How to Sell a Private Number Plate

This blog post explains the methods I would use if I was a private individual with a personalised number plate for sale. I am making the information available as I do not have enough time to reply personally to everyone who contacts Simply Registrations asking for advice on this very subject. I bought and sold cherished number plates for a few years prior to starting a business as a number plate dealer, so hopefully you will benefit from my experience.

If you haven’t got time to read the entire post, here is a summary:

  • Advertise via several prominent cherished number plate dealers
  • Use free classified ad newspapers and websites
  • Consider listing on Ebay
  • Post in car-related chat forums
  • Spread the word using social media
  • Use the work noticeboard
  • Put a sign in your car window

One final thing before you go, please remember to keep your DVLA certificate numbers confidential.

The rest of the guide goes in to a bit more detail about the selling options available to you.

Number Plate for Sale

The first thing I would do if I had a private number plate to sell would be to contact several of the more prominent personalised registration dealers. Dealers will offer your registration for sale on a commission basis. It is a bit like using an estate agent to sell your house; the dealer does not buy your registration – they advertise it for sale on your behalf. They earn their sales commission only when they find a buyer, so it is in their best interest to try and find you a buyer quickly.

Which cherished number dealer(s) you choose will have an effect on how much exposure your registration receives. Ideally you want to go for companies who regularly advertise in motoring magazines and whose websites are easily found in the major search engines. Also make sure they advertise registrations belonging to their clients and not just their own stock. You may feel more comfortable choosing a company who is a member of one of the trade organisations overseeing the cherished numbers industry.

One very easy way of getting some attention for your personalised registration is to make use of the free classified ad websites and newspapers. A quick search in Google for the search term ‘free ads’ returns lots of useful websites including; Gumtree, Freeads, UK Classifieds, Preloved and Viva Street. You need to register for an account which generally involves choosing a username and a password. Also call in at your local newsagent and check which newspapers (with free classified listings) are popular in your region. By listing on their websites you may find your advert automatically appears in the printed versions of their publications.

The website gives buyers & sellers of cherished number plates the opportunity to deal direct with each other. There is a free seven-day trial currently available to all new advertisers. As the name suggests; Plate-Trader only carries adverts for personalised number plates, so within a couple of clicks any potential buyers could be viewing your advert.

You have probably heard of Ebay, but you may not be aware that the UK’s most visited internet auction site has a very good Cherished Numbers Section. Unlike the free classified ad websites there is a small cost to list on Ebay, but considering the amount of visitors Ebay receives on a daily basis, it may be a cost worth paying. You need to be careful whenever you are dealing with strangers via any of the advertising methods mentioned in this guide. Unfortunately fraudsters are known to operate on Ebay so make sure you know how to protect yourself.

There are lots of car and motorbike-related forums on the internet with many aimed at specific vehicles or brands. If the private number plate you have for sale contains a model name such as: BMW, 911 or ZXR, it makes perfect sense to list on a forum populated by owners and fans of that exact model. Again you will most likely have to set up a free account before you can start contributing to the hot topics.

Rather than just spamming the forums with posts about the registration plate you want to sell, join in with some of the online debates and discussions first. Some people are very protective of their online communities and object to members who join purely to advertise items for sale. Always look for the ‘items for sale’ thread in the forum you are considering.

post your number plate to facebook

With the average Facebook user spending thirty minutes a day on the social networking site, it makes sense to include Facebook in your number plate advertising strategy. Start off with a post on your own profile to make your friends aware that you are selling a number plate. Always include details of the registration along with the asking price. Encourage your friends to spread the word by adding ‘please share’ to your post. You could offer to pay a finders fee as an added incentive if it results in a successful sale.

Next, list your plate on the Buy & Sell Private Reg Plates group on Facebook. As part of this strategy you could also post on the Facebook pages set up by personalised number plate companies. Again give something back by clicking the ‘Like’ button on the dealer Facebook pages you use. Visit the Simply Registrations Facebook page to get started and if you can, include a photo with your post to make it stand out.

promote your number plate on TwitterTwitter may not be as popular as Facebook in the UK, but it still has millions of active tweeters on a daily basis. You can tweet on your own profile and you can tweet to the major dealers. You may be lucky enough to get a retweet. Encourage this by adding ‘please RT’ to your tweet. Most dealers provide a link to their social media pages from their own websites. Go to the Simply Registrations Twitter page.

Is there a noticeboard where you work? Why not pin a ‘for sale’ notice to it and let your colleagues know you have a private plate for sale? When I was just getting started with Simply Registrations I took a part-time job at a call centre which had over a thousand employees working in the same building. I always made sure I had at least one advert pinned to the notice board.

Finally, you could try putting a small sign in one of the rear passenger windows of your car. This is ideal if the number plate you are selling is currently registered to your car. Obviously don’t place a sign in an area of the glass where it could block your view.

Hopefully you should now have a few ideas as to how to go about selling your private number plate. To help you get started here is a list of number plate dealer websites provided by the DVLA.

I have written a blog post which goes into a bit more detail about how to decide which company you should choose to handle the selling of your personalised number plate.

Disclaimer: The information in this guide is provided for entertainment purposes only. Simply Registrations is not responsible for any loss or inconvenience encountered as a result of acting on the above information. Simply Registrations is not responsible for the availability, accuracy or content of other linked websites.