How Much is My Number Plate Worth?

Private number plates, also known as personalised or cherished number plates, can vary significantly in worth depending on several key factors. This article will provide comprehensive information on determining the value of a private number plate so you can understand what your personalised registration may be worth.

A private plate allows the owner to create a unique registration number for their vehicle. The rarity and desirability of the number/letter combination significantly influence the potential resale value. Before considering selling a cherished number plate, an accurate valuation by a specialist dealer or service is essential.

Brief Overview of Key Factors Affecting Private Plate Value

RarityHow unusual the letter/number combination is
DesirabilityHow sought-after the exact arrangement is
Plate StyleDateless, suffix, prefix, current etc.
Name/Word SpellingPlates that spell specific words or names
How Much is My Number Plate Worth?

Factors That Affect a Number Plate’s Value

Several key factors determine how much a private number plate or personalised registration is worth. These include:

A. Rarity and desirability of the plate combination

The more uncommon or unusual the specific letter and number sequence is, the more valuable the cherished number plate tends to be. Plates with rare initials or numbers or multiple repeating digits are especially prized. The desirability of specific sequences also impacts number plate valuation.

B. Plate style (dateless, suffix, prefix, current)

Dateless number plates with no age identifier like “Y” or “63” are generally the most valuable style. Suffix and prefix style plates also command reasonable prices. Current-style registrations tend to be cheaper.

C. Length of the registration number

Shorter registration numbers with 4-5 characters typically have higher worth than longer 7-character plates. However, if a long number spells a unique name or word, it could still be valuable.

D. Spelling of names or words with the characters

Private number plates that spell short names, initials, or words are very desirable and can command huge premiums, especially for short combinations.

E. Popularity of initials or numbers on the plate

Plates with famous or distinctive initials like “JFK” or numbers like “007” see greater demand. Rarity still plays a role, though—familiar initials are less valuable.

Categories of Number Plates and Typical Price Ranges

The style and type of private number plate play a major role in determining its potential worth. Some typical price ranges for different plate categories are:

Plate StyleCommon Plate ValuePersonalised Plate ValueRare/Desirable Plate Value
Dateless£1,000 – £5,000£5,000 – £50,000£50,000 – £500,000+
Suffix£2,000 – £10,000£10,000 – £100,000£100,000+
Prefix£500 – £5,000£5,000 – £50,000£50,000+
Current£250 – £2,000£2,000 – £20,000£20,000+
3-4 Repeating Digitsn/a£5,000 – £100,000n/a

Getting a Professional Valuation

An accurate appraisal of a private number plate is essential to understanding its market value and getting the best price when selling.

A. Importance of an accurate appraisal before selling

An expert valuation accounts for all factors that impact worth, not just the letter/number sequence. This prevents you from undervaluing a cherished registration.

B. Options for valuation:

There are a few options to get a specialist number plate valuation:

  1. Speciality private plate dealers: They have extensive expertise and access to sales data to value plates. This is the most accurate option.
  2. Online valuation tools: Some tools, like the DVLA’s Price Guide and RegTransfers Valuer, provide free ballpark estimates.
  3. DVLA valuation service: The UK licence authority offers formal valuations for a £20-£30 fee if selling privately.
  4. Information needed to obtain a valuation

C. Information needed to obtain a valuation

Experts will need key details like the plate number, style, age identifier, region issued, and certificates.

D. Factors valuers consider beyond the plate itself

Other aspects like historical significance, provenance, plate condition, and market trends may impact appraised worth.

The Process of Selling a Number Plate

If you decide to sell your private registration after getting it valued, here are some critical steps in the process:

A. Transferring rights to the buyer

The legal rights to the plate must be officially transferred to the new owner through the DVLA, and there is a £80 fee.

B. Dealing with brokers and dealers

Many sellers choose to trade in plates to a dealer or auction house. Although they may get less money, this is more convenient.

C. Required paperwork and documentation

You must sign a V317 transfer form and provide a V62 sales receipt, the plate’s V750 certificate, and proof of ID.

D. Pros and cons of selling yourself vs through a dealer

Selling privately takes more effort but nets more profit. Dealers take a cut but handle everything.

E. Where to list your plate for maximum visibility

Listing on Gumtree, eBay, and specialist sites gets the plate seen by severe buyers focused on number plates.

Number Plates as an Investment

While cars depreciate over time, private number plates can increase in value and be solid investments:

A. Historic appreciation of plate values over time

Many plates have seen prices rise exponentially in recent decades as they become collectable assets.

B. Plates that have the most investment potential

Rare & personalised dateless and suffix plates under five characters have shown the highest growth.

C. Risks and considerations of holding plates as an investment

No guarantees of returns, less liquidity than stocks, storage costs, and potential regulatory changes.

D. Stories behind record-setting number plate sales

The UK plate “25 O” sold for £518,000, while “1 D” fetched £352,000 and “F1” sold for £440,000 at auction.

Legal Considerations When Buying and Selling Plates

There are some fundamental legal aspects to keep in mind when looking to acquire or sell private registrations:

A. Character combinations that are prohibited

The DVLA has banned letter/number mixes that are offensive, too short, match other plates, or identify vehicles like government cars.

B. Limits on resale and transfer of rights

New registrations cannot be resold for at least one year after issue, and transfers cannot be completed too quickly after acquisition.

C. Plate design requirements and restrictions

All number plates must meet specific criteria, such as sizes, fonts used, materials, and use of flags/logos.

D. Special paperwork needed to complete a sale

As mentioned earlier, forms like the V317, V62, and V750 must be completed along with proof of ID to be legally sold to a buyer.

Determining the value of a private number plate can be complex, but it is important for owners looking to sell or understand their cherished asset’s worth. As this comprehensive guide covers, a diverse range of factors affect how much a personalised registration is appraised by experts.

The uniqueness and rarity of the specific letter and number sequence play a pivotal role. Plates that spell short names, words, or initials tend to be especially desirable and reach higher prices at auction. The style of the plate also matters—dateless and suffix plates achieve higher valuations. A formal valuation by a reputable dealer or service can accurately account for all these elements when assessing the market value.

This article outlines the process involved and the primary options available for those interested in selling their plate. Listing the number plate through specialist platforms or dealers maximises visibility to severe collectors. With personalised registrations becoming more popular as statement automotive accessories, understanding their investment potential is also important. As highlighted, some prestige plates have achieved astronomical sales prices at auction.

Private number plates require research and specialist know-how to determine their true worth. However, the rewards can be significant for plates with unique attributes in high demand among enthusiasts. This guide covers all the critical factors in evaluating a cherished registration’s value.


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