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Private registration plates are a way for drivers to make their cars more personalised. You can buy private registrations online and fit them on your vehicle as long as they meet the DVLA guidelines. Before you fit a private reg to your car, you will need to abide by a few rules and fill in the required forms to have it changed. If you have a car on finance, you may be wondering if you can put a private reg on a HP car or a PCP deal. Our guide below looks at the rules and regulations and what you need to do.

What is a private registration plate? 

A private (or personalised) registration plate is a great way to make your vehicle stand out. They can also be used as an investment opportunity and reduce the risk of theft. You pay extra to have a private plate made especially for you and it can be personalised with numbers and letters which mean something to you e.g. initials, birthdate, or a phrase/slogan. Each registration must have no more than 7 characters, but a personalised plate means you can have less than 7 characters. However, you may notice, that the fewer the letters the more you will pay.

Where can you buy a private reg UK?

If you’re interested in buying a personalised registration plate, we recommend you only use a reputable and verified service. You can search and buy private plates online with ease. However, we recommend using one of the trusted services below.

  • Personalised Registrations by the DVLA – The most secure way to buy a private reg is through the DVLA themselves. and they will also send the V750 certificate which is needed to get the registration transferred to your vehicle.
  • Regtransfers – As one of the UK’s largest private number plate suppliers, Regtransfers offers a range of plates at affordable prices and makes sure all sold registrations are compatible with the DVLAs guidelines.
  • Plates 4 Less – Plates 4 Less have 5* rated company reviews and can offer over 65 million numbers to choose from. The process is smooth and simple, and their team is on hand to answer any questions.
  • Absolute Reg – If you want to search over 50 million private plates and get competitive prices with fast delivery, Absolute Reg is the place to go!

What are the rules for private plates? 

When you’re thinking of which letter and number combination to put on your new private reg, you’ll need to consider there are DVLA rules around what you can put on the registration. This is also why it’s important you use a reputable company as the plate will need to meet the following DVLA private plate guidelines.

A UK private plate must: 

  • be made from reflective material.
  • display black characters on a white background on the front plate.
  • display black characters on a yellow background on the rear plate.
  • not have a background pattern.
  • not have an altered font or spacing.
  • not make your car seem younger than it is.
  • assign a number starting with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.
  • put a private number on a ‘Q’ registered vehicle.


Woman holding mobile phone with green tick

So, can you put a private reg on a financed car?

The answer is YES! Yes, you can put a personalised plate on a financed car. As long as you’re the registered keeper on the V5C document for the car, it can be a simple process. When you finance a car through HP or PCP, you won’t be the legal owner of the car during the agreement and the finance company will instead own the car. This means if you wish to put a private reg on the car, you will need to contact the finance company to ask permission first and also check your car finance terms and conditions to make sure you’re not violating any terms. 

How to put a private registration on your vehicle? 

Once you’ve purchased a private plate which meets the guidelines above, you can easily transfer and fit your personalised registration plate in a few simple steps.

  1. Firstly, you will need to inform the DVLA either online or by post. The DVLA will charge you an admin fee of £80 to replace your current registration plate with the new one you have just bought. You can do this online here.
  2. The DVLA will contact you when it’s been approved, and you are free to fit your new plates now.
  3. You can fit your plates at home, but we recommend using a company such as Kwik Fit or Halfords to help you. You will need proof of identity and entitlement to the car when you go to get the new private plate fitted.

REMEMBER: You’ll also need to make your car insurance provider aware that you have a new registration and update any information on congestion charge accounts or automatic payments for driving through toll areas.

What happens to your old registration plate?

The DVLA will keep the registration for you and if you take off the private reg in the future, the vehicle will get its original reg assigned back to it. 

Can you sell a private plate?

Yes, you can sell a private plate if you no longer want it. Some of the private plate companies listed above such as Regtransfers can help you sell your plate too. You can also sell the private plate through the DVLA or assign it to someone else. 

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