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Number plate retention guide

If you’ve bought a personalised number plate from the DVLA or a private dealer, you might be wondering what happens when you come to buy a new car or get rid of your current one. Read on to learn how to retain your personalised number plate, transfer it to a new vehicle or hold it for the future.

Check out our car deals page to get a great new car to put your number plate on. Click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a new car or browse our extensive range of new, nearly new and pre-reg stock cars.

Can I keep my personalised numberplate?

Yes, you can keep your personalised number plate if you decide to sell or scrap the car it’s attached to. You’ll simply be required to fill out a V317 form that’s available on the Government’s website to notify the authorities that the plate is to be taken off a vehicle.

You can easily apply to keep a number plate online providing the car is registered with the DVLA, can move under its own power and is taxed or has a SORN for the last five years continuously. The DVLA will occasionally decide it needs to inspect the car before it can remove the number plate so will inform you if this is the case.

How do I keep my personalised number plate?

Simply fill out the form on the Government’s website to remove the plate you want from the car or, in certain circumstances such as the death of the number plate’s owner, you might have to apply to change it by post. The form you fill in will give you a range of options for what you want to happen to the number once it’s removed.

The process of removing a number plate from a car costs £80 and you’ll have to pay to have any new plates made up if necessary. If you’re transferring your personalised number plate to a new vehicle, you’ll need its V5C registration certificate or the V5C/2 new keepers section of the previous owner’s V5C if you’ve only just purchased it.

Can I keep my personalised number plate without putting it on another car?

Yes, you have the option to retain the number plate for up to 10 years without registering it to a new vehicle. You simply go through the same application process to remove the plate as if you were going to put it on a new car, but fill out the section regarding retaining the number plate rather than transferring it – it still costs the same £80.

If you want to hold on to it for more than 10 years, you simply send off another V317 application form to the DVLA after the 10 years are up and it’ll renew your ownership for another 10 years. This used to cost extra money but is now completely free.

Can I sell or give my personalised number plate to someone else?

Yes you can. All you have to do is name the person on the V317 application form – this can be if you’ve gifted it to them or agreed to sell it to them privately. Once the application has been processed, the new owner will get a retention document from the DVLA confirming their ownership of the plate.

Can I put my personalised number plate on a lease car?

Yes you can. In many cases, the easiest way to get your personal plate onto your lease car is to wait until it’s been delivered. You’ll then need to get in touch with the leasing company to arrange naming them as the nominee – at this point they’ll then transfer the plate to your lease car.

It is possible to get a personal plate put on your lease car before you take delivery but you’ll need to coordinate with the leasing company – generally, it’s easier to wait until it’s been delivered. You’ll need to arrange the removal of your personalised plate around two months before the end of your lease considering the amount of time it takes to process applications.

Can I put my personalised number plate on a financed car?

Yes you can. Unlike a lease car, you’ll be the registered owner of your financed car so you can apply directly to the DVLA to have your plate changed. Like a lease car, however, if you have a PCP deal that you’re not intending to pay the balloon payment on to own the car, you’ll need to arrange the removal of the personalised plate around two months before the agreement ends.

Will my old car keep its original number plate?

Yes it will. As soon as you arrange to have your personalised plate removed from your old car, the DVLA will reassign the registration plate the car had originally. If you’re selling your old car, you should put the original plates back on if you still have them.

Save money on your next new car

Check out our car deals page to get a great new car to put your number plate on. Click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a new car or browse our extensive range of new, nearly new and pre-reg stock cars.

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