Selling Your Car with a Private Registration: What You Need to Know

It's not an uncommon situation - many car owners in the UK have personalised reg plates on their vehicles. While having a private plate can add a touch of individuality and exclusivity, it can also complicate the process of selling your car. In this blog post, we'll give you an overview of what you need to know if you're planning to sell your car with a private registration. We'll discuss the criteria for keeping your reg plate, the pros and cons of selling a car with a personalized plate, and the administrative processes involved in the transaction.

Why Do People Get Private Reg Plates?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of selling a car with a private registration, let's take a step back and consider why people get personalized plates in the first place. There are a few reasons why someone might want a unique plate:

  • To express personal style: A private reg plate can show off your personality and interests. You can choose a plate that reflects your name, nickname, or a hobby that you're passionate about.
  • To make a memorable appearance: A personalized plate can make your car stand out and be more recognizable. If you're a business owner, you might want a plate that features your company name or logo.
  • As an investment opportunity: Some people view private reg plates as a potential asset that can appreciate in value over time. Certain combinations of letters and numbers can be particularly sought-after and command high prices on the resale market.

Do I Need to Keep My Private Reg Plate?

If you're selling a car with a personalized plate, you may want to keep the plate and transfer it to your new vehicle. To do so, you'll need to ensure that your current car meets certain criteria:

  • The car must be registered and taxed in the UK.
  • The car must have a current MOT certificate.
  • The private reg plate must be available for transfer. If you've put the plate on retention, you'll need to apply for the plate's removal before selling the car.

Assuming your car meets these criteria, you can apply to keep the private reg plate through the DVLA. You'll need to fill out a V317 form and pay a fee of £80. Once the application is processed, you'll receive a new registration certificate for the plate that you can put on your new vehicle.

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Pros and Cons of Selling a Car with a Private Plate

Now, let's consider the advantages and disadvantages of selling a car with a private registration plate.


  • Increased value: If your private plate is particularly desirable, it could add to the overall value of your car. Buyers may be willing to pay more for a vehicle with a memorable or unique plate.
  • Flexibility: If you don't want to keep the plate, you can sell it separately to a buyer who's interested in purchasing it.
  • Personalization: If the buyer of your car is also interested in owning a private registration plate, they may appreciate the added touch of individuality that comes with your car.


  • Limited target market: While some buyers may be specifically looking for a car with a private plate, others may be put off by the extra cost or hassle of transferring the plate to their name.
  • Administrative processes: Selling a car with a private plate involves additional paperwork and fees. If you're not familiar with the process, it can be confusing and time-consuming.
  • Risk of losing the plate: If you don't apply to keep the plate before selling the car, you may lose the right to use it altogether. The new owner could apply to transfer the plate to their own vehicle, leaving you without a personalized plate.

Administrative Processes Involved in Selling a Car with a Private Plate

If you've decided to sell your car with a private registration plate, there are a few steps you'll need to follow:

  • Get a valuation: Before you list your car for sale, get a valuation from a reputable dealer or online resource. This will give you an idea of what your car is worth with and without the private plate.
  • Advertise the car: List your car for sale on online marketplaces or through a dealer. Be sure to mention that the car has a private plate attached.
  • Negotiate the sale: Once you have a potential buyer, negotiate the sale price with them. Make sure they understand that there may be additional fees or processes involved in transferring the plate to their name.
  • Transfer the plate: If the buyer wants to keep the private plate, you'll need to remove the plate from the vehicle before completing the sale. You can do this by applying to the DVLA for the plate's removal and receiving a new registration certificate. The buyer will then need to apply for the plate's transfer to their new vehicle.
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Selling a car with a private registration plate can be a lucrative endeavor, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. Before listing your car for sale, consider whether you want to keep the private plate or sell it separately. If you do decide to sell the car with the plate, be aware of the administrative processes involved and consider whether the potential advantages outweigh the drawbacks. With the right preparation, you can successfully sell your car with a private plate and move on to your next vehicle.



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