private number plates in the UK.

Here are our top 10 separating fact from fiction!

  • Myth 1. They're all Expensive:
  • Truth: While some private number plates can be quite pricey, there are options available to suit various budgets. Not all of them are prohibitively expensive. Our prices start from around £155. Also worth noting is that some registratins that may appear to be “expensive” often prove to be the best investments both short and long term as the more expensive number plates tend to be those with the highest demand.
  • 2. You Can Use Any Combination:
  • Truth: Private plates must follow certain guidelines and cannot display offensive or misleading messages. They need to adhere to the DVLA's regulations. The letter "Q" is not used in the UK and all "MAN" + (letter) + MN combinations are reserved for Isle of Man. Various other combinations with "I" + "Z" are reserved for Southern Ireland (EG "JIM").
  • Myth 3. They Increase the Value of Your Vehicle:
  • Truth: While some unique plates can add value to a car, (where the reg is a classic vehicle from a particular period, or a restoration to look like a replica) it's not a guaranteed way to increase its resale value. It depends on the plate's desirability and market demand.
  • Myth 4. They're Only for the Rich:
  • Truth: As mentioned earlier, private plates come in various price ranges, and many people from different backgrounds choose to personalise their vehicles with them. There are many low cost affordable options for people across the wealth spectrum.
  • Myth 5. Guaranteed Investment. A common misconception is that all personalised number plates are a guaranteed investment that will always increase in value.
  • Truth: While some rare combinations have appreciated significantly over time, it's not a guaranteed financial investment.
  • Myth 6. Illegal Characters: Some people believe that you can use any combination of characters on personalised plates, including special characters or offensive words.
  • In reality, the DVLA has strict guidelines on what is allowed, and offensive combinations are not permitted and will often be banned prior to releases. UK number plates are a maximum of 7 characters in total. Across all formats it is only possible to have maximum of 3 consecutive alpha characters.
  • Myth 7. Hidden Identities: Another myth is that personalised plates can be used to hide a vehicle's identity.
  • In reality, they can still be traced back to the registered owner through the DVLA. However, they do disguise the year of manufacture, which is one of the attractions and benefits of having one.
  • Myth 8. Unlimited Creativity:
  • Truth: While you can be ‘creative’ with ideas and choose from a wide range of combinations, there are certain restrictions on what can be used. Some current style registrations require a vehicle to be of a certain age or newer so it prevents making a vehicle appear younger than it is. 

Also it is not possible to use misleading characters and mis-representing the numberplate is an offence.
  • Myth 9. Easy Transfer: Some may think that transferring a personalised plate is a quick and simple process.
  • Truth: While it generally can be done quickly in most cases, it may sometimes involve paperwork and transfer fees when moving number plates around and documentation submitted to DVLA Swansea. Occasionally when transferring a reg from an old classic/historic vehicle , the donor vehicles require inspecting.
  • Myth 10. Stolen: Personalised number plates can easily be stolen
  • Truth: The DVLA have keep records for every vehicle registration number and unless that number is transferred via them with the registered keepers authorisation then it can not be transferred. Simply removing the actual number plates alone will have very little benefit to a thief or scammer.

It's essential to research and understand the rules and regulations surrounding personalised number plates in the UK to avoid any legal issues or misunderstandings.