If you own a personalised number plate, you may wonder what happens when you come to sell or scrap your vehicle. Do you lose that private registration, or can you keep the number plate once it’s time to scrap or sell your car? Read on to find out more about retaining your number plate for use in the future, or transferring it to another vehicle.
Can I sell my car and keep the number plate?
If you want to sell or scrap the car to which your private number plate is attached, you can usually do so. The only exception to this general rule applies to number plates that begin with either “Q” or “NIQ”. Normally when you remove a number plate from a motorcycle, car or van, it will be issued once more with the registration number it was originally given.
You also need to make sure your vehicle is eligible for the registration transfer or retention scheme.
The vehicle must be registered with DVLA, and capable of moving by means of its own power. It should be the kind of car, van, motorcycle, moped, tricycle or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that requires an MOT or HGV test pass certificate. It should either have current road tax, or have been subject to a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) for the five consecutive years immediately before taking it off the vehicle. If a SORN has existed for over five years, then the vehicle should now be taxed.
It must also be available for inspection, should the DVLA decide to do so. If this does apply, then the agency will contact you directly to arrange this.
How to keep your number plate when selling a car
If your vehicle satisfies the DVLA conditions and the number plate can be retained or transferred, the process is fairly simple. You can complete the procedure online, or apply by post. The DVLA fee for this is currently £80. You will need the V5C (log book) when you apply. If you do not own the vehicle, then you must apply by post.
The number plate is immediately removed from the vehicle if a DVLA inspection is not deemed necessary. You will be issued with a reference number once the process is complete, which you will need if you then decide to assign the number plate to a different vehicle. You can apply online daily between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
If your car, van or motorcycle does not require an inspection, the private number will be removed within a fortnight of the DVLA receiving your application. When making a postal application, you must enclose all of the required documentation. This includes the V317 form for transfer or retention, plus the V5C or ‘new keeper’ slip from the V5C with a completed V62 form. You must also enclose the transfer fee.
If you need to tax the vehicle at the same time – for example, because it has been SORN for over five years, then you also need to send a completed V10 ‘application for vehicle tax’ form, plus the correct payment. The MOT certificate is also required. You can find the address on the V317.
What happens next?
After removing a private number, you will receive a new V5C; this may take up to six weeks. The MOT certificate will be returned to you, and you will also get the V778 retention document. This proves your right to assign this registration for the next decade, and this can be renewed. A word of warning though – if you sell or scrap the vehicle before you receive the V778, you could lose the rights to that private number plate.