If you have paid the extra fees for a personalised number plate, the odds are good you don’t want to lose that number when you change vehicles. Fortunately, you don’t have to! There is a fairly simple process to follow in order to retain your private plate, and thanks to some new rule changes by the DVLA it will cost less to do so!
Why keep a private plate?
If you were the original owner of a private plate you might think this question is obvious. After all, you’re the one who asked for the plate in the first place, so of course you want to keep it! But it’s worth remembering that private plates weren’t always seen as particularly desirable. You may have bought a vehicle with an old private number, and in some cases, those can be worth a fair amount of money. So even if the private plate wasn’t yours originally, it may be worth going through the extra bit of paperwork to keep it.
Also bear in mind that the DVLA does not reissue numbers which have already been used. If you do not remove the private plate from a vehicle when it is scrapped, the plate vanishes with the car – never to be used again. This policy has the added effect of increasing the value of existing private plates. If there’s family or sentimental value to the plate, make sure you’re able to pass that on by removing the private plate before disposing of the vehicle.
When to remove a personalised plate
This isn’t so much a question of when, but when NOT to remove a private plate. Don’t wait till after you’ve transferred the vehicle! If you’ve sold or scrapped your vehicle and transferred the V5C form without first removing the plate, then you’ve waited too long. Numbers go with the vehicle, unless you’ve notified the DVLA to separate them. The best time to remove a plate is as soon as you’re certain to dispose of the vehicle. The process is simple, as we’ll see next.
How to retain a private plate
As with everything vehicle-related, the process starts with informing the DVLA. By far the simplest method of doing this is online. Find the form here. Keep the V5C form handy, as you’ll need it to fill out all the required information. You can transfer the private plate to a new vehicle at the same time, or keep it for future use. If applying it to a new vehicle, use the same form above and fill out information from the new vehicle’s V5C.
If for some reason you need to do things the old-fashioned way, there are some different forms to complete. Form V317 tells the DVLA whether you’re keeping the plate or using it on a new vehicle. For the new vehicle, you’ll need form V62, which will get you a new V5C. Oh, and of course there’s a small fee associated with all of this. Online or via post, you’ll need to pay £80 to remove your private plate.
- As mentioned earlier, you may want to check on the value of your private plate. You can find different valuations online, so do your research carefully. Older plates and shorter numbers tend to be worth more.
- There are a few instances in which private plates cannot be transferred. If this is the case, it should be noted in the vehicle’s V5C. Just be sure to check before applying!
- If you are planning to hold on to the private plate, you’ll be sent a V778 retention document, which you’ll need to use if you ever decide to apply the plate to a new vehicle. These are valid for ten years, but be sure to renew them when required! Find more information here.
- Do not sell or transfer the vehicle UNTIL you’ve received the forms back from the DVLA. Doing so may invalidate your personalised plate.
- When you’re ready to use the plate again, take your V778 form and follow the steps on the DVLA website, found here.
The paperwork involved may seem complicated at first, but the process to keep a plate is fairly straightforward overall. Just be sure to follow all the steps above, and make sure you’ve completed everything before getting rid of your vehicle.