car plate

Have you ever thought of putting a private number plate on your vehicle?

Over the years, the DVLA has sold nearly 6 million private plates to motorists, showing the immense popularity of these unique car accessories.

But there are legal requirements which you will have to meet if you are looking to invest in a private plate.

In this article, we will outline exactly what are the rules for private plates. We hope you find this information useful.

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What is a private plate?

A private plate is a personalised registration for your vehicle’s number plate. They can only be used on registered vehicles (or vehicles about to be registered), taxed and used in the UK.

Why buy a private plate?

  • They are better quality and longer lasting than standard issued number plates.
  • They bring a cool, personal touch and a sense of individualism to your vehicle.
  • They offer improved visibility for your car, by making your number plate easier to read (for road users and pedestrians), which thereby increases your safety on the road.
  • Private plates are an excellent investment, as you can sell them to someone else when you no longer need them and make a profit.
What’s My Number Plate Worth?

What are the rules for private plates?

Private plates must meet the regulations set out by the DVLA.

So, what are the rules for private plates?

To comply with the law, your private plate must:

  • Be made from a reflective material.
  • Have black display characters on a white background (front plate).
  • Have black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate).
  • Not have a background pattern.
  • Be marked to show who supplied the number plate.
  • Be marked with a British Standard number.
  • Be made from durable materials.
  • Be applied in a secure and visible area.
  • Not display different colours: only single colours are allowed.

Your personalised number plates can also:

All private number plates must be supported by legal documentation

Private plates must have either a V750 certificate or a V778 retention document to prove you have the legal ownership and the right to use the bespoke design.

The V750 is the document that assigns the actual registration mark to the new owner. This document will be needed for assigning a plate and for selling in the future.

The V778 is the retention document needed to keep ownership of a private plate and to be able to use it legally on the roads. Valid for ten years, it only needs to be renewed if the plate is not currently assigned to a vehicle.

Private plates must always be legally assigned to your vehicle before they are used

If you are changing cars or have recently come into ownership of your private plate, you must legally process the change. Once you have successfully been approved to use the plate on a new vehicle, you must ensure you have the physical copy of the V778 retention document and V5C logbook before you can use the plate.

You can also only assign private plates to vehicles that meet the below criteria:

  • The vehicle must be legally registered with DVLA in the UK and have a valid MOT certificate.
  • Only operational cars can be assigned private plates so they must be able to move under their power.
  • The DVLA reserves the right that you be available for them to conduct inspections on cars with a private plate. This can be at any time, so the car must always be available for inspection.
  • The vehicle has been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years.

If you want to apply to change a vehicle’s registration, this will cost you £80. You must also update your insurance at the same time otherwise your coverage is not legally relevant.

What is the fine for illegal number plates?

You could run into legal trouble if your private plate is incorrectly displayed or not affixed to your vehicle securely.

  • If you drive with incorrectly displayed number pates, you could be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle will fail its MOT test.
  • If it is not being used on a vehicle, you must renew your right to use your private plate every 10 years. If you bought your private plate before 2015, you must renew it more frequently.
  • If you do not renew your right to use your private number in time by the expiry date, you will permanently lose your right to use it.

Check your V750 or V778 document to figure out what is required of you if you wish to retain a private plate.

Will having a private plate affect my car insurance?

You should always inform your car insurance provider that you have added a private plate to your vehicle. If you don’t inform them, this could invalidate your insurance coverage.

If you are driving a vehicle with illegally or incorrectly displayed number plates, then this may impact your car insurance. The police will pull you over and fine you up to £1,000, as the number plate is not identifiable on APNR.

ANPR refers to Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, which read the registration plates of cars and check them against their database of registered vehicles, which is done to help detect criminal activity.

Your insurance rate could bump up too if you have been handed a hefty motoring fine by the police. Your insurance premium could rise by up to 86%, which means you could be paying nearly twice the price.

Where can I buy a personalised number plate for my vehicle?

Here at Bespoke Plates, we are a trusted supplier of number plates, offering options for your car, van, motorbike, or lorry. We also sell number plates for electric cars.

From 3D plates4D platesstandard number plates, and gel plates, our products are durable, weather-resistant, and eye-catching.

Customers are increasingly going for our 3D and 4D number plates, as these offer a sleek, three-dimensional appearance, which gives any vehicle an instantly contemporary finish.

If you need a road-safety-compliant number plate, then we at Bespoke Plates can offer you custom number plates that are 100% legal for use on the road.

Are you looking for a decorative, promotional number plate instead? Well, our number plates are available in show form, so this is for you! (These cannot be used on the road).

For each of our products, as a custom number plate maker, we have all bases covered as far as your customisation options are concerned. Our product pages, therefore, let you choose the style, tint, border, badges, and type of plate with choices for both legal and show plates.

Purchasing a Number Plate from Bespoke Plates

At Bespoke Plates, our process is very straightforward:

  1. Head to our website, and choose between 3D or 4D plates under the ‘build your plate’ tab.
  2. Enter your registration for a preview of the plate.
  3. Specify whether this will be a legal plate or a show plate.
  4. Choose your style.
  5. Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car or just one of them.
  6. Select your size.
  7. Select additional customizable options.
  8. Have it delivered to your home.

What documents do I need to purchase a number plate?

When purchasing a number plate, you must prove that you are the registered vehicle owner. Hence, you will have to provide us with either:

  • the V5C logbook
  • the V5CNI logbook
  • V5C/2 or V5C/2NI new keeper slip
  • the V778 certificate

You must also bring a document to confirm your name and identity. For example, your driving license, a current passport, or a financial statement from the last 6 months.

About Bespoke Plates

As one of the established number plate makers in the UK, we at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for. From 3D plates4D platesstandard number plates, and gel plates, we offer outstanding craftsmanship with every plate we produce.

We are an approved license vendor, so we can guarantee that your modification abides by the DVLA rules, whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our options today to get the plate that speaks to you, and speaks for you, with Bespoke Plates.

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

  • Email –
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store –36A Broughton Street, Manchester, England, M8 8NN.

We hope this article has answered the question ‘what are the rules for private plates?’

Want to read more about all things custom number plates? Check out our blog here. Follow Bespoke Plates on Facebook and Instagram here.

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