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Treasured, cherished, or vanity—whatever they’re called, private number plates add value and a personal touch to your vehicle.

That being said, if you recently bought a brand new car, you may want to treat yourself to a new personalized number plate. But you might be wondering, how on earth do I acquire a new registration or transfer an existing number plate to my vehicle?

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the process of assigning new registrations is fast and straightforward. By finding the right company, you can easily personalize your number plates. Private plates give drivers a chance to express themselves, replacing that generic combination of letters and numbers with one that is personal and meaningful. And you wouldn’t have to worry, as they’re 100% legal and fully endorsed by the DVLA

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In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about buying and transferring a private number plate.

Buying Private Number Plates

You can buy your preferred registrations through a few different avenues.


You can buy your preferred registration for your personalized number plate directly from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

To do so, just visit the DVLA website and use the search tool to search for your preferred registrations in their massive database. You’ll be able to see the available registrations as well as their cost. The DVLA also hosts number plates auction from time to time.

2. Dealer/Broker

There are also dozens of private companies that specialise in the sale of private number plates.

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If the DVLA doesn’t have a suitable option, you can find your own personalised registration on a dealer’s site. However, if you opt to take this route, make sure to buy your preferred registrations from a DVLA authorized dealer, such as Absolute Reg.

3. Owner

You can also buy a private registration directly from its owner. These registrations are usually advertised on car magazines, and come at a hefty price tag.

Once you’ve found your plate of choice, pay for it and make sure you get the required documentation. You should receive either a V750 certificate, which confirms entitlement to that registration, or a V778 retention certificate.

Assigning Private Registrations

Once you’ve got all the paperwork proving your entitlement, the next step is to assign the registration to a vehicle.

When it comes to assigning registrations, one rule applies: the vehicle MUST be registered to you. If you want to assign the registration to a brand new car, give the V750 or V778 certificate to a dealer and they’ll do the assigning and fitting of plates at no extra cost.

But if you want to assign it to one of your existing cars, you’ll have to do it online on the DVLA website or via post. To do that, you’ll need the V750 or V778 certificate and the V5C (logbook) reference number.

Transferring Private Number Plates to a Different Car

If you’re buying a new car and want to transfer your current registration to it, you need to first apply to the authorities to have the plates removed from your existing car.

To do so, you’ll need to complete form V317 which can be found online. This process will cost you £80 and you’ll need the car’s V5C registration certificate at hand. Once you’ve done that, the car’s original is automatically reassigned and you’ll need to fit the plates to the new vehicle before it can be driven on public roads.

You can transfer a registration to one of your cars, a vehicle you’re buying or to someone else’s vehicle. However, if you’re transferring to someone else’s vehicle, both the keepers need to complete the application form.

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