We know that some drivers have their own cherished number plate that they like to put on a vehicle. To help you understand the process for doing this, specifically with a company car, we’ve put together the below guide.
What Is a Private Number Plate?
A private number plate, also known as a cherished plate, private registration or personalised number plate, is a number plate that is uniquely designed and does not follow the usual age plate format.
The age plate format is the standard one used for new vehicles registered in the UK and it will follow the current formatting of the numbers indicating the six month period that a vehicle is registered in.
For cars registered between March and August the numbers will show the last two digits of the year, so for 2021 the registrations will be AB21CDE.
For those registered between September and February it will be that number plus fifty. So for vehicles registered from September 2021 to February 2022 their number plates will follow the format of AB71CDE.
Private plates do not need to follow this format or even have a specific number of letters or numbers but there are a few rules that you need to be aware of.
This includes you cannot have one that begins with Q or NIQ, or use numbers to make a car look newer than it is. For example, you will not be able to put a number plate that looks like it is an age-related plate like AB18CDE on a vehicle that was first registered in 2002.
There is a wide range of cherished plate registrations for you to choose from and you can see the available plates on the DVLA’s website.
How Can I Get a Private Number Plate?
As mentioned above you can get a private registration number from one of several number plate auctions that are held during the year and by purchasing it directly from the current owner.
Once the business, or the driver if they are purchasing the plate themselves, is the owner of the registration you will then need to arrange for the registration to be assigned to the vehicle it is intended to be applied to.
Please be aware that the DVLA might ask for the vehicle to be available for inspection if it is required at their request when you apply to have the registration applied to a vehicle.
The next step is to have the personalised plates made up.
Getting New Number Plates Made
One of the main reasons that you might need to have number plates made is if you are putting a personalised registration on the vehicle, but you might also need a plate made up if you are going to be towing a caravan or trailer, adding a bike rack to the vehicle or if the original number plate is damaged.
This next section is applicable to any of these situations.
It will be your responsibility to have any new number plates you need made up but if your fleet is managed by Wessex Fleet then we will be able to assist with parts of the process for you.
Please note that you might also need to get approval from an internal fleet manager in order to have a private plate added to your vehicle.
In the UK you can only get a new number plate from a registered plate supplier. To see a full list of DVLA approved suppliers and to find the closest one to you just click here.
When you have a new number plate made you will need to take original documents that prove your name and address, for example a driving licence and a utility bill or bank statement dated within the last six months.
You will also need to take documentation to show that you are allowed to use the registration so either the retention document, V778, or the certificate of entitlement, V750 or V750NI. If this is registered to the business name then you may also need to take proof of employment at that company.
The third document you will need is proof of ownership or that you are entitled to drive the vehicle.
Please note that you will need to pay for the new plates to be made.
Can You Put a Private Number Plate on a Leased Car?
Yes, you can add a personalised number plate to most vehicles.
With a leased vehicle you will not be able to have the private registration assigned to your vehicle until it is delivered. This is a process we have in place to avoid causing delays to delivery or any issues further down the line when it comes to returning the lease vehicle.
Once the vehicle is delivered it can take a couple of days for it to be set live on the funder’s system, and we can then request information on their cherished plate process, as each funder is a little different and might require slightly different information from you.
Most will be able to provide you with a copy of the V5 and a letter of authorisation that you can provide to the plate makers in order to confirm that you are able to have the new plates made.
Some funders do have an admin fee for the process of putting your personalised plate onto a lease vehicle, and we will advise you if this is the case for your vehicle.
The funder may request to speak to someone from your business directly, but we will help you as much as we can in order to manage this for you.
Do I Need to Ask Permission From the Lease Company?
As mentioned above you will need to speak to the lease funder in order to add the private plate onto the vehicle, this is as they are the owner of the vehicle and so will need to update their records and the DVLA.
They will not usually prevent you from adding a private registration onto the vehicle but may ask you to complete documentation with them and there may be a charge for adding the plate to the vehicle.
Please note that as the vehicle will be delivered with the original registration and then the cherished registration number applied you will need to let your insurance provider know about the change of registration.
This may have an impact on your policy or you may need to pay an administration fee for changing the vehicle details.