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What Are Private Number Plates?


Private number plates, personalised number plates and cherished number plates are car registration number plates containing a combination of numbers and letters that have replaced the original registration mark at the time of when the vehicle was first registered with the DVLA. National Numbers specialise in dealing and selling these treasured plates.

How to buy a private car registration number plate

  • You can buy a plate immediately online - with a choice of 0% finance plans.
  • Speak to one of our friendly sales staff on 01642 363738 who'll be pleased to take your order.
  • Place an advance order for the any one of the next series of registrations.
  • Or pick up a previously unreleased private plate from a DVLA auction - call us on 01642 363738 to discuss.

Whatever route you choose, always be sure to use an accredited private number plate dealer, such as National Numbers.

How to find your perfect personalised number plate?

Find Your Perfect Number Plate

The National Numbers website has over 55 million registrations for sale and new plates are added every hour. With our state-of-the-art search engine finding your ideal car registration number couldn't be easier. Type in the letters or number that you are looking for and we will show you all the registrations for sale. You can sort them by price (some registrations are for sale from as little as £136) so finding something that fits your budget will be easy; and many of our car registration plates come with the option of 0% finance payment plans.

And if you still can't find your ideal registration online, or you have any questions, we have knowledgeable and friendly sales staff available 7 days a week to assist you. With their wealth of experience they will guide you through, choosing the right car registration number, finance, legal considerations, paperwork and administration to make sure that buying your chosen car registration plates is a painless process. Please don't hesitate to call them on 01642 363738 and they will be happy to help.

How do private number plates work?

We have a large selection of car registrations for sale to choose from. The golden rule is that you can make your vehicle look as old as you like when assigning a private plate to it, but not one day younger. So if you had a 15 reg vehicle (from 2015), you can put any reg onto it that has been issued up to that date. You couldn't put a 18 series reg (from 2018) on it as it would make your vehicle look newer.

The range of formats to choose from include :

Dateless Reg Carry no year identifier, so can be assigned to any roadworthy vehicle.
A 1 SUE 4 123 SAM
Suffix Reg Three letters, one, two or three digits, then a year identifying letter.
KHA 11N ROB 311E ASH 13Y
Prefix Reg A year identifying letter, one, two or three digits, then three more letters.
G305 RGE B16 DON K155 MEE
New Style Reg Two letters, a pair of year identifying digits, then three more letters.

Why do some private plates cost more than others?

There is often a premium on plates released before 1963 (often called cherished or dateless car registration plates). These registrations always have a group of numbers followed by group of letters or group of letters followed by a group of numbers. The number and letter combinations can be much shorter than more modern registrations - such 34 DAN and 13 DAN. These plates are becoming rarer and we've seen many of these car registrations for sale increase in value.

After 1963 suffix car registration plates were introduced, where the age of the car was shown by the final letter – so for DAN 5A the A is for 1963 while for DAN 5X the X shows the age of the registration as 1981.

After 1983 prefix plates were introduced, which have the age identifier at the front for example: D1 DAN - the D at the beginning means it is a plate from 1986.

From 2001 the New Style or Millennium plate became the standard. These contain two digits that identify the age of the registration, ME15 DAN for example is from 2015.

Older plates are becoming rarer and that alone increases their value. Lots of customers buy old plates not only because they look good, but because they also disguise the actual age of their car.

How to change to a private number plate?

Changing your current registration to a private number plate is very straightforward.

Find the private number plate that you want.
Buy the registration and become the legal owner.
Assign the registration to your vehicle - National Numbers offer an assignment service to do this for you, or you can do it yourself online or via post. You will need your current V5C log book for the vehicle and the registration certificate.
After the two have been paired together (updating electronic information that the DVLA have on your vehicle such as the MOT and tax), you will receive a new V5C log book in the post from the DVLA.
Once you have the V5C showing your private plate in your possession you can fit the manufactured plates to the vehicle. You can only purchase manufactured car registration plates from a DVLA registered seller. You will have to visit the DVLA registered seller with a number of documents to ensure that you are the official owner of the number plate and the vehicle.
You should then notify your insurance company that you have changed your car registration number.

Where to get personalised number plates made?

National Numbers can supply the highest quality road and MOT legal acrylic plates with a number of options (a selection of shapes, flags, borders, 3D effect font) when you purchase a registration. As you've bought the registration from ourselves, you do not need to provide any further proof of entitlement/identity documents that are usually required.

If you simply want the plastic plates and aren't interested in buying a private registration, then we recommend where you can order your plates online and pick them up locally.

Private Number Plates - Where to Start?

Well, price range is an important consideration. At National Numbers we treat clients with modest budgets the same way as those where price is no object. Our web site is intended to supply you with imaginative search suggestions to inspire you and, don't forget, we offer 0% finance on most registration plates.

Often, if you are after a cheap number plate, a good place to start is to search for your initials and then pair them with a prefix letter. Please remember - you can't apply a registration plate to your vehicle if it makes it appear newer, you can only use registration plates of the same age as your vehicle or older. Our search system allows you to filter those private plates that are unsuitable based on the age of the vehicle you will be using.

Another important source of low cost plates are Irish number plates which start from £136. These private plates originate in Northern Ireland, and can be established as such because they always contain an "I" or "Z" in the letters - but they have no visible year identifier. As they're effectively 'dateless', this means these registration plates can be assigned to any roadworthy vehicle, regardless of it's age.

Of course, if you have a little more to spend, then you can use our database to search for your name or your initials represented as a cherished plate with just one or two numbers and no year letter.

Start your Search

We have been in business for more than 38 years, and our friendly sales staff have guided thousands of clients through their first venture into choosing a private registration mark. If you can't find what you're looking for online, please don't hesitate to give them a call! You can phone us on 01642 363738 and we'll be happy to help you find your ideal mark.

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Proud Members Of

Proud members of ALL number plate dealership trade organisations.

Cherished Numbers Dealers Association
Retail Motor Industry Federation
Cherished Numbers Guild
Institute of Registration Agents & Dealers

We're also DVLA recognised - meeting the terms and conditions of the DVLA's ethical trading practices.

We're also DVLA recognised - meeting the terms and conditions of the DVLA's ethical trading practices.
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