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Can I sell my registration plate?

In most cases, yes. But not all number plates can be sold.

To sell a registration plate, the car must be in your name. It should also be subject to mot and tax. So number plates on tractors and milk floats can't be sold. You should also check the V5 log book, and make sure the registration number is not marked as 'non transferable'. For more detail see see Can I sell my private registration plate?

How do I sell my personalised registration plate?

There are lots of options for selling a number plate.

The option you choose will depend on your own circumstances. Many number plates are sold 'on commission'... there's usually no upfront fee, and a commission fee becomes payable on the successful sale of the registration plate. You can also sell by auction... again a commission is usally payable.

Alternatively, you can sell a personalised car number plate privately - there's usually no commission fee, just an advertising fee. You may also be able to sell your registration plate directly to a dealer.

See how to sell a cherished car number plate for all the ins and outs of each option to see which one suits you.

How much is my number plate worth?

The value of a private number plate depends on a mix of different factors.

First, and most important, who else would want it? Or, more importantly, how many other people might want your registration plate? First names are by far the most sought after... even 3 letter names disappear very quickly. Some good number name registration plates can sell for £10,000's. Initials are the next option... but some initials are more common (like ADS) than others (such as MFK). The number plate style plays a very big part in the value of a number plate too. See how much is my number plate worth for more details.

How do i get a number plate valuation?

You need to get around 3 number plate valuations, sometimes more.

When selling a car number plate, it's important to get 3 or 4 valuations. The  value of a number plate  can be subjective... it's all about how much someone is willing to pay for it. Some personalised registration plates are easy to value - if there are a few similar number plates, it's easy to compare and come up with a valuation. Like an estate agent would value a house in a row of terraced houses. Some registration numbers are difficult to value though... especially when there are few other similar number plates to compare with. These are usually the higher value ones.

Getting 3 or so valuations for a personalised registration plate will help to decide how much a number plate is worth. You can approach registration plate companies for a valuation, and you can also get an independent number plate valuation.

How long does it take to sell a personalised registration plate?

Could be days, weeks, months...

Popular personalised registration plates (like first names) can sell quickly if priced competitvely. Especially prefix style number plates with 3-letter shortened names like JAN or ROB. That's because they're in high demand and relatively affordable. More expensive registration plates can take months (or sometimes years if they're £10,000's) to sell. Certain letters and numbers (like 111 or 50) are also more appealing too.

The key to getting the quickest possible sale is to get maximum exposure to as many potential buyers as possible. And to make sure the  price is competitive.

I'm selling my personalised registration plate. Do I have to buy a replacement?


When you sell a personalised registration plate, you will need to transfer the number plate to another vehicle or a Retention Document. As part of the transfer, the DVLA will issue you with another registration plate that reflects the age of your vehicle. When the transfer is complete, all you have to do is have new number plates made up and replace them on the vehicle.

I'm selling a personalised registration plate. Should I put it on retention first?

You don't have to place a personalised number plate on retention to sell it. You can leave it on the car whilst you advertise your number plate for sale. If, however you are planning on selling your car aswell, you should retain the registration plate - be sure to allow 3-4 weeks for the retention to be approved, before you sell the car.

Even if you are not selling your car, you may still want to retain your registration plate before finding a buyer. This is because it speeds up the private number plate transfer once you find a buyer.

I'm selling my car. How do I keep my personalised registration?

To keep your registration number, you must transfer it before you sell the car.

You can either transfer a private number plate direct to another car if you have one, or onto a V778 Retention Document. Allow at least 3 weeks for your transfer application to be approved before you sell the car. If you sell the car before the transfer is complete, ownership of the personalised registration number transfers with the car

The MOT / tax has run out. Can I still sell the personalised registration number?

You may be able to.

If the MOT and tax ran out less than 12 months ago, and there was no break before the vehicle was declared SORN, you may be able to sell the registration number. See Can I sell my private registration plate? for more details.

I don't have the car, but I have a V5 log book. Can I sell the registration plate?

No. Without the vehicle you cannot sell the registration plate

The rules for Cherished Transfers require that the vehicle exists, and has valid MOT and tax. Or that they ran out not more than 12 months previously. You will need to send the V5 log book, mot certificate, and a copy of the tax disc when you apply to put the personalised number plate on retention. The DVLA may also ask to you to take the vehicle to your local DVLA office for inspection.

My registration plate has 'non transferable' next to it. Can I sell it?

Simply... no

If you see the words 'non transferable' written next to the registration number on the V5 log book, this means that the registration cannot be transferred to another vehicle or sold. You can, however, assign another personalised registration plate to the car.

Will a dealer buy my personalised registration plate?

In some cases, yes.

Dealers do buy some personalised registration plates. This can be a good way of selling, if you need to sell quickly. You should expect to get much less than the full value, as the dealer will be considering their profit margin, and the time it may take to sell the registration number.

You should contact a number of dealers to request quotes to get an idea of whether you can sell direct to a dealer, and how much you would be offered.

Can I 'trade in' my personalised registration plate for another one?

In a few cases, maybe

This will depend on the registration plate you want to trade, and what you are looking to buy. You will need to contact any dealers offering registration numbers you are interested in, and ask if they will part exchange. You should expect to get a much less than the full value for your own registration plate.

It's more likely you will get a part exchange for a good dateless number plate or a name number plate.

Can I sell my pesonalised registration plate to the DVLA ?


The DVLA do not buy registration numbers. Nor will they sell the registration number on your behalf. You need to approach number plate companies for a quotation to sell on commission, or sell your number plate privately.