The Most Interesting Customised Number Plates

How do Customised Number Plates Work?

Customised number plates are a way of making a car more exciting. You can choose to have a slogan, phrase, or even your initials. 

It may be pricey  to have a customised number plate though and usually the fewer the characters, the more expensive it is. 

What are the legal requirements for customised number plates?

There are certain legal requirements that you must follow for your plate to be legal. It must:

  • Be made from reflective material

  • Display black characters on a white background (Front)

  • Display black characters on a yellow background (Back)

  • Have no patterned background

  • Have no repositioning when fixing bolts or screws

  • Have no stylised characters (e.g Italics)

There are modifications that are allowed that can make your number plate stand out. You can:

  • Add borders – they must be non-reflective and not interfere with the characters or numbers

  • Add 3D and 4D characters as long as they are the correct font

  • Display one of the following four flags: Union Jack flag, St George’s Cross (English flag), St Andrew’s Cross (Scottish Flag) or Red Dragon of Wales

  • If you own a fully electric vehicle you can display a green rectangle to the left side of the number plate, the same place where the flag would be.

Types of Customised Number Plates.

There are four formats that are legal to display on your car as a customised plate. 

  1. Current – format of a normal number plate e.g AB12 ABC

  2. Prefix – the format used between 1983 and 2001 e.g A123 ABC

  3. Suffix – format used between 1963 and 1983 e.g ABC 123D 

  4. Dateless – used prior to 1963



Where are Customised Number Plates Available From and How Much Do They Cost?

Customised number plates are available through the DVLA, brokers or even through a private sale. The DVLA holds auctions for thousands of customised number plates on a monthly basis. It’s an online bidding system where you bid against others to secure your preferred number plate. 

You are also able to buy customised plates instantly via the link here

Prices can range from £250 to over £500,000 with the average price range in auctions being around £250 to £10,000, depending on the number plate. 

Did you know the most expensive number plate in the UK, ’25 0’, sold for £518,000? It was bought by a Ferrari dealership to be put on the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, the most expensive car in the world! It now has a price tag of £36.5 million. 


Can I Transfer My Customised Number Plate?

You might want to take your private number plate off your vehicle to transfer it to another vehicle or keep it to use at a later stage. However, if the plate starts with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’ you are not allowed to keep it. Also, you cannot put a private plate on a ‘Q’ registered car. Once you have transferred the number plate, the original registration plate usually gets reassigned to the car automatically. 

To apply to take a customised number plate off via online, follow the link here

Once you have sent in an application you can immediately apply to assign it to another vehicle. To apply to assign a plate online you will need either:

  • A V750 certificate of entitlement – you will get one of these if you buy a customised number plate

  • A V778 retention document or online reference number – you will get one of these if you take a customised plate from another vehicle you own.

If you have either of these, you can apply online by clicking the link here. As soon as you’ve hit send on the application you can immediately put the customised plates onto your vehicle. 

To transfer a customised number plate from one vehicle to another, there is a fee of £80. This covers the cost of a set of original plates for the old vehicle, a set of the new customised plates for the new vehicle and the amending of Tax and MOT details. 


Written by Lois | 5 min read
15 Mar 2022

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