Every vehicle across the UK must be fitted with a registration plate, whether it be a motorcycle, van, car or any other type of transport. Without a number plate, the vehicle is unrecognisable which can be a problem if the vehicle is involved in an accident or some form of crime.
Often people choose to purchase a private number plate to make their vehicle stand out and add a personal touch, but there can be concerns as to whether or not this will affect the cost of your vehicle insurance.
What are the rules of owning a private plate?
When it comes to purchasing a private number plate, there are certain requirements that your plate must meet in-order to meet the DVLA’s standards. This is to ensure that the plate is readable and can be easily seen on a CCTV camera or by the police.
First of all, if your vehicle registration plate was registered after September 2001 then it must consist of two letters that give the region of the country that the vehicle was registered in. These letters are then followed by two numbers that reveal the date that the vehicle was manufactured. Finally, the last three characters are three randomised letters that allow the plate to be unique.
In terms of the display, the front plate must have a white background and the rear a yellow reflective background, both with clear black characters. On top of this, the characters now have to be displayed in the specific ‘Charles Wright’ font, or its 3D counterpart.
There are certain things that are not allowed on a number plate, for example, you cannot have a patterned background or anything that will interfere with the display of the plate. Likewise, no logos or popular symbols can be shown, only symbols of the country that the vehicle is registered too. If you fail to have a legal number plate you could be fined up to £1000 and have your license taken away.
Where can I buy a private plate?
If you’re interested in buying a private plate then there are plenty of places that you can find the one you want. Each year the DVLA issue a list of new private number plates that you can purchase, you can do this online, or buy private plates at their auctions.
Similarly, there are several other private companies that buy and sell private number plates. A simple search online will reveal online auctions and selling sites. Other websites such as eBay will have private sellers, however, they are not specialist websites and therefore you might not get as much choice. Finally, there is the option to look for local listings and on newspaper ads.
The price of number plates varies from around £200 plus, so there are plates to suit different budgets depending on how much you are willing and able to spend.
Will a private plate affect my insurance?
Onto the most important question, will a private plate affect your car insurance? Well the short answer is probably not. A private number plate is not seen as a modification to the vehicle and so it shouldn’t add any extras costs to your insurance.
However, it is important to inform your insurance company if you decide to buy a private number plate because if not, your insurance may not be valid as they have your vehicle listed under a different registration. Additionally, you should request a letter of no interest from your insurance company. This means that if your vehicle is stolen along with your number plate, you can request to keep your private registration. Otherwise, if the registration number is of value, the insurance company may want to keep it as if they have paid out for the insurance, they are technically the new owners of the registration.
As long as you inform your insurer and request a letter of no interest, the company should not charge any more for having a private number plate.