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Buying Private Number Plates Online

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buying Private Number Plates Online

Matthew Kirkman
March 5, 2013


Private Number Plates are more popular than ever before, and for most prospective buyers, their first port of call when looking for a registration will be the internet. The number of websites that offer DVLA cherished numbers can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it's good to have lots of different options when searching for your perfect plate.

There are, of course, other places you can go in order to purchase a private registration - printed publications, private dealers, official DVLA auctions - but many people choose the internet because of its ease. You can browse websites from the comfort of your own home, and the wealth of information on these sites can help make the whole process much easier and far less stressful than you might be expecting.

Perhaps the main advantage of using websites to search for your perfect plate is exactly that: you can use their search functions to search for your perfect plate. It's quick and easy and you may find not only the registration you were looking for, but other options that may be more in your price range or featuring letter and number combinations that you may not have thought of.

The possibilities for personalised plates are (almost!) endless: you can choose a word that promotes your company or chosen career, include your initials, nickname, or birthday, or decide on a more frivolous plate that creates a fun word or something cryptic that other car drivers will have to work hard to figure out. You can choose what you want, but there are two rules you should be aware of with personalised plates: you can't put a private registration onto a vehicle displaying a 'Q' plate, and you can't try and make the car look newer than it is. Apart from that, the world of number and letter combinations is your oyster.

As well as the number plate websites, you can also check out auction sites such as eBay for plates being sold by dealers and private sellers, but of course this requires more action on your part if you get into a bidding war.

Once you have bought your plate, you will need to assign the registration to your car by applying to the DVLA. The website where you bought your number plate from will give you more information and support on how to do this, and you can usually contact the company if you have any specific questions you want to ask about assigning the plate, transferring the plate, or buying the plate as a gift.

More and more customers are flocking to the web to find their perfect number plate, and it may be the best option if you want a quick and easy way to accessorise your car in a distinctive way. If you're uncertain of any of the procedures involved with purchasing a private registration, you can check out the FAQ pages on the various number plate sites or you can search for your question on the official DVLA website.


A private number plate can be a great way to conceal the age of your car, give your car a more exclusive look, or even just invest your money. If you're looking for DVLA cherished plates, you can find plenty more information on the internet.



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