How to buy personalised number plates

You can buy a personalised registration for your number plate, whether you own the vehicle or are leasing it. Personalised registration numbers can be bought from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website, or at auction through the DVLA or from a dealer. Numbers were first offered for sale in 1989, and now millions can be purchased quite conveniently online.

Our guide explains what you have to do to buy a personalised number plate through the DVLA website.

1. Check the requirements

Before you begin your quest for the perfect personalised plate, you’ll need to ensure that you meet certain requirements, including the following:

  • you need a debit or credit card;
  • the number you buy can be used only on a vehicle registered, taxed and used in the UK;
  • you are not allowed to make the vehicle look newer than it is e.g. putting a 13 registration number onto a vehicle registered in 2003.

Check the DVLA website for the full details.

2. Find your ideal number

Now comes the fun part: determining your ideal registration number. It’s worth understanding the different formats in which personalised number plates have been issued over the years. This will give you an idea of what’s possible.

Yes Lease guide personalised car registration number

To see what’s actually available for purchase, use the Search box on the DVLA website. Let’s say we want a plate that spells out something close to “YES LEASE”. Below are DVLA’s suggested search results.

DVLA number plate YES LEASE

Based on what we know, dateless type numbers are mainly available at auction (plus ‘YES LEASE’ exceeds the character limit of 6), whilst suffix style numbers are only sold at auction. Numbers at auction can be more difficult to buy, as you have to wait for them to become available, and they could be very expensive if they are in demand.

We can try to find a number in the prefix or current styles, so our options would be something like L3ASE or Y13 ASE. After a play around with the search feature, here’s the closest available match we found:

DVA number plate YE13 ASE

YE13 ASE is available for purchase at £399, inclusive of VAT and the £80 assignment fee charged by the DVLA.

Alternatively, if you’re still not happy with the suggested numbers, you can contact the DVLA to see if they can help find a better match. If a number you want can’t be found because it was previously sold or issued to another vehicle, you can check if it’s currently sold by a cherished number dealer. In case you’re wondering, cherished numbers are an industry term for dateless registrations.

3. Buy the number

Once you’ve found the perfect number, the next step is buying it.

DVLA buy number YE13 ASE

Remember the conditions in Step 1? In this case, because our chosen number is YE13 ASE, the vehicle we want to assign the number to must be registered as new on or after 1 March 2013.

You are then given 11 minutes to complete the checkout process on the website.

4. Apply to assign the number to your vehicle

After purchasing the registration, you will need to apply to assign the number to your car. If you’ve bought the registration online, a Certificate of Entitlement (V750) will be sent to you in the post.

Certificate of Entitlement V750

Be sure to keep this safe, as it is your proof of entitlement and the application form needed to apply. Note that the V750 has an expiry date, so you’ll need to apply before then. For current registered vehicles, you can apply online or by post.

5. Purchase new plates

Now you’re ready to purchase new plates for your new registration number. Make sure you go through a registered number plate supplier to ensure that the plate is made to the correct legal standard.

Putting a registration number on a new, leased vehicle?

If you’re leasing with Yes Lease, we can help you apply to put the purchased number to your new car. Contact our team for details.

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