How to Get the Private Plate You Want at a DVLA Auction

Sometimes, if there is a private plate you are after, it may not be available privately, your only remaining option would be through a DVLA auction. But what is the process for you to find and get the plate you want? Is this auction in person or online? How much money do you need?

This blog will give you guidance regarding how to get the private plate you want at a DVLA auction.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, regular / Electric Vehicle Plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a Private Plate, Gel Plate, Standard Registration Plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is a DVLA auction?

What is a DVLA auction?

As the name suggest, a DVLA auction is an event in which the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency presents private number plates in order for members of the public to buy via an auction.

With auctions, there is already a set price, depending on the popularity of the plate, other buyers will place a bid for a higher price. The result is that the highest uncontested bid is the one that secures the private plate.

There are two types of auctions when it comes to the DVLA, these are venue auctions, and timed auctions.

Venue auctions take place in person at a pre-selected venue. Bidders are encouraged to attend in person, however, there are options to bid over the phone and online in real-time.

Timed auctions follow the same premise as a regular auction, but the whole process is done online. Bids can only be made through the auctioning site. This kind of auction can last longer depending on the amount of people bidding for a plate.

In this instance, bidders can not intimidate each other by placing large bids. Instead, bidders must convey the maximum price they are willing to pay for the specific Private Plate, if the bid goes beyond their maximum price, they will be notified and asked if they want to continue bidding or not. This continues until there is one remaining bidder, who then becomes the owner.

What happens to private plates that are not sold in auction?

Private plates that are not sold during the auction are labelled as ‘unsold’ they are then re-organised to be included in an auction taking place at a later time.

How to get the private plate you want at a DVLA auction

How to get the private plate you want at a DVLA auction

The best advice for this is to be prepared, and realistically, with an auction, there are only two ways to be completely prepared. You need to have the minimum amount of money on hand, and also have a surplus of money in case you end up bidding with someone else.

You can find the plate you are after on the DVLA auction website. Furthermore, you should be able to find when it will be auctioned, you must then register for that auction itself and wait until the day arrives.

Auctions of this calibre take place over a few days. That means if you want a specific private plate, get in there and register as early as possible.

Although the starting prices of these plates can usually be relatively cheap, the auction process can result in them costing thousands, or even tens of thousands of pounds.

Additionally, as with any auction, certain buyers will intimidate others by placing large bids on items that most people will be unlikely to match. This generally allows the richer participants to have control over what they want, which some can deem to be unfair.

Can I resell a private plate I bought at an auction?

Yes. You can sell a private plate you bought at an auction, either privately or through a dealer. Using a dealer can allow you to find potential buyers who are willing to pay more than you were offering in the first place (if more than one buyer wants it). In addition to dealing with the relative paperwork.

Whereas selling it privately is also an option, you would have to manage the financials and the relative paperwork by yourself.

Can I buy a private plate privately?

Yes, if you know an individual willing to sell a private plate, you can buy it from them. However, you can very easily get scammed by doing this. So you must make sure that…

  • The number plate is materials is made within the specifications of the law regarding number plates.
  • The owner provides a V317 application to transfer the rights to you and your vehicle.
  • All necessary documentation has been filled correctly and processed.

There are more pitfalls regarding the purchase of private plates. Funds must be held until certain documents have been processed correctly. This can be frustrating due to the fact that a private sale is unregulated. This leaves room for someone to be scammed.

The best way to safely navigate a private sale, in which you are buying a plate, is to have your solicitor oversee the whole process.

Can I buy private plates online?

Does a customised plate avoid it from being cloned?

Yes. However, we would not recommend this unless the website is established in some way. For example, at Bespoke Plates, we are a legally recognised number plate manufacturer and provider.

With the private plates we sell, we have all the necessary documentation required, with prices that reflect the unique characters of the plates we currently have. Feel free to click here and browse our private plates. If you have any questions regarding them, please contact us.

How to customise a number plate

Whether it is a private plate or a standard plate, getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.
  7. Confirm your order!

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Customise your private plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have confidently displayed everything you need to know regarding how to get the private plate you want at a DVLA auction.

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

discount popup bespoke-plates

Great! Use coupon code below at checkout for 5% discount