You might well be thinking about selling your current vehicle at the moment, and if you’re not, you probably will be at some point in the not too distant future. If you have accessories in your car such as a portable sat-nav or a child seat you’re unlikely to be including them in the price when you sell. There’s another item you might want to hang on to or sell separately from the car though, and that’s your registration plate, or to be more accurate about things, your registration number.
Is your registration plate worth anything?
Of course, the vast majority of registration numbers that get issued as part of a new vehicle sale these days are pretty worthless. Let’s be honest; most of us know that the DVLA already keeps back any numbers that might be significant to someone and therefore worth some money. However, there’s always a chance that even a normal plate could have some significance to someone out there, such as the last three letters being their initials.
The older your plate is the better. Even if you have a number that has someone’s initials at the end, they’re unlikely to want to put something like a 67 plate on a 2019 model year car as it makes it look a little older than it really is. On the other hand, if your number is something older – let’s say an 02 plate from 2002 – then someone buying a car today might be quite happy to have it on their brand new car as it will quite obviously not be a 19-year-old car.
Before you attempt to sell a registration number
Almost all of the time you will be completely okay to sell your number plate, but there are some relatively rare circumstances where you might not be able to so the first thing to do before trying to sell your plate is to find out if you can. If you find the declaration “non-transferable” written on your registration documents then under DVLA rules you cannot sell it to put onto another vehicle.
You’ll usually find this unwelcome statement written clearly on the front of your V5C Registration Certificate under the “Special Notes” section if it applies. If this does apply to your registration number you’ll inevitably have a bunch of other questions relating to this situation, but those are for another time. For the purposes of what we’re covering here, all you need to know is that if “non-transferrable” doesn’t appear on your V5C then you’re perfectly okay to sell your registration number if you want to.
Why sell your registration number?
There’s one reason and one reason only why most people would want to sell their registration number, and that’s to get some money for it. Even if it’s only a couple of hundred pounds, wouldn’t that be better off in your pocket or going towards your next car than just being given away? Let’s face it; people selling their cars can get very precious over the price they’re being offered and some will even walk away from a deal on a £40k because they’re being offered a few hundred pounds less than they want for their part-ex.
On the other hand, you might be someone who has quite a notable registration number that could be worth a lot of money. Even if you don’t particularly need the money, you may have had enough of being instantly recognised by your registration number and you might want to sell it so you can be a little more anonymous.
Plenty of small business owners shy away from buying flash cars even if they can easily afford them because they don’t want employees or customers to see them splashing the cash in case they get the wrong impression. That scenario could be even worse if they keep the same registration number, so some people might want to sell for that sort of reason.
How easy is it to sell a registration number?
Selling a number plate is a lot easier than selling a car these days. You don’t have to worry about things like condition, mileage, service history or age; all that matters is the number. You no longer even have to worry about things like posting your documents to put the plate on retention or to transfer it as all that can be done in a minute or two entirely online.
Like selling a car, however, there’s more than one way to find a buyer for your registration number. The easiest way is to sell to a dealer. A dealer will give you a valuation of what they are prepared to pay for your registration plate, and if you agree to the price the whole thing can be concluded in a few minutes. Of course, just like selling a car, a dealer isn’t going to give you as high a price as you’d get if you sell privately.
There are plenty of places you can sell your reg number, such as eBay, Gumtree or local and national publications. The problem is that unless you have a pretty desirable number to sell you could be looking for a needle in a haystack as far as finding a buyer is concerned.
Be careful when advertising a registration number
It’s always a good idea to come across as genuine as possible when you’re advertising anything for sale these days as there are so many scammers and fraudsters out there these days. However, be very, very careful when advertising a registration number for sale or when negotiating with someone. Do not under any circumstances publish any images of your V5C or other documents that give away details of you, your vehicle and your registration.
Although it’s great that the online world now allows for the quick and easy sale and transfer of registration numbers, it also means unscrupulous types could steal your number and re-register it for themselves if they’re given access to the relevant details. This is another reason why selling to a reputable dealer you can check online is perhaps the best option, even though it might mean a slightly lower sale price. You can always offer your plate to a number of different dealers and take the best quote offered to maximise the sale price.