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Personalised number plates: all you need to know

Number plates; all vehicles have and need them – but there are ways to make your car stand out from the crowd. Personalised number plates allow motorists to customise their car with a combination of letters and numbers, however, these private number plates can be expensive. 

So, with that in mind, are personalised number plates worth it? We’ve taken a look at some of the pro, cons and ways to get a personalised registration plate below. 

Should I get a personalised number plate?

Depending on which way you look at it, a personalised plate can be a pretty savvy investment, but certain factors do put some car owners off. To help you identify whether or not your investment is sound, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons:


  • It can be great for personalisation or branding - Marking an occasion or looking for a very special gift? A personalised number plate is a one-of-the-kind present for anybody, while at the same time, it can also be hugely beneficial for businesses too.
  • By branding your vehicles with your business, a personalised number plate can act as a medium of advertising for onlookers who may be interested in your services.
  • It can increase in value - If you get your hands on a sought after private number plate, chances are that its value is eventually going to go up. Indeed, some individuals invest and collect personalised number plates and trade them like stock. Invest well and have your wits about you and there’s almost definitely money to be made.
  • It can help an older car to appear newer - If you own an older vehicle that’s in good condition, a personalised number plate can belie the true age of the car as well as improving it aesthetically.
  • This can be especially useful if an owner is attempting to sell their vehicle, in which case a personalised plate can attract more potential buyers. 


  • It can attract the wrong attention - As we touched upon above, investing wisely is always an important factor when purchasing a personalised number plate. Some plates may be deemed offensive or juvenile by other road users, in which case, the chances of you selling it on are slim.
  • There are lots of rules - There’s plenty of dotting of I’s and crossing of T’s to be taken care of concerning a private number plate, so you need to be sure that all this extra effort is going to be worth it.
  • The plate must be deemed legal; this includes being clear and easy to read, printed in a standard size font and using the same colour reflective background as standard number plates.
  • They can be expensive - Lastly, as we mentioned at the start of our guide, private number plates can be expensive… Very expensive. The more common the subject of your plate, the more money you’re going to have to pay to get a letter and number combo that lands closest to the true spelling. 

Where to buy a personalised number plate

If you’re after a private reg but you’re not sure where to head, there are a few different options for buying a personalised number plate in the UK: 

  • DVLA - Perhaps the most popular, quickest and easiest way to obtain private plates is to use the DVLA registration website. A place where you can buy and bid, here prices start at £250 and you’re able to search for a potential new plate and its pricetag with ease.

  • Private companies - There are various companies from which you can buy and sell plates, and although the quality may vary, many choose to use a private website as prices start much, much lower – some will even competitively price match.

With more insight into the pros and cons of private number plates as well as a pointer towards where to purchase, your brand new (or used) personalised number plate could be just a search away. 

Looking for more up-to-date motoring information and advice? Explore our vehicle check website and blog page

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