What’s My Number Plate Worth?

For any owner of a private number plate, you should know that your number plate has re-sale value, especially if it has a unique set of characters. But how exactly do you find out the price of your current private plate?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘What’s my number plate worth?’

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.)

Why are private number plates popular?

Have UK number plates always been the same?

Private number plates, which can also be known as ‘personalised registrations’, are an option accessory to replace your vehicle’s assigned number plate. This alternative displays a combination of letters and numbers you can choose.

Even though you can select the characters, if somebody else already owns the plate with the characters you want, you can’t make it. Your only options are buying it from them, or create a private plate that uses a variation.

Depending on the character’s used, its uniqueness or popularity, prices can range from hundreds, to hundreds of thousands of pounds!

When did private plates become popular?

There is no exact record of the first private number plates in the UK. This is due to the process being much more informal in the early history of cars, becoming more accessible in the early 1900s.

It is believed that vehicle owners would apply directly to the relevant authorities for a specific plate character combination.

When did private plates become expensive?

The private number plate market was nowhere near as popular as it is now for most of the 20th Century. However, over time, its popularity increased as more people had access to vehicles, and a few changes that took place in the 1980s and 1990s, which we will list below.

  • In 1986, the deregulation of the UK bus industry led to a market of distinctive number plates, originally used by buses, becoming available. Due to the unique letter combinations found on them, collectors became interested in them.
  • In conjunction with this, a rise of disposable income for people made some consider purchasing a private number plate.
  • With the rise in popularity, private number plates were (and still) seen as an indication of status, in addition to a way of expressing individuality.

Since the 1990s, the market for private plates in the UK has continued to grow, with specialist companies, online marketplaces, and even government auctions playing a role in facilitating buying and selling.

What’s my number plate worth?

What’s my number plate worth?

The price of a private number plate can be ascertained in a few ways, with some providing a more accurate estimate than others. The difficulty with some private plates is that although some can seem to have no value at the moment, but has the chance to increase significantly, factors can include new cultural references, similarly worded plates, and more.

Below are some methods you can try today to find the worth of your number plate.

Online valuation tools

For a quick insight into the possible price of your private plate, there are online valuation tools available (some of which are free). These tools make use of databases of past sales, and other factors which can include spelling potential, the amount of characters and memorability.

Specialist valuation services

For a more accurate estimate, using a specialist valuation service can be the better option. Specialist services would involve direct contact with a team member who has experience and understanding of the private plate industry.

Their valuation process will consider additional factors such as market trends and the prices of similar plates to your private plate.

Private plate valuations: What you should know

Despite the services available to you, there are a few factors that you should remember before, during and after using these services…

  • Free valuations are only an estimate. Although they can be a helpful starting point, it isn’t a value that you should base any future decisions on, as the estimated value may not reflect the true value.
  • Prices can vary. In the private plate market, a plate with unique combinations, or fewer characters are generally more valuable. Whether it is a name, or a word, either can have value.
  • The older, the better. An older private plate, especially if it existed pre-1963, can be extremely valuable. The reason for this is that a private plate from before this year used a different combination of characters than we are currently using.
  • How you sell the plate counts. Selling your plate to a private collector can influence the pricing to their favour, depending on the negotiation. However, auctions can end up with your private plate being sold more than the initial value you had in mind. This is especially true if its characters are unique.
  • Private plate ownership requires an official renewal once every ten years. Failure to do this can relinquish your ownership of the private plate.

Can a customised plate have value?

No. A customised plate, whether it is a private number plate, or your vehicle’s default number plate will not hold any additional value mostly. The value attached to a customised plate is largely personal.

If the customisation of a number plate added a level of functionality to the vehicle, it would likely add a level of value to the plate.

If you have a private plate that is customised, the customised plate won’t hold any value, as the value is associated with the plate you originally purchased, not a customised copy.

Where to customise number plates

Where to customise number plates

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.

Upgrade your number 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 answered the question, ‘What’s my plate worth?’

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:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

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