DVLA private and personalised number plates

It’s nice to be able to personalise your car.

From the colour of the paint to the gadgets and gizmos that make your drive more comfortable, there are lots of ways to make your vehicle your own. But why stop there? A personalised or private number plate is a good way to add a unique flavour to your car.

Buying a personalised number plate allows you to choose a custom combination of letters and numbers – although there are some necessary restrictions! See if you can change your number plate to one that matches your personality and your car in a few easy steps.

Choosing to personalise your number plate

You can buy personalised number plates online straight from the DVLA, which is the most straightforward way to go about it. However, they may not have the number plate you’re hoping for. If someone else has already chosen the combination of letters and numbers you’re hoping for, you may have better luck at one of the DVLA’s online auctions – although the price is likely to be higher. These take place several times a year and tend to feature rare number plates.

It’s also possible to buy private number plates from a dealer or motorist and if you do, make sure you’re given the V750 certificate of entitlement or V778 certificate of retention so you know you’re really buying the right to use the plate.

For a better understanding of the process involved with buying your own personalised umber plate, be sure to take a look at the government’s Driving and Transport advice centre. A visit to the dedicated DVLA site will also provide you with quick links to start picking your own plate along with some handy advice for how to get started.

It’s easy to find information about the kind of number combinations that are available and the site also has a very useful Questions and Answers section. Another nice touch is a Wishlist page, where the DVLA allows you to temporarily store plates you’re interested in while you continue to search for your favourite.

Things to bear in mind when personalising your plate

Picking your private number plate isn’t as simple as plucking a string of letters and numbers out of the air, you need to pick from a pre-determined selection and there are a few additional restrictions to keep in mind. For example, your number plate can only be used on a car that is taxed and registered to be driven here in the UK.

You also can’t pick a number plate that makes it look as though your car is newer than it really is and there are actually a list of letter and number combinations that have been banned. Check out the Independent’s article about number plates banned by the DVLA and make sure you don’t have your eye on something that’s been deemed unacceptable on the road. Provided you avoid troublesome numbers such as these, picking a new number plate for your car can be nice and easy.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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