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Any driver looking to make their car stand out with a private number plate will want to take the measures to get the most bang for their buck. Today, most popular letter and number combinations on private number plates will be priced quite high.

Realistically, finding the perfect number plate within your budget will be a challenge. However, we can help you navigate through the process to ensure you get the most out of your private plate. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying the perfect personalised plate.

DO set a firm budget

First, you must always determine how much you can spend. Your budget can be as wild as you want it to be, afterall it is your hard earned money. However, determining what this cost is critical for most buyers. Private plates often do not come cheap, and the more popular a combination of characters, the more expensive a plate. Most dealers will allow you to filter a price limit, so you do not waste too much time going through unsuitable, out-of-budget plates. Sometimes it can be worth going the extra mile if your finances allow as often the extra investment will be well worth it, especially when you come to sell in the future.

DO research the different styles

When choosing a personalised private number plate, drivers are limited by a certain combination of letter and numbers that are available for use. Drivers are limited by their budget, as the most desirable letter and number combinations will be the most expensive. However, it is a common miss-perception that there is only one style of custom private number plates. In the UK, there are several styles of plates available. You are not limited to a simple combination. These styles include: dateless plates, which have no date displayed on the plate at all; current plates, which are laid out like regular number plates, but in which you can choose the number and letter combinations; prefix plates, which have the vehicle age at the beginning of the plate; and suffix plates, which have the vehicle age at the end of the plate. Therefore, understanding the different styles will help you broaden your options.

DO be flexible with all options

Understand that you may not be able to get the exact combination of 'numbers' and letters you might want. Remember that the fewer characters on a current plate, and the more popular the characters on a current plate, the more expensive the private plates will be. Also keep in mind that supply and demand mostly determines the price of a number plate. Therefore, keeping an open mind and being flexible with your options can help you avoid disappointment or overspending.

DON’T ignore the fees

Always remember that there are often fees additional the price advertised. You will always need to pay the DVLA transfer fee of £80 which is to assign the mark to your car. The assignment fee applies to all personalised / private license plates. These are mandatory fees in addition to the cost of your private plate. Many dealers are required to add on VAT (on VAT qualifying numbers). VAT is not charged on registrations being sold on behalf of the private sector. (on an Agency basis)

DON’T use a plate before assigning it

When you buy a new set of personalised private plates, you cannot simply put them on your car and drive. You cannot put a plate on a car it is not registered to and drive on public roads. Therefore, it is critically important to first assign your plate to your vehicle with the DVLA first. Make sure all pertinent paperwork is filled out, and receive a confirmation of assignment before you enjoy your new private plate. The DVLA will issue you a new V5C document clearly showing the reg mark on the document. You can also check the vehicle record at .GOV Vehicle Check

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