Personalised Number Plate

Everything you need to know about buying a personalised number plate

Buying a number plate for the first time is an exciting prospect, but how do you go about buying one and what are the legal requirements? If you’re thinking about getting a personalised registration plate, we’re here to provide all the answers to your questions and guide you through the process.

How do they work?

Personalised number plates are a way of making your car more individual. You’ll pay extra money to have your own choice of numbers and letters on the registration – usually a phrase, slogan or initials that mean something to you.

personalised number plate

Where can i buy a personalised number plate?

There are three ways you can buy a personalised number plate:

DVLA – This is a good place to start as it cuts out the middleman as it has more than 45 million registrations available to buy. Its search tool enables you to enter your criteria (for example, your initials) and browse its collection of plates. The DVLA also holds number plate auctions throughout the year.

Broker – Brokers are dealers who buy and sell private number plates. If you can’t find a specific plate on the DVLA’s website, it’s worth checking brokers’ sites.

Private buy – If you can’t find the plate you want through either the DVLA or a dealer, check the classified adverts in car magazines and newspapers. As plates advertised privately tend to be rare, they can be very expensive.

How much do they cost?

It largely depends on where you get your licence plate from and how rare it is. You can get plates from £250 on the DVLA website. Plates sold through brokers and classified ads tend to be very desirable, so don’t be surprised to see four, five and even six-figure sums being asked. What you’ll pay at auction depends on how many bidders are competing for the same plate. The most expensive number plate ever sold in the UK was ’25 O’, bought by a Ferrari dealer in 2014 for £518,000.

Personalised number plate


There are a few restrictions you need to be aware of if you’re planning on getting a personalised registration for your car or someone else’s. For one thing, it’s illegal to use a personalised registration that makes a vehicle look newer than it actually is. There is also a list provided by DVLA of banned personalised number plates that are deemed offensive or inappropriate. This list can be found on the DVLA website.

Another rule to be aware of is that personalised registrations cannot be used for Q registered vehicles. Q number plates are used for vehicles whose age or identity are in doubt. Once a vehicle gets a Q number plate, the identification is unlikely to ever change again. One other rule to know about in regards personalised plates is that when you have one on your car, you should not alter any of the spacing on the plate or use fixing bolts to alter the appearance of the plate.


Do you have any other questions about buying a personalised number plate or did you go through a different process to buy yours? If so, let us know on our social channels. We are @twwhiteandsons on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our blog for more content!