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Unless you are buying from a well known friend or family member, the process of buying a number plate from a private seller can have a considerable number of pitfalls.
If you read through the article How to Buy from a Number Plate Dealer you can see that the main problem is concerned with the timing of money changing hands. In a private sale, there is no third party to hold funds pending completion.
If the sale warrants the extra expense, one idea is to enlist the services of a solicitor. Most solicitors will confirm the terms in writing and hold the cleared funds pending proof of completion.
If the private number is on a certificate, then the buyer and the seller could visit the local DVLA office together. Obviously this is only appropriate if both buyer and seller live reasonably close.
The DVLA office would assign a mark "over the counter", issuing a tax disc showing the private registration and reissuing any MOT in the new number.
At this point, the exchange of funds could occur. However, the final part of the transaction is only signalled when the buyer has a V5C showing the new registration.
If the private number plate is on a vehicle, then an application could be made to either place the mark on to a retention certificate in the buyer's name, or to transfer the mark to the buyer's vehicle.
Last updated: Friday 22nd July 2011 at 3:30pm