Your Guide to Owning Private Number Plates in the UK

If you want to personalise your vehicle to stand out of the crowd, consider getting a private number plate. A personalised plate enables you to be creative and express who you are. Don’t know where to begin? Then check out this fantastic guide to owning private number plates in the UK.

How do private number plates work?

If you want to make your car more individual, you can attach legal private, personalised or cherished number plates to your vehicle. You can buy number plates containing your preference of numbers and letters to create initials, a phrase, or a slogan. Your personal-plate could refer to your name, your occupation, a specific anniversary, or anything else that is meaningful to you.

At present, the most expensive number plate ever sold in the UK was 25 0. It sold for a whopping £500,000 in 2014. However, you do not have to pay such enormous sums to purchase your own private registration plate. You can buy personalised plates for a wide range of prices.

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Where can you buy private number plates?


You can purchase a private number plate directly from the DVLA, at a DVLA auction, or from a private dealer. One of the best private companies for personalised, cherished and private number plates is Absolute Reg. With over 45 million registrations, offers the largest and most affordable selection of private plates in the UK. In fact, it has more than the DVLA. You can search online for personalised plates easily with Absolute Reg’s state-of-the-art search facility.

How do you assign a private number plate to your vehicle?

When you have the right to a private number plate that is not in current use, you can apply to assign it to your vehicle with the DVLA. If you are purchasing from a private dealer, most dealers will transfer the number to your vehicle for you. If you prefer to keep or assign the number yourself, ask the dealer for a V750 or V778 certificate, which confirms your entitlement to the registration number shown on the certificate. The document is valid for ten years. 

What types of personalised number plates are available?

In the UK, there are four basic styles of number plate you can choose from. They are:

  •   Current: This design has been around since 2001. It comprises of seven characters and is usually made up of two letters and two numbers, which indicate the vehicle’s registration region and age, followed by three random letters. An example is AB10 ABC.
  •   Prefix: This design was used between 1983 and 2001. The first letter of the registration indicates the vehicle’s age. An example is B123 DEF.
  •   Suffix: This plate design was issued between 1963 and 1983. It begins with the letter A and ends with a letter to indicate its age. An example is AGH 123B.
  •   Cherished: This style of plate was used before 1963. It is a dateless plate that combines up to four numbers and three letters. Because there is no number or letter to indicate age, cherished plates are the most desirable type of private number plates. An example is 1 IJ.































































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