Click below for our answers to some commonly asked questions about buying private number plates.
It really is very simple, in fact it’s as easy as A, B, C
- You decide which registration number you want, remembering that you can not make an older vehicle look newer.
- Pay for it using either a credit or debit card.
- 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 to a vehicle.
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 (Secretary of State for Transport) 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 – often 10 years from the time of purchase. Read more about the documentation and processes in our dedicated DVLA transfers section.
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.
You must take the reg off the vehicle (retain) and pay £80 to DVLA before you sell the vehicle otherwise the reg will go with it. You will then be issued with a V778 Retention Document which you can then use to assign the reg to your next vehicle.
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 (usually upto 10 years) 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.
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.
Yes, 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 Optional Extras part of the order form.
For only a £25.00 fee you will then receive instructions and a request for you to send us your vehicle document V5C & your current Tax Expiry date. Send these by post to us and we’ll take care of the rest! The fee to transfer your registration on to subsequent vehicles is £80.00.
The DVLA Certificate of Entitlement or Retention Document we supply is valid for 10 years. If the registration has not been assigned to a vehicle by the end of this period then it should be possible to extend free of charge at that time.
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 issued 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.
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.
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 complete the agreed payment transaction with the seller more efficiently.
If you’re unsure what you need to do, please Contact Us.
What happens to my payment if I change my mind before the transfer and no longer want the registration I have purchased?
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!
Wouldn’t that be great! But unfortunately No, you are merely acquiring the right to assign the registration number to your own vehicle.
We believe so – after all we’ve made a successful business for almost 30 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.
You will receive a FULL REFUND should we not 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 DVLA Swansea shall be deemed proof of acceptance and conclusion of the transfer. CarReg’s liability is confined to the initial transfer only.
See our full Terms and Conditions.
Number plates MUST NOT be displayed on the vehicle until advised by either CarReg 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.
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 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.
Not normally. 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.
The average time scale is around 7-10 days, but it may take a little longer if for example we 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. However in the majority of cases the assignment can be done online which makes the process much quicker.
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.
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.
No, transfers are not possible to Q registered vehicles.
Do I have to keep the car registration on my vehicle for any specific time period before I can transfer it again?
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.