From prices starting at under £100 on plates that offer a combination of various numbers and letters, plates are used to creatively represent people’s names, a football team, words, phrases or numbers significant to the owner. With a little imagination you can spell out virtually word you want for your plate.
With its ease, comfort, convenience and speed the obvious place to look for your perfect personalised number plate is online. There are a number of online suppliers – although it always pays to look for those who have an established track record. At the largest companies you will find millions of plates in stock and can customise your own simply the powerful search tools these sites offer.
There are however a number of tips that it would be wise to follow when purchasing a private number plate online.
1. Your first point of call would be the DVLA’s website. In 1989 the DVLA took charge of issuing plates and began marketing them itself, raising the government over £1.2bn to date. It stocks an estimated 25 million number plates for sale. Provided they have never been sold or allocated before you can also ask for specific number and letter combinations, which are issued. At the DVLA site you can research the procedures you have to go through to purchase a new registration plate. You can also search the list of cherished numbers still available – Sales of Marks scheme (SOM scheme) – and try to discover your perfect plate. The site will also tell you what you have to do once you have bought it.
2. Do your research – Though the DVLA site is useful and informative you may well find better pricing elsewhere. If you have the time, check out a range of websites to give yourself the best chance of buying a cheap registration number. Don’t just settle for the first site you come across. Try to think of a range of plates, as the more common words are likely command a higher fee. Give yourself a few options as you could find sticking to one type could make it an almost impossible task.
3. Accreditation – Legitimate companies often have legitimate accreditation. Check that the company you intend to purchase from are members of some (if not all) of the following: MIRAD – Member Of The Institute Of Registration Agents & Dealers. The C.N.D.A – Cherished Number Dealers Association. R.M.I.F – Retail Motor Industry Federation and The R.N.C – The Registration numbers Club.
4. Trading history – It’s likely a reputable company will have been trading for a number of years. That’s not to say that a brand new company is necessarily untrustworthy, just that a good track record is a great way of underlining your credentials.
5. Always ensure that plate certification is genuine before parting with cash. The DVLA will confirm if a registration mark is held on a retention certificate. Try to make sure you are familiar with what the document actually looks like. It has a watermark and your local DVLA Office will be happy to show you an example document. A genuine seller should always be prepared to either fax or scan a copy of the document to you for prior checks to take place.