Private Number Plates

Five Common Misconceptions About Private Number Plates

If you thought that having private number plates was the reserve of the extremely wealthy or the rich and famous, beyond the means of those of more humble means, then this is an article you need to read.

There are many common beliefs and misconceptions people have about private number plates but here at we believe that private number plates are much more than simply a sign of wealth and that they can be used to serve a number of meaningful and even useful purposes!

We’ve outlined below five of the most common misconceptions about private number plates and explained why these commonly held beliefs and what the truth is behind the fiction!

1. “Only the super-wealthy can afford private number plates.”

If you have read a story in the press about somebody paying a vast sum of money for a private number plate, it is easy to believe that this is the norm. While it is true that certain sought after private number plates are very expensive, the truth is the vast majority are very affordable and certainly cheaper than most people would expect.

As an example, the number plate 15 EXY (1 SEXY or I SEXY) may well be retailing for around £95,000, however you can find a myriad of other similar types of plates for less than a hundredth of that price.

For example, name themed private number plates are always popular and using ‘Susan’ as an example, there are a large number of SU54 AN plates available for around the £1,000 mark. There are a myriad of other names available too and often there are several ways to format the plate. These changes can help alter the price and bring the cost down still further.

In short, private number plates are now so diverse in their scope and range that they are easily affordable for an increasing number of people and while there are still much-coveted plates that are very valuable due to their rarity and popularity, these are very much the exception to the rule, rather than the norm.

2. “It’s only people who want to show off who have private number plates on their vehicle.”

This belief is clearly linked to the first point above, where people believe that somebody who displays private number plates on their vehicle is only doing so to flaunt their wealth or to show off to other motorists.

This is a somewhat unusual attitude to take, given that there are a large number of personalised plates which are readily available for just a few hundred pounds and which can be transferred over the lifespan of not just one, but several vehicles.

For example, if you spend £500 on a set of personalised plates and change your vehicle every 5 years and you keep these plates for your next five purchases. That is 25 years with a personalised plate, costing you around £20 per year on average.

Viewed in those terms, the power of a private number plate as a tool for self-promotion is certainly diminished.

For many people, private number plates are the final addition to their car: If you have strived hard in life and have finally bought your dream vehicle, why not lavish a little extra on it to personalise it to your own taste? In this sense, private number plates become a celebration of your achievements and an extension of your own persona as they give your car its own unique touch.

As we shall see below, there are many other reasons why people may elect to have private plates that have absolutely nothing to do with flaunting wealth or shameless self-promotion!

3. “It’s a long and costly process changing to private number plates over on your vehicle.”

Many people believe that swapping from your ordinary plate to a private number plate is a long, complex and frequently expensive endeavour, when in fact it is a very simple process to follow.

Once you have chosen and bought your personalised registration, you will be issued with a ‘certificate of entitlement’ (V750) pr a ‘certificate of retention’ (V778) as proof that you have bought and have the right to use the personalised number.

All you need to do now is assign the number to a vehicle. You do this by sending this to the DVLA in Swansea including either the V750 or V778 document you have proving your ownership of the private number plate, the registration certificate of the vehicle (Form V5C) and if your car or motorbike is over 3 years old, a valid MOT certificate.

Once they have received this information, the DVLA may want to inspect your vehicle and if they do, they will contact you. If not, then within two weeks they should approve the new private plate and they will send you all the items you need to make the change official and legal.

4. “Once you sell your car with your private number plates on, you transfer the plates to the new owners too”

Some people erroneously believe that when you first transfer your personalised plate onto a vehicle as detailed above, that number now has to stay with that vehicle even if you sell it.

This is a total myth being entirely false. You can easily transfer your private number plate to any vehicle you are purchasing by completing form V317 which is an application to transfer or retain a vehicle number document.

If you are buying a car to transfer the private plate onto, then both registered keepers must complete the application. Simply send the document in the post with an £80 transfer fee, the registration certificate of your new vehicle and if required, a valid MOT certificate and the DVLA will process it for you quickly and easily.

Once you buy your plates, you can transfer them as many times as you like meaning they, unlike your vehicle, are a lifelong purchase.

5. “I’ll never find a private number plate to suit my needs in my price range.”

We have already seen that private number plates are not necessarily an expensive buy, but if you still believe that finding a plate to suit you will  be prohibitively expensive, then you really should contact an expert in the field, such as

These private number plate specialists can help you find a plate that fits your requirements at a price that you can afford. There are many different types of reasons for buying a plate, it can be for comedic value, because of the owners name or personality, or because a certain set of letters and numbers have significance to you.

By examining all the potential plates available, many of which would reflect your vision, are able to help their customers find the ideal private number plates for their vehicle at a price that they can afford.

With thousands of personal number plates available to suit all budgets, contacting a specialist website and seeking clear, easy-to-follow advice about the entire process will help you find the right private plate for you and will prove to be a smart, long-term investment.