Are you thinking of selling a personalised number plate?

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 every day asking if we buy registrations. The answer is yes, but only 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,  PAU 11L, 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: 52 D, 16 ES, 25 PK, 7 SLC. 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:

This blog post explains how the DVLA web referral scheme works:

You may prefer to choose a company which is a member of a registered number plate dealer association:

Advert from What Car Magazine

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 clients’ registrations in our advertisements. The image above shows our latest full-page offering in What Car Magazine.

Hopefully you found the information in this blog post useful.  Please like and share to help spread the word.

28 replies
  1. Hugo Hocknell
    Hugo Hocknell says:

    Hi James, My father’s number plate is N13ETS. Do you know how much it would be worth and where to sell? Thanks Hugo

  2. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Kirsty, The V778 should be signed & dated by the Grantee in sections 1 & 6 indicated by ‘Grantee (not nominee) must sign in the box below’.

  3. kirsty
    kirsty says:

    hi… i have sold my private plate on ebay and now have the cleared funds in my bank,, what section do i need to fill in (if any) or sign on the v778 document (assignment fee already paid) before i send it to the new owner

  4. Lola
    Lola says:

    Hi i have a private plate number T100OMY to sell.It is currently on a retention certificate

    How much do you think its worth please?


  5. Jade
    Jade says:


    I’ve got a registration on retention and I’m looking to sell it, just wondering the best way to go about it is?

    REG -TT04 GEM


  6. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi, It’s not the type of plate I buy and sell. You could ask a few of the larger number plate dealers for a valuation.

  7. Bhaskar
    Bhaskar says:

    Hi I have a no plate k55 hma ( karishma , Indian female name)
    How much it worth ?
    Not in rush to sell
    I retain this no from dvla

  8. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Gareth, Sign & date in sections 1 & 6. The buyer is taking a risk keeping them on the original certificates as the rights to the registrations do not pass until they are assigned to vehicles. DVLA will only correspond with the Purchaser/Grantee. It may be necessary for the buyer to assign the registrations to vehicles and then re-retain the registrations in their own name.

  9. Gareth Pawson
    Gareth Pawson says:

    Hi James,

    I have a pair of private number plates, one on retention and one as a certificate of entitlement as i bought it from DVLA. I have sold both as a pair to someone. What sections do i need to fill in to transfer them over to them? i am aware of the section to fill in if they want to put them on a vehicle but what happens if they want to keep them on retention?



  10. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Katherine, S4 KAT is a prefix registration, we tend to specialise is dateless plates. You could ask for valuations from Elite Registrations, Reg Transfers and Plates 4 Less.

  11. Erin wilkinson
    Erin wilkinson says:

    Hi James

    I would like to sell my private number plate B3HMW

    What sort of price could I get for it, thank you.

  12. Hilary Hutton
    Hilary Hutton says:

    Hi I would like to sell my personal number plate, what sort of price can I lol for B2 HAP thank you

  13. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Alison, AD09 ERV looks like a standard-issue registration and wouldn’t be worth trying to sell in my opinion.

  14. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Lorraine, If the registration is already on held on retention then there are no fees to pay. If it is on a vehicle it will cost £80 to transfer or retain the registration.

  15. Lorraine
    Lorraine says:

    Hi , Thinking of selling my plate LL51 BUG ON EBAY – Will the purchaser have any other fees ie : transfer fees etc to pay to DVLA ? Thank you

  16. James Saperia
    James Saperia says:

    Hi Molly, Once you have full payment in cleared funds, sign and date the retention document in sections 1 & 6 before sending it to the purchaser.

  17. Molly Vera
    Molly Vera says:

    thinking of selling on ebay, can you tell after bidding end, do i just post the retention form or do i have to sign something, i’m not clear of what to do? Thank you

  18. Diane
    Diane says:

    Hubby is selling his car but wants to retain his registration to sell separately, at a later date
    .which is the best way to do this …..or can it all be done once a seller for the car comes forward

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