Need to get rid of a vehicle registered with diplomatic plates? We can help!
Many car dealers and scrap yards steer well clear of diplomatic cars, meaning getting rid of one can be a bit of a nightmare. However, having successfully dealt with the disposal of a number of diplomatic cars with diplomatic plates, we’ve got to grips with what can be a very complicated procedure.
Before transferring a diplomatic car to a non-entitled person, the number plates need to be removed and returned to the DVLA. This is because they remain the property of the Department of Transport, regardless of what happens to the vehicle.
All we need to arrange the free collection of your diplomatic car is a copy of the TX22 (for imported vehicles) or TX23 (non-imported vehicles) that has been stamped by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, confirming their permission for resale or disposal. You do not need to register the vehicle back to UK plates for us to auction or scrap it.
Your embassy will be able to give you instructions for obtaining the TX22/23 and explain how to get it stamped and go about paying for the outstanding charges on the vehicle.
When the car is collected we will also need the Registration Documents and, if the car is to be auctioned, a copy of the receipt confirming that all outstanding charges have been paid, as well as an MOT certificate if relevant.
Then, depending on its age and condition, your car will go through our usual scrap or auction process, with the proceeds going to support the charity of your choice. To arrange the donation of your car to charity, call 0207 736 4242.
What are diplomatic number plates?
If you’re out and about in London, you may notice some oddly formatted number plates on the road, particularly in areas where you tend to find embassies of other countries. These number plates are known as diplomatic number plates and are used on vehicles operated by foreign embassies, high commissions, consulates and international organisations.
Prior to 1979, diplomatic number plates were typically taken from the pool of standard-issue number plates. These were often dateless number plates and in some cases were previously void number plates, being reinstated for specific embassies. As well as these number plates being reinstated, some embassies were issued with number plates containing letters that are excluded from the UK registration system.
These number plates typically started or ended with a 1, and then three characters from the country name. For example, India received the IND 1 registration and Jamaica received 1 JAM. In some cases, countries were issued plates that spelt the country name exactly, with Spain receiving the number plate SPA 1N and Fiji being issued with FIJ 1.
The current format
In 1979 a format was introduced specially for diplomatic cars. This format consists of three numbers, followed by either X or D, followed by a further three numbers.
The first three numbers in the format represent the country or international organisation, for example Sweden; which has been allocated the numbers 259. In some cases, for larger countries, a range of numbers issued, for example, Spain, which has been issued the range 253 to 255.
The letter in the number plate represents the type of person the vehicle is allocated to, with D being used for diplomats and X for non-diplomatic accredited personnel.
The final three numbers in the number plate are identifiers, with the range 101 to 399 being used for diplomats, 400 to 699 for non-diplomatic staff, and 700 to 99 for consular staff.
The font used for diplomatic plates differs to the standard Charles Wright font used for plates issued in the United Kingdom, and is narrower than normal. This is to prevent people easily cloning diplomatic number plates.
How many diplomatic cars are in use?
As per a freedom of information request from 2016, the number of diplomatic cars in use does vary widely depending on the country. Smaller countries like Nepal and Lebanon have 7 and 5 diplomatic cars respectively, with some countries like Pakistan and Poland having 103 and 100.
The country with the largest number of diplomatic cars as of 2016 is the United States, with a massive 631 diplomatic cars. In second place is Saudi Arabia with 309 and in third place is the United Arab Emirates with 191.
Are diplomatic cars exempt from the law?
Diplomatic cars are not exempt from the law, but the person driving may have diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. This means that in some cases the person driving the vehicle cannot be prosecuted, and as a result, a lot of smaller traffic offences are often ignored by witnessing police officers.
Whilst not exempt from the law, diplomatic cars are exempt from vehicle emissions tax. So even if these vehicles are massive gas guzzlers, there’s nothing to pay!
The Giveacar Scheme. How does it work?
Giveacar are the car donation experts, and so we are more than capable of taking diplomatic cars and donating the proceeds to charity.
We work with a series of collection operators all around the UK, meaning we are able to collect cars even from remote locations. Although the price offered for your car will change depending on the proximity of the car to the collection company, there will be no charge to yourself.
Typically, collection happens with a week of when we send through your car’s details to our collection operators. You’ll then receive a confirmation of the amount raised within six to eight weeks time which finalises the process.
Giveacar is a not-for-profit social enterprise and therefore relies solely on the administration fee we take from each car that is donated. If your vehicle raises anything up to £150 we’ll take an admin fee of 25%, and then with cars that are offered anything over £150 a 30% administration fee will then apply. 5% VAT also gets added onto this, but then the rest goes to your nominated charity.
We have over 1800 charities who have registered with the Giveacar scheme, however, you can choose from any UK registered charity you fancy. We put charity first, and so make sure the charity benefits the most from the sale of your old and unwanted car.