Questions & Answers About UK Number Plates
Click below for our answers to some commonly asked questions about buying private number plates.
The easiest way is generally to buy online. Save at least £10 when you buy online! You can do this via our safe & secure website 24/7, 365 days a year. If you have any questions before placing an order then you can also email us or call on 01902 791 997 (9am to 5pm)
It really is very simple. Easy as ABC!
- Choose which registration number you want, check suitability for intended vehicle.
- Pay for it online by debit or credit card. Also accept Paypal & apple pay.
- Wait for your document to arrive (approx 5 working days) or for the transfer to be done by CarReg If you pay a little extra.
In most cases we supply the registration number on a DVLA Certificate of Entitlement 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, so ideal for buying as a gift. Certificates we supply are valid for 10 years so can be held until such time you are ready to assign to a vehicle.
Technically you can’t own a registration. Like a Passport or Driving Licence you don’t own it, but have the 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.
Once the vehicle registration Mark is on a vehicle it’s yours for as long as you wish and you may transfer on to as many subsequent vehicles you wish. Read more about the documentation and processes in our dedicated DVLA transfers section.
When you assign a new personalised number to a vehicle, the previous number is no longer associated with it and DVLA keep this aside for future use on that vehicle if and when it is required to revert to the original. However, you may want to keep the previous number. Reasons for this could include:
- The previous number is personalised (has a value) and you wish to use on another vehicle or perhaps sell it.
To keep the previous number you need to apply to the DVLA to retain it using either a V317 application form to transfer or retain a vehicle registration number along with appropriate fee and V5C document. This can also be done online.
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. You can retain a reg online using the .GOV website (you can simply google ‘take reg off vehicle’, then click on the top result that comes up)
No, in majority of cases (when buying unissued Prefix/Current Style number plates) 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. Some suppliers of third party owned Cherished numbers do not release Certificates and a vehicle (V5C) documents will be required from you within 4 weeks.
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 £30.00 fee you will then receive instructions and a request for you to send us your vehicle document V5C details. Send these by email or post and we’ll take care of the rest! The fee to transfer your registration on to subsequent vehicles is £80.00 (sometimes referred to as the DVLA Transfer fee of DoT (Dept of Transport) Fee
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. In some cases a vehicle is required where the registration is held by a supplier in a third party name and are unable to release but our sales agents will advise of the process when this is the case.
By default our service includes us assigning the registration number purchased onto your receiving vehicle. Supplying a registration on Retention is not always possible when our supplier is selling on behalf of a third party. However, in most cases we can easily arrange for a Retention Document to be issued to you instead. We will sometimes need to acquire a Donor service vehicle, to initially receive the number and then take it off onto retention in your name giving you a full 10 year certificate (an extra £80 charge may apply). Once you have the Retention Document you will be responsible for assigning the mark to the vehicle with DVLA using the instructions provided, or maintaining the documents validity should you decide not to use for a number of years.
No, the £80.00 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 appreciate many of our customers have just purchased new vehicles when buying a private reg, so we can hold the certificate on file until you are able to forward the necessary V5C document, provided this will be within 4 weeks. Otherwise we will forward to you to transfer at a later date.
If you’re unsure what you need to do, please Contact Us.
What happens to your payment if you change your mind before the transfer and no longer want the registration purchased?
Our supply service commences immediately after we receive full or part payment to secure your registration, so we are able to secure the item(s) requested with our suppliers on your behalf. 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 after payment is made.
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 tidy profit!
Wouldn’t that be great! But unfortunately No, you are merely acquiring the right to assign the registration number to your own vehicle.
As we offer financial products, we are not at liberty to provide investment information or advice. Values of many cherished registrations have gone up over the years in line with inflation just as a loaf of bread , pint of beer and other products have done. Whether a registration purchased is deemed a good investment would depend on a number of factors; how much it cost to purchase and how much you can sell for at whatever point in the future but its impossible to predict and will definitely vary depending on the type of registration it is. Future values will often depend on the popularity of the registration, for example how popular a specific name may or may not be in future years. Like anything values can sometimes go down as well as up.
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 not be able to be processed 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 (or eV948) 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 vehicle, sometimes (although now pretty rare) 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 anything unforeseen occur.
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. Nowadays, in the majority of cases the assignment procedure 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.
No, transfers are not possible to Q registered vehicles.
Does a registration have to be kept on a vehicle for any specific time period before It can be transferred 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.
From the point of us advertising we hope a buyer can be found within 3-6 months. Once CarReg have confirmed we have sold the registration and you have agreed the price if an offer is made lower than the advertised price, we will then secure a deposit from the customer, then receive the balance within 7-10’days. The entire sale process itself is usually concluded within around a one week and payment is made by EFT (Bank Transfer) directly into the account details provided to us
Fixing the number plates: To fix the new number plates onto your car, follow these steps:
a. Remove the old number plates: Use a screwdriver if necessary to unscrew the existing number plates from your vehicle. Keep the screws safely aside (if you plan on using them again)
b. Clean the mounting area: Thoroughly clean the area where the new number plates will be fixed. Remove any dirt, residue, or remnants from the previous number plates.
c. Line up the new number plates: Hold the new number plates against the mounting area and make sure they are aligned correctly. The registration should be clearly visible and not obstructed by any part of the vehicle.
d. Secure the number plates: Insert the screws through the holes in the number plates and into the corresponding holes in the mounting area. Tighten the screws securely, but be careful not to overtighten and damage the number plates. Alternatively you may use the purpose made double sided adhesive fixings supplied with our plates, which alleviates the need for drilling/screwing them.