A European Union proposal to introduce a standard design for all European number plates will not be supported by the UK Government. Several national newspapers including the Daily Express and the Daily Mail broke the news claiming British number plates could be axed. The legislation being worked on by a Dutch Liberal Democrat MEP suggests vehicles across EU member states should all display number plates in common colours.
Fears among British motorists, including some who paid large amounts of money for the rights to display personalised registrations, were evident following an influx of telephone calls and emails to cherished number dealers. The Association of Personalised Registration Traders (APRT), established to promote fair trade in the cherished numbers industry, reacted quickly and soon received a response from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) which states:
“We are aware of today’s articles regarding the EU proposal to standardise the design of vehicle registration numbers. The Agency has been advised by Department for Transport that there are no proposals being drawn up by the EU Commission to introduce a European standardised number plate format. Neither the Commission nor any other EU countries are pursuing this idea. It is just one MEP suggesting that the Commission could consider this idea in the future. The UK Government does not support this amendment; the idea is not going to go anywhere.”
Private number plate enthusiasts called the EU proposal ‘garbage’.
Considering the sale of personalised registrations raises tens of millions of pounds for HM Treasury every year, it is not surprising officials in Westminster are against the proposal. British motorists are legally required to display number plates on their vehicles to comply with The Motor Car Act 1903; one of the main purposes of the Act is to help identify vehicles and their drivers.
With cherished number plates being our passion, it makes sense that we’ve also got a genuine interest in cars too. With this in mind, we’re delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Supercar Driver (SCD), the North of England’s premier members club for owners of supercars.
SCD is an exclusive club, with members all being proud owners of beautiful examples of fast and powerful cars; think Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, McLaren and other well known marques that represent prestige and performance. The club gives members the opportunity to take part in track days, view private collections, attend rallies and meet up to discuss the many aspects of supercar ownership.
A Super Opportunity
Here at Simply Registrations, we don’t just know our cherished number plates; we’re also well versed in Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) procedures and the intricacies of registration transfers & retention applications. By joining this active community and partnering with SCD, we’ll be able to offer our expertise and advice to all members and assist them in sourcing the ideal private number plate to complement their cars. Finding a number plate to reflect an owner’s name or interests isn’t always easy, but we can help them to identify the right combination to add that finishing touch to their pride and joy.
As part of our affiliation with SCD, I will be attending certain member events so that supercar owners can talk to me directly. I will happily answer any questions and offer my advice free of charge, giving attendees at these events the chance to discover the latest information and matters of interest in the world of private number plates and hear up-to-date news and developments from the DVLA.
Are you a Supercar owner?
If you’re interested in finding out more, you can visit the Supercar Driver website and if you own one of their qualifying cars, you can apply for membership of this bespoke club and have the chance to come to one of their forthcoming events. You can get a taste of what goes on at the meetings by watching SCD-TV on YouTube and can also connect on Facebook and Twitter too.
Simply Registrations is delighted to have been accepted by SCD as their preferred industry partner. We can’t wait to meet with the members of Supercar Driver and look forward to working with this exclusive organisation.
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Local & Regional Offices are scheduled to close by the end of 2013. All of the work currently handled at a local level is being centralised and will be processed at DVLA Headquarters in Swansea. We are currently in a transition period; some changes have been made and others are still being implemented. It has meant longer than usual turnaround times for number plate transfers and retention applications. This is having a knock-on effect in the motor trade with many car retailers unable to supply vehicles to their customers whilst they wait for important documents to arrive.
Summary of Changes so far:
1st May 2013 – All trade plate applications dealt with at DVLA Swansea
24th June 2013 – Post Office expands tax disc options
1st July 2013 – All cherished transfer & retention applications dealt with at DVLA Swansea
22nd July 2013 – Tax discs for new cars issued by DVLA Swansea. New law introduced allowing 14 day grace period for display of tax discs.
The change that concerns readers of this blog the most is the processing of all cherished number plate transfers and retention applications at DVLA Swansea. The stance from DVLA hasn’t changed and if you take a look at the official Twitter channel of the DVLA, the advice is to send all applications direct to Swansea. However, our experience suggests you will get a much quicker response if you take your application to the counter of your nearest DVLA Local Office.
From the 1st of July 2013 if you handed in your application at a Local Office it was batched up and sent to Swansea. DVLA headquarters were quickly swamped with an overload of work whilst staff in the Local Offices found their days were dragging as they had very little to do. A couple of weeks later some Local Offices were instructed to only send a small number of applications per day to Swansea – all others were to be processed in-house.
At Simply Registrations we still use the DVLA Leeds Office and will continue to do so until it closes on the 13th of December 2013. We are still able to complete same-day transfers at the counter when assigning a registration from a V750 or V778 to a vehicle. Cherished transfers and retention applications are not completed there and then, however the first part of the application which involves the issuing of a replacement tax disc & MOT Test Certificate is being handled at Leeds and the current turnaround time is 48/72 hours. The V5C Registration Certificates and V778 Retention Documents still take between 2 to 4 weeks to arrive from Swansea.
The hope is that eventually an online system will be introduced to enable much faster processing of cherished transfers and retention applications. Consultations investigating the possibility of making the paper tax disc obsolete, removing the insurance check when taxing a car and the probability that the paper MOT Test Certificate will be scrapped would surely help to speed things up.
For the time being the best available option is to make use of the DVLA Local Offices whilst they remain open for business. Not only does it seem to speed up turnaround times for plate transfers, you aren’t risking your application going missing in the post before it even arrives at DVLA HQ in Swansea. It is more important than ever before to make sure your application form is correctly completed. The staff at your nearest DVLA Office will check your paperwork at the counter whilst you are there. As some motor traders have recently discovered, it is incredibly frustrating to have your documents returned and your application rejected just because you forgot to sign the cheque or put a ‘x’ in the appropriate box on a V317 application form.
We would love to hear of your own experiences if you have had recent dealings with the DVLA. You are invited to add your comments below or to get in touch if you have any related questions.
As many readers will be aware, the DVLA are currently developing and introducing new digital platforms in an effort to streamline their services and improve processes. One such digital system is the new Integrated Enquiries Platform, or IEP, which is being designed to make car insurance quotations much quicker and allow UK drivers to access details held about them without needing to deal directly with the DVLA. With the capacity to handle heavy traffic (pardon the pun), the IEP will provide a central enquiry platform which can also be used by approved organisations and the public sector.
How will the IEP help drivers looking to renew their insurance?
The IEP will hold up-to-date information on every licensed driver, including their full driving history, which will eliminate the need to provide this information to insurance companies every time you request a quotation. With this central point of reference, insurers will be able to supply prospective customers with a more efficient service and more accurate quotes, while simultaneously stopping less honest individuals from applying with false information – hopefully leading to safer roads and enhanced protection for everyone.
In addition to the above, the IEP also means that you’ll be able to check details for your own reference; you’ll be able to make sure that the DVLA has the right address for you and if you have any penalties on your licence.
Is your data safe?
With any complex digital system, the real challenge is always going to be keeping such a large amount of data safe – and it’s only natural that some drivers will be feeling a little uncomfortable about the possibility of unauthorised individuals being able to access their personal details. With strict rules governing the sharing of confidential data, it’s vital that the DVLA ensure that this aspect of the system is robust and reliable.
With that said however, such a large organisation will be well aware of dangers and the DVLA have offered the reassurance that strict data controls will be in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Of course there are other concerns that could come to the fore too; hackers breaking their way into the system or the discovery that your details haven’t been uploaded correctly – which could subsequently inflate your insurance quotes. Hopefully, with the IEP being subject to rigorous user testing before its roll-out, all of these worries will be allayed and this new digital platform will prove to be a positive experience all round.
The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is to change the way tax discs are issued for brand new cars. Under the current system when you collect a brand new car from a supplying dealer it is comes complete with the disc already on display in the windscreen. New Rules which come into force from the 22nd of July 2013 will see tax discs for brand new cars, or cars being registered for the first time, being issued direct by DVLA Swansea.
There are lots of ongoing system and procedural changes happening within DVLA right now. Many of these changes are taking place in readiness for the planned closure of all DVLA Local Offices previously announced in July 2012. By the end of 2013 all 39 DVLA Local Offices will have closed for business. As motor traders and car retailers will no longer be able to collect batches of blank discs from their nearest DVLA Office, it has been decided that the discs will be posted direct to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
You may not have received your tax disc from DVLA before your new car is ready for collection, however you will be able to drive legally for up to 14 days from the date of first registration without displaying a tax disc.
If you have not received your tax disc or associated vehicle documents after 14 days please contact DVLA Swansea on 0300 790 6802. DVLA has produced a leaflet outlining the changes which should be available in new car showrooms very soon.
These changes do not affect the way existing cars are taxed; you can continue to pay your road fund licence and collect your tax disc at main Post Offices, or apply online using the DVLA website. A consultation is currently underway which may see tax discs scrapped altogether; you can read more about this development in the article: The end of the road for the paper tax disc.
The official leaflet issued by DVLA; ‘Registering New Vehicles – Information for the General Public’ can be viewed by clicking on the image below:
To read the official announcement on the GOV.UK website, please click on: new rules when renewing your tax disc. If you have any questions or comments about these changes please leave a reply using the form below.
The government has today announced new measures for the way certain motoring offences are to be handled. From July 2013 police will be able to punish motorists who hog the middle lane of the motorway by way of an on-the-spot fine. If you are caught driving whilst using a phone, or if you fail to wear a seatbelt you will be handed a £100 fine.
Further details of the new fixed penalties are shown in the image below:
“Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk” said Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
“That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.”
For more information on this story you can click through to the Department for Transport table of changes for motoring fixed penalty offences: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/204614/fpn-table-new-levels.pdf
I previously wrote a basic guide explaining how to sell a private number plate. I want to take this opportunity to go into a bit more detail on the same subject, focusing on some of the options that are available to you. If you haven’t already seen it, you may want to have a quick read of the basic private number plate guide before continuing with this article.
Okay, I am assuming you are reading this article because you have a personalised number plate to sell. The first choice you have to make is most likely going to be determined by your own personal circumstances:
Do you need the money straight away, or are you prepared to wait a while?
I receive telephone calls and emails everyday asking if we buy registrations. The answer is yes – depending on the actual registration. If it is an attractive combination that meets our criteria, I ask the client; are you looking to sell outright for immediate settlement, or would you like us to advertise the registration on your behalf?
I always advise against selling outright unless you are desperate to get your hands on the cash. The reason; you will receive a lot more money if you are prepared to wait until we can find a buyer for your plate. To demonstrate this point; a gentleman rang this morning with a nice two-letter, two-number combination for sale, similar to RW 75. I said I would buy it for stock, today, for £7,000. As he doesn’t need the money quickly he asked us to advertise it for sale on his behalf. If we manage to find a buyer for his cherished registration at the price he is hoping for, he will receive £16,000 on completion of sale.
If you are going to approach several dealers with a view to selling your registration, make sure you understand whether the quote you receive is based upon an outright purchase, or a commission sale. The price difference won’t always be as vast as in the example used above, but there will be a difference. I suggested a much lower retail price for the registration in this morning’s example, but the gentleman wants to try an ambitious figure in the first instance. If after six months there hasn’t been any interest in his plate, he is going to reduce the price to a more realistic level.
Please note: I often see comments on motoring forums advising people to sell their private plates back to DVLA as you get a better price. This is absolute nonsense as DVLA do not buy registrations.
Which company is the best at selling number plates?
To help answer this question correctly we are going to separate personalised registrations into two groups.
Word or name resemblances – The first group is for plates that resemble a name or word – for example: CRA 1G, SUS 4N, FA57 EST. If you have a registration to sell which falls into this group, it is important to select a company that accommodates name and word searches on its website.
Short, dateless registrations – The second group is for personalised plates that contain no more than three letters; the short, dateless versions such as: 96 AL, 7 AST, VKY 1. You are not as restricted on choice as most cherished number reseller websites can handle this type of search. Just test out a few websites to see how they present search results and make sure you are happy with how the website interacts with a potential purchaser.
DVLA offers a list of cherished number plate dealers via the web referral scheme: http://dvlaregistrations.direct.gov.uk/dealers
This blog post explains how the DVLA web referral scheme works: http://www.simplyregistrations.co.uk/blog/dvla-personalised-registrations-web-referral-scheme/
You may prefer to choose a company which is a member of a registered number plate dealer association: http://www.simplyregistrations.co.uk/blog/aprt-cnda-mirad-number-plate-dealer-associations/
Personally, I don’t believe there is a company that ticks all the boxes and therefore deserves to be called the best at selling private number plates. At Simply Registrations we don’t have a word or name search facility on our website; however we do have a browse option which allows searches to be performed alphabetically. I’ve got to be honest and say that if you have a private plate to sell and it contains a word or name resemblance, you shouldn’t be solely relying on the Simply Registrations website to find a buyer for your plate. On the plus side we advertise regularly in motoring magazines and aim to include a selection of our client’s registrations in our advertisements. The image above shows our latest full-page offering in What Car Magazine.
I am trying to make the information available on this website useful and helpful to anyone considering buying or selling a private number plate. If you have a burning question or if you feel there is a connected subject that we haven’t yet broached, please get in touch or leave a comment.
Welcome to the latest blog post to feature one of our stock personalised number plates. Today we are having a closer look at a rather special cherished registration; RW 75.
RW registrations were originally issued in Coventry between 1924 and 1926. The local authority most likely started off with RW 1 and worked its way through in sequential order until they reached RW 9999. As this combination is very popular amongst motorists in Great Britain (owing to lots of people having the initials RW), DVLA would usually take the opportunity to include any unissued RW plates in their prestigious personalised registrations auctions. Typically DVLA releases the reverse option (numbers before letters), starting with 1 RW and invites any interested parties to bid for the rights to display these hand-picked, desirable registrations on their vehicles. DVLA number plate auctions raise millions of pounds for The Treasury every year.
However, certain combinations of initials were also naturally issued in their reverse format, as is the case with the RW’s. In February 1961 a motor vehicle in the Coventry area will have been issued with 1 RW when it was first licensed with the local authority. All of the reverse RW registrations were handed out to motorists in the Warwickshire area until the two-letter combination was exhausted.
Okay, so what does any of this have to do with RW 75? Basically RW number plates are much rarer than other similar two-letter versions, such as SW for example. As SW plates were only issued naturally with the letters first, DVLA can offer reverse SW registrations for sale at auction. In fact just last week the personalised plate 1980 SW was sold for £2700 (hammer price) at an auction in Great Malvern, Worcestershire. Whilst I am sure DVLA would love to be able to include attractive RW plates for sale at auction, the option simply isn’t available under current rules. As it stands DVLA can only sell previously unissued registrations.
The personalised number plate RW 75 is available for sale direct from Simply Registrations at £14,500. RW 75 is almost 90 years old, so here is your chance to own a real piece of motoring history. If you have any questions, or wish to make an enquiry, please don’t hesitate to call James on 0113 2887553.
This question is always a difficult one to answer. It is asked by almost everyone who approaches Simply Registrations with a number plate they wish to sell. Whilst there are definitely some influential factors such as price and desirability, until a buyer is prepared to part with their hard-earned money and commit to the purchase, you just never know.
Many years of buying and selling private number plates has taught me this business can make you look foolish. As an example; I bought the registration BEN 962 many years ago expecting to sell it fairly quickly for a modest profit. It sold in December 2012 for a modest profit; however I had it in stock for over seven years. In contrast, less than three weeks ago I purchased the registrations 79 SD & SHC 7 expecting to have them in stock for the average length of time which tends to be two to three years. 79 SD sold within days of me buying it and we have just taken a part-payment against SHC 7.
The Influence Factors
The asking price is likely to have some impact on how long a personalised plate takes to sell, but it doesn’t always just come down to price. We currently have 9 JSE in stock at £3,200 plus v.a.t. and transfer fees. To my knowledge it is the lowest priced single-digit JSE plate on the market. However that doesn’t necessarily mean that 9 JSE will sell before 5 JSE or JSE 7 which are also for sale, albeit with higher asking prices. If Jason S Edwards is looking for a cherished registration and he was born on the 5th of March, it is likely that 5 JSE would be his first choice.
The desirability of the registration should also have some bearing on how quickly it sells, or doesn’t sell as the case may be. The initials AJB or SMC are much more popular than combinations such as VGR or HBN. But if Helen B Nelson has just bought herself a brand new car and is eager to get a private plate for it, you may just get lucky if you have an HBN registration that you are looking to sell.
Spreading the Word
As the saying goes; you could be selling ten pound notes for £5, but if no one knows about it you won’t sell many. If you want to stand a good chance of selling your number plate you’ve got to let potential buyers know that it is for sale. We promote the simplyregistrations.co.uk website at every opportunity and advertise regularly in selected motoring publications such as What Car? and Top Marques Magazines. We also circulate our entire stock of personalised registrations amongst the trade which often results in other trusted dealers selling our stock via their websites or advertisements.
Common sense suggests that a registration which can be found on dealer websites, in adverts within car magazines and maybe even listed on Ebay will stand a better chance of selling than one which is photographed and carefully placed inside a newsagent’s window.
My fifteen years of buying and selling private number plates suggests you should allow at least two, or maybe even three years to sell a personalised registration. There will always be external forces at work which may help or hinder the sale of your plate, whilst price and desirability could also influence timescales. If you have a registration that you are considering selling, you may find this guide useful which provides further details on how to sell a private number plate.
Auto Trader has become a household name since its advent in the mid 70s; for anyone looking to buy or sell a car, the standard approach would be to place an ad in the iconic magazine, or buy a copy and flick through the thousands of adverts in the hunt for your new motor. This popular publication was truly the lifeblood of the car industry, both for dealers and private sellers. However, as life moves evermore towards digital media, it’s with much sadness that we have learned of the imminent closure of the print version of this well-known and much-loved magazine.
Falling circulation and revenue
Many years ago, Auto Trader was a veritable tome, nearing phonebook proportions and jam packed full of new and used cars for sale. Its advertising revenue was immense, and it seemed that it was an institution that would always be there. However, since the launch of the Auto Trader website, circulation volumes of the print magazine have fallen rapidly, with the money generated through its ads almost halving in recent years. This led to a decision from its publisher, The Trader Media Group, to say goodbye to the hard-copy version and focus its efforts solely on the website.
While this may come as a surprise to many, we’ve done our own investigating – talking to various motor traders who would always have the latest copy of the magazine sat on their desks, we found that it was no longer part of the office furniture – making it little wonder that the publishing group have decided to call it a day.
Technology is the new trading space
As many businesses are finding, modern technology is changing the way consumers access the products they want to buy. With people surfing online via multiple devices, and with smartphones and tablets becoming more commonplace than ever before, it’s really no surprise that online visitors to the Auto Trader website have risen by 11% in just one year. During this time, the number of its visitors using a mobile device has grown from 1.1 million to 2.3 million – showing the influence that technology is having on purchasing habits.
If you had asked anybody 10 or 15 years ago whether they envisaged this giant of car advertising closing down, no one would have believed it possible. But the online version has eclipsed the value of the print edition, and this much more accessible and immediate version now boasts 11 million unique visitors per month. The website offers a much more intuitive search function and easy listing tools, adding to its appeal for those who want to buy or sell cars more efficiently.
So, while we’re sorry to see the print magazine come to an end, from a business perspective, we can see why it makes perfect sense. Farewell Auto Trader, thanks for the memories!