You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Despite the title, this post is not about song lyrics; it is about human emotions and the fact that people always seem to want something more, when they know they can’t have it. What has all of this got to do with private registration plates? Let me explain.

We have recently started offering some of our stock number plates for sale on the auction website; Ebay. There is a feature within Ebay which allows anybody who is interested in a particular item to add it to a ‘watch list’ so they can keep an eye on any bidding activity. It is useful from a curiosity point of view to ‘watch’ a similar private number plate to one you may own, to see how much it sells for. As the seller on Ebay, you get to see how many ‘watchers’ you have on your item. This gives you an idea of how popular your auction listing is, but one thing it does not do is identify the curious from the serious.

We recently listed the personalised registration plate 5 RLS on Ebay on a fifteen day listing. It was offered with an attractive ‘buy it now’ price and after a few days the number of ‘watchers’ was soon up to fourteen. Great I thought, another happy customer will soon be securing their ideal personalised number plate from Simply Registrations. Ten days later there were even more watchers, but nobody had been bold enough to click the ‘buy it now’ button. At this point the registration 5 RLS was available to buy and the first person to hit the buy button could secure it.

The following day I received a direct enquiry against 5 RLS but this time it was via the contact form on the Simply Registrations website. After a few questions had been answered by email, a price was agreed and the gentleman rang to say he would like to proceed with the purchase of 5 RLS. We received the funds the next day by bank transfer and the personalised registration was quickly assigned to our client’s car. Naturally I signed in to my Ebay account and cancelled the listing of 5 RLS choosing the ‘item is no longer available’ option.

It was only a few hours later that I received a question via the Ebay messaging system:

Is the private number plate 5 RLS still available? I will buy it now.’

This was quickly followed by another similar question from a different Ebay member and later that evening a total of four Ebay members were asking questions about a private number plate now that it had been removed from sale. Just to recap; two days earlier any one of these enquirers could have easily bought 5 RLS. Now that it was no longer available, some of them were offering to pay a premium on top of the asking price.

I did a quick bit of online research and according to Pauline Wallin Ph.D author of; Why You Want What You Can’t Have:

“When something is hard to get (or forbidden) you immediately pay more attention to it. When something is scarce or in short supply, its perceived value increases. You want it more because you think other people also want it. People don’t like to be told they can’t have or can’t do something. It’s related to not wanting to be controlled by others.”

5 RLS Jaguar XK8

I would like to use this example of a personalised number plate being offered for sale on Ebay to encourage any of the ‘watchers’ out there to think about how they would feel if all of a sudden, whatever it is that they are ‘watching’ was no longer available. I am not just talking about private number plates by the way. It could be a house, a car, a work of art; it could even be another person for whom you have strong feelings. They might not be ‘available’ for much longer if you don’t take action soon.

You can’t always get what you want, but if what you want is there for the taking right now, find the courage within yourself and make a decision. Remember, once it is gone, it might be gone forever!

Simply Registrations – Private Number Plates Dealer in Leeds

Simply Registrations is a private number plates dealer in Leeds. We are a private company completely independent from the DVLA; we buy and sell personalised car registrations.


UPDATE: The DVLA Leeds Local Office closed for business on Friday 13th December 2013. Judging by the number of telephone calls we get on a weekly basis, it seems not everyone knows yet.

Useful DVLA telephone numbers:

Driving licence enquiries – 0300 790 6801

Vehicle enquiries – 0300 790 6802

Helpful advice – Click on the links below if you are looking to:

Transfer or retain your personalised registration plate

Sell a private number plate

Prevent your car numbers plates being stolen

Find out about the DVLA fees associated with owning a personalised number plate

Buy a set of front & rear number plates for your car

That Number Plate is Worth a Few Hundred Quid

When the Simply Registrations website launched back in 2005, the aim was to attract more potential buyers of private number plates. Little did we know that the website would generate far more enquiries from people wanting to sell their private number plates to us, rather than motorists wanting to buy the personalised registrations we have for sale.

DVLA Personalised Registrations

The DVLA Personalised Registrations sales scheme has resulted in lots of British drivers becoming owners of personalised registration plates. With the new car comes the optional extras, £600 for air conditioning, £1000 for alloy wheels and £250 for an off-the-shelf personalised registration direct from the DVLA.

The £250 number plate serves its purpose and in a few years time when the owner of the car decides it is time for a new motor, there is a decision to be made. Should the owner of the car pay £80 to transfer the £250 personalised registration to his or her new car, or just leave it on the car when it is sold and let it pass on to the new owner?

I Got a Private Number Plate for Free

Quite often the cherished number plate stays with the car and somebody somewhere buys a car that comes complete with a personalised number plate that has no relevance to them whatsoever. The car’s new owner, Lucy in this example, happens to mention to a bloke in the pub that her new car came complete with the personalised registration N66 AKB.

That number plate has got to be worth a few hundred quid” the bloke in the pub informs Lucy. “Get it sold to one of those cherished number plate dealers and you’ll be quids in.”

Lucy is over the moon. She thinks she has a number plate worth several hundred pounds so the next day she rings round a few number plate dealers in an attempt to cash in on her unexpected bonus. Lucy is disappointed to learn that none of the personalised registration companies are interested in buying the registration from her. Some dealers offer to sell the registration on a commission basis, which means waiting until someone sees the registration for sale and buys it before Lucy will see any of the money.

So How Much is my Private Number Plate Worth?

GBP bank notes Very seldom will any registration be worth a huge amount of money if it has been left on the car by the previous owner. It costs £80 to transfer a number plate from one vehicle to another. If the plate has any significant value, the previous owner of the car would have paid £80 DVLA transfer fee to keep hold of their cherished registration.

If you find yourself in the same situation as Lucy having bought a car which comes complete with a personalised registration, it is a good idea to first see how many similar registrations are still available to buy from DVLA to get an idea of its true worth. Indeed there are four-hundred and twenty AKB registrations still available direct from DVLA at the time of writing.

Personalised Registrations that contain Names

If you find that there are very few similar registrations to the one that came with your car, then it could be worth something. The most popular registrations are the ones that spell names such as; BEN, DAN, SAM, SUE and TOM. Some very in-demand sets of three initials include; AJB, DJM, JAH, MJS and SJH. If you are lucky enough to buy a car and it comes with private number plates which contain any of the above names, or sets of initials, then you really do have a registration that is worth at least a few hundred pounds.

If you just want to get rid of the irrelevant private number plate that came with your car and exchange it for a registration that is appropriate for the year the car was manufactured (age-related), you can ask for a replacement registration via the DVLA.

The Registration Numbers Club

Are you really serious about personalised number plate ownership?

If so, the Registration Numbers Club (RNC) may be for you. The club was formed in 1977 by a group of car enthusiasts who were facing difficulties transferring their cherished registrations due to issues with local licensing offices. The RNC today is more of a social organisation of motorists with a passion for personalised registrations.

Registration Numbers Club logoMembers are kept up-to-date with all that is going on in the number plates world via a quarterly newsletter. The highlight of the year is the RNC Rally at which members meet up for a fun-filled weekend. The UK club for cherished number enthusiasts is always looking to add more members.

Click over to the Registration Numbers Club website for more information.

DVLA Personalised Registrations Web Referral Scheme

One of the major concerns of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is the small number of private companies knowingly misusing the registered DVLA trade mark. Seeing the familiar DVLA logo on a website could lull a potential customer into a false sense of security. Believing they are interacting with a government-backed organisation, or thinking that the company is in some way affiliated to the DVLA, may cause a consumer to trust the information provided without really questioning it. The issue is not just confined to cherished number plate dealers offering personalised registrations for sale, it is a wider problem which affects many motoring related businesses including; car parts suppliers, motor insurance claims handlers and even driving schools.

Rewards for Good Behaviour

The DVLA is tackling the issue of misuse of its official logo amongst personalised number plate dealers, by rewarding those businesses who employ good trading practices. DVLA caught a few people off-guard recently when it announced that cherished number dealers are to be offered a complimentary referral link from the DVLA Personalised Registrations website. This radical proposal is part of the Agency’s bigger plans to establish fairer trading practices throughout the cherished number plates industry, which at the same time should create a better environment for the British motorist who is looking to buy a private number plate.

Motorists searching for personalised registrations are often fooled into thinking they are viewing the official website of the DVLA, when in fact they are actually looking at a website belonging to an independent private company. To help counteract this problem, dealers will be incentivised via the web referral scheme providing they first agree to, and implement, a detailed set of terms and conditions.

No Affiliation to DVLA Personalised Registrations

One of the conditions necessary to qualify for the free referral link requires the participating dealer to place a disclaimer on the home page of their website. It has to clearly state that ‘DVLA’ is a registered trademark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and that the company concerned is in no way affiliated to the DVLA. This goes some way towards solving the problem of website visitors mistakenly believing they are interacting with the DVLA.

Failure to comply with this, or indeed any of the terms and conditions will result in the dealer missing out on the valuable referral link, or having an existing link removed. Simply Registrations is pleased to have been accepted into the scheme. We do feel however that some companies will take the decision that they have more to gain by trying to pass their company off as a DVLA affiliate to unsuspecting consumers, than abiding by the rules and receiving the DVLA website referral link.

DVLA Dealers screenshot

There does not appear to be a hidden agenda behind the introduction of the DVLA web referral scheme. The Agency simply wants to protect its intellectual property. By first gaining the cooperation of the number plate dealers, the DVLA is effectively gaining greater control over the personalised registrations industry and partially influencing the manner in which business is conducted. Over time this greater control should create fairer competition between the private plate companies, but more importantly it should provide a better and safer experience for motorists who are looking to buy personalised registrations.