Can You Put a Private Plate on a Lease Car

Whether you love number plate upgrades because of the unique characters, the undeniably sleek style, or even the improved safety features, there is no denying that they make a brilliant modification additional to any vehicle. 

We love that so much that in the UK alone, as of 2020, Brits owned more than £3 billion worth of personalised plates! If you have stumbled upon this blog, you probably want to know if you can put a private plate on a lease car or if it is prohibited. With more than 45 million registered private plates in the UK, this is a question that we get asked a lot. 

At DVLA-approved experts in all things number plates, Bespoke Plates are the best people you can ask your number plate queries to. Keep reading to find out where you can legally use a private plate.

What are the rules for private plates in the UK?

Adding a private plate onto your vehicle is simple if you follow the legal steps as outlined by the government. You can buy a private number plate either online, via approved DVLA sellers, or at licensed auctions. Whilst you may think that the nature of a private plate means you can choose whatever characters and style you want, this is not the case. Instead, the DVLA maintain a library of legally registered private plates that can be sold to dealers or directly to customers. 

When you buy a private plate from us, we follow the legal reseller process, which means you will be provided with a V750 certificate of entitlement. This is the piece of paperwork that gives you, the owner, the legal right to assign to your vehicle. When you are ready to assign your private plate, you must ensure that you comply with the following rules as outlined by the DVLA:

You are not allowed to:

  • Assign a private number plate that starts with a ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’ or put a private number on a ‘Q’ registered vehicle
  • Modify the age of the vehicle using a number plate from another year. For example, you can apply a private plate that does not contain the year of manufacture, but you cannot use one that includes a different year in the standard legal format.

To be able to legally assign a private plate, you must also ensure that the vehicle is:

  • Legally taxed and registered with DVLA in the UK for at least the past five years.
  • Be in full working order and MOT approved. For classic vehicles that do not legally need an MOT certificate, you will still need to prove that your car has passed an MOT if you want to install a private plate. 
  • Available for random inspection if the DVLA deem this to be needed.
Private Plate on a Lease Car

What happens to MOT when you change a number plate?

If you are worried that assigning a private plate will incur extra cost, then fear not, as it will not! When it comes to ensuring your car is MOT registered, your existing status will still be valid even after a new plate has been added. 

As part of the paperwork, you will be sent back a new V5C logbook. This will contain all information concerning your car’s registration history and therefore confirms that your MOT is still legally compliant. When you have your next annual check, the MOT will reflect the current number plate on your vehicle. If you then choose to reassign your old plates to your vehicle, you will again be provided with a new logbook copy to confirm this change.

Am I allowed to put a private plate on a leased car?

Can you legally apply to add a number plate modification to a leased car? Good news, you can!

As we have outlined, you can add a private plate to any car if you are the legal owner. In the case of a car lease, you will need to manage the process through the company as they will need to handle the paperwork. You will just need to prove that your number has been legally acquired by providing the V750 certificate of entitlement.

We should just add that even though there legally are no issues with this, it will be down to the leasing company you rent from to make this change for you. If they decide that amending plates is not part of their policy, that is well within their rights, so it’s worth checking where they stand on the subject before you sign a lease if you intend on adding a private plate.

Most companies will also request that this is managed after the contract has started, so this is another reason that you should discuss your plans with the agency to make sure they are the right company for you. The process is the same then as an owned car, with the handbook being retained by the leasing company with the leaseholder as an insured driver.

It would help if you also considered that the original number plate should already have been assigned when your lease ends. As the process can take around six weeks, you should ensure you have managed this sufficiently to align with your leasing dates. As with any other private plate removal, you still retain ownership, and you can then assign to different vehicles in the future.

Number plate fitting

What are the benefits of putting a private plate on a leased car?

Private plates offer a brilliant investment that, unlike other car modifications, can remain in your ownership even once you part ways with the vehicle itself. With personal car leasing marketing having been valued at £2.33 billion in 2021, it is clear that this is a popular choice for many drivers. 

As well as adding your own touch to a vehicle that you will be using every day, the benefits of adding a private plate to a leased vehicle are the following:

Apply branding for business leases

Instead of paying for a costly fleet of cars, many companies prefer to lease vehicles for their employees to use. If you want to add unique branding, private plates are a brilliant way of doing this. Not only does it mean that your employees are instantly recognised, but you can also provide a strong brand image without needing to pay out for vehicles. You can also benefit from not having to pay out to replace cars but instead just reassign company-owned plates to new lease vehicles. Imagine how slick a fleet of cars would look if they all had similar number plates!

Allow you to use different cars and make them feel like your own

People lease cars for many reasons, one of the main ones being not having to commit financially to one model. Whether you only need a car for a few months out of the year or want to benefit from driving premium models without paying out to purchase, a private plate is a finishing touch that makes the vehicle your own. 


Hide the age of your lease vehicle

Whilst we have covered, you cannot apply a private plate that alludes to your car is a different age; you can still use a private plate to hide the year of manufacture. If you don’t want to be defined by the age of the car that you are driving, this is a brilliant method. Whilst this won’t matter to everyone, it will be important for some, so it’s nice for you to have the option.

How can you install a private plate?

We recommend installing your private number plate via screw fix installation as this is the easiest way to fix and also remove when needed. As your private plates are also likely to be used for many different vehicles during your motoring life, you are less likely to have to buy a replacement product. However, if this is the case, you can visit a DVLA-approved manufacturer to make your replacement. This is a service that we offer in the form of our standard number plate products. 

Fitting is simple. Your lease car will have the screw holes already located behind where the plate is designed to sit. Installation takes a few minutes with a simple screw-tightening method. It would be best if you always were sure to tighten these securely and use a finishing cap to provide a secure finish. This also offers extra security for your number plate, as the flush caps make it harder to tamper with. 

You should only ever install the plate once your DVLA approval has come through, so don’t get too eager with things!

Can You Put a Private Plate on a Lease Car

Are you ready to add a private plate on a lease car now?

At Bespoke Plates, we have several of our own personalised registration plates for sale. We are specialists in all things number plates so when you purchase a private plate from us, you can rest assured that we have done our research to find the best deals for you.

Want to find out more about our custom number plates? Check out our full collection here.

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