Mythbusters – The Truth about Personalised Number Plates
They may seem perfectly innocuous but personalised number plates do evoke strong reactions in people. They are also subject to a lot of misunderstanding, generalisations about the types of people who purchase them and to how much they cost.
In this article, we’ll attempt to bust a few of the myths that surround personalised plates, as well as explaining the truth about this surprisingly easy way to personalise your vehicle, or perhaps even, invest your cash.
Myth or Fact 1: Only people with a big ego want a personalised plate – MYTH
Perhaps the biggest myth perpetuated about personalised number plate holders is that they have a personalised plate simply to pander to their bloated ego.
Yet, we don’t say the same when a person buys themselves jewellery, or a new car, or a new boat, or new clothes?
A personalised plate isn’t about your ego, it is about expressing a part of you that you want to express. It may be your business name, a fun, humorous plate, something risqué, or something that is important and dear to you that you want to commemorate.
There are almost as many reasons to buy a personalised plate as there are plates themselves and very few of these reasons are to do with being an egotist!
Myth or Fact 2: Finding a personalised plate takes an age and costs a fortune – MYTH
Of course, if you are looking for a cherished plate, one of the most rare and sought after number plates, then these items can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not more so. The world record price for a plate is over £7m, paid by a Dubai Businessman for the number plate ‘1’.
However, there are so many personalised plates available that it is relatively easy to find some with the means of even a modest budget of under £100, some for less than £50.
So, does this mean sorting for hours through pages and pages of number plates to find the ideal choice for you?
Well you can do that, or there is now another way. Some top quality sites, such as www.theplateguy.co.uk offer a fantastic service, where you provide them with all your details about the potential owner, their name, likes, dislikes, nicknames etc and from the information you provide, they will locate some potential number plates around your stated budget.
This drastically reduces the amount of time you spend searching for plates on line and allows an expert in the industry to whittle through thousands of selections to find the ones that are most likely to appeal to you.
Best of all, the service also includes help purchasing and registering the plates, which is a real boon if this is the first time you have purchased personalised plates and attempted to transfer them to a vehicle.
Myth or Fact 3: People are buying up personalised plates as investments and not even using them on vehicles – FACT
At the top end of the personalised plate industry, it is a very serious business indeed with some of the world’s wealthiest people snapping up number plates not just because they want them on their car, but because they represent a sound, long-term investment.
Robert Haverson, a retired executive from Surrey, revealed that he owned six private plates and that when he bought them; “they were an investment, like property, 30 years ago. You’d buy sought after ones for a few hundred pounds but in the last 10 years it has become a fad.”
Former Prime Minister’s wife Cherie Blair reportedly bought her young son personalised plates for his Lamborghini bed!
Since personalised plates hold their value well, or can even increase in value, they are an attractive proposition for people who want to invest in a relatively stable market.
It is worth noting that if you do not display your personalised plate on a vehicle, then you need to pay a fee of £25 per year to renew your V750 certificate to retain ownership of the personalised plate. You can renew this certificate for one, two or three years.
Myth or Fact 4: You cannot get rude or funny number plates now as the DVLA stop them before they are issued – PARTLY FACT
While it is certainly true that for many years the DVLA have routinely monitored any potentially offensive or obscene number plates and removed them from the database before they come into circulation, there are still one or two that slip through the net every year.
The simple fact is that because you can use numbers to represent many different kinds of letters, either singly or in combination with each other (1 and 2 put together for example, can look like the letter R) there are a vast range of funny, naughty or risqué number plates still available to buy.
Myth or Fact 5: It is very expensive to transfer a current plate to a personalised plate via the DVLC – MYTH
Well, we think it is a myth as we feel the one off fee of £80 which covers all the paperwork and any inspections that the DVLA may need to make to confirm the transfer.
Usually, your application is approved within a fortnight, and you’ll receive back a confirmation letter advising you of your vehicles new registration number, replacement tax discs, an authorisation letter which will allow you legally to get new private plates made up and a replacement MOT test certificate (if required for your vehicle).
That is an awful lot of work the DVLA undertake for a one off fee of £80 and if the individual had to perform these tasks alone, it would cost a lot more and take considerably longer to facilitate the transfer of registration.
Even if you are in the fortunate position of being able to change your vehicle every year and want to keep the registration private plates, £80 for the privilege is a small price to pay compared to all other running costs. In the modern times, this equates to one tank of fuel for most saloon-sized vehicles.