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What to do with old car number plates

December 29, 2021 by

If you’ve bought a new private plate or simply changed to fresh ones for your car, you may be wondering what to do with your old number plates.

If you’re simply switching your car’s original plates for a private one, you should keep them in case you want to retain your private plate when it comes to selling the car. Otherwise, this guide is here to explain what to do.

Consider selling your number plate

If you’re switching a private plate out for a new one, or fancy putting the original plates back on, take a look at selling your private plate.

You can’t sell them back to the DVLA, or a car’s original registration for that matter, but you can privately sell your plates.

Auction houses dedicated to this are quite common these days. If you’re unsure of how much your plate is worth, these dedicated auctioneers can often value them for you.

Give up the rights to your number plate

If you’d rather not sell your plate but no longer want it, you can give up the rights to your number plate by contacting the DVLA.

To do this, you’ll need to fill out the ‘Give up the right to this registered number (surrender)’ section of the V778 or V750 form that came with your plate. If you’ve lost it, you can apply for a new one from the DVLA.

Once you’ve filled and signed the form, send it to:

  • DVLA Personalised Registrations
    Swansea
    SA99 1DS

Once this is done, you cannot use your private plate on a car.

How to dispose of old number plates

If you’ve bought new plates, you can recycle the old ones at most local recycling centres.

Number plates are made up of acrylic and can be recycled with other plastic items. If you’re unsure of where to dispose of them, ask a member of staff at the facility.

It’s best to dispose of unused plates if the registration attached to them is still in use. This will add an extra layer of protection against fraud if someone was to steal them, for example.

That said, if you’ve taken the original plates off your car in favour of a private one, it’s best to keep them somewhere safe. That way you can swap the original registration back on if you sell the car.

What if my car is scrapped, sold or written off?

If your car has been scrapped or written off, or you’ve decided to sell it, you can keep the number plates.

Just make sure to remove them, and apply through the DVLA to reassign the registration. You’ll need your V5C for this, too.