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.
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.