Choosing a Personalised Number Plates Dealer – Does Size Matter?

One of the major concerns I had when setting up business as a personalised number plates dealer, was whether people would take me seriously as a one-man operation. Actually that statement would offend my wife, as she regularly answers the telephones and helps out with the accounts and v.a.t. returns. However, originally it was just me, on my own, operating from the spare-bedroom of our home.

In an industry where there are some big players employing teams of salespeople, dedicated administration departments and marketing executives, I feared many clients would simply look us over and opt to deal with our larger competitors. While I am sure some people do feel more comfortable dealing with larger outfits, it seems the opposite is also true.

A couple of recent clients told me the main reason they chose do business with Simply Registrations was because of our size; they specifically like dealing with small, owner-run businesses with a single point of contact. One gentleman said he chose Simply Registrations because I was prepared to accompany him to the DVLA Local Office to sort out his number plate transfer on the same day.

He set off from the North-East of England in the morning, collected his Porsche from Lincolnshire just after lunch-time and then travelled towards Leeds so we could complete the transfer of his new number plates. He then continued his journey on to Gateshead with his new personalised number plates proudly displayed on his 911 Carrera 4S (with turbo wheels) and with a huge smile on his face.

I suppose one of the main advantages of being a small business is our ability to be flexible. We have completed several same-day number plate transfers over recent months. I’m not sure whether any of the bigger cherished number plate dealers offer the same service?

It seems to be a popular choice for anyone who either lives local or fancies a trip to Yorkshire. It is particularly good for the nervous buyer who wants to hand over their hard-earned money and drive away with new personalised number plates on their car a couple of hours later. It would appear that the idea of paying several thousand pounds for a personalised number plate and then waiting patiently for the documents to arrive in the post does not suit everyone.

So if you are a nervous number plate buyer, or just someone who likes to deal with the owner of the business, call James on 0113 288 7553. I would love to meet you personally and also help you to add the finishing touch to your car. Then you too can drive off into the sunset with a big smile on your face and a new set of private number plates proudly displayed on your car.

Why We Need Private Number Plate Dealers

Why do we need private number plate dealers? Or what about this one; why would anybody buy a private registration from a number plate dealer when they can go direct to the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)?

In this blog post we will focus on the first question and to find the answers we need to go back in time. It is believed people were buying and selling attractive combinations of ordinary car registrations as early as the 1960’s. In those days you didn’t just acquire the registration, you bought the car as well.

The Pioneers of Registrations Trading

The first number plate dealers began trading in the early 1970’s. By this time number plates were able to be transferred between vehicles for a fee of £5 payable to the DVLA. The attraction of owning a car registration which included your name or initials was slowly catching on and so the market developed.

It was not until 1989 that the DVLA decided it had a role to play in the selling of attractive combinations of car registrations.

Private Number Plate JUL 1E

Auctions were held in different locations throughout Great Britain at which the DVLA offered previously unreleased combinations to the highest bidder. Over twenty years ago registrations such as 1 A and JUL 1E were sold for a hammer prices of £160,000 and £34,000 respectively.

The Difference between Private Dealers & The DVLA

So getting back to the original question, why do we need number plate dealers? The answer is quite simple; to fill the gaps that exist in the market place. There are restrictions on what exactly the DVLA can do. The DVLA can not buy personalised registrations. The DVLA can not sell pre-owned or second-hand registrations. The DVLA can not provide valuations to owners of cherished number plates. All of these necessary tasks are handled by dealers.

As is the case in a lot of industries, without the second-hand market, demand for the new or original product is limited. Imagine if there was no way of selling a house or a car after you had bought it. What if the only option available to you was to go out and buy brand new. Without used-car dealers, estate agents and number plate dealers actively creating the secondary market, the primary market would cease to function properly.

A number plate dealer can buy or sell your personalised registration, provide you with a valuation, or just give you a quick answer to that simple question without you having to press 1 for this, 2 for that, or 7 to hear these options again. We need number plate dealers so the industry can operate efficiently, probably just as much as we need the DVLA.