Personalised License Plates & What To Do With Your Old Numbers

Personalised license plates are everywhere. From street to street and city to city, anywhere there are cars there are those willing to take their love of automobiles to a new level. No doubt you will have spotted a number in your daily life, and even more online, reacting with chuckles or admiration.

The custom license plate is seen as something of a statement item. Your choice of letters and numbers is as individual as your haircut, giving passers by a window into who you are. Unique plates, like car mods, are treats for car enthusiasts. But how to do you pick a plate that doesn’t make someone cringe and what do you do with your old one once you upgrade?

Pick a vanity plate that doesn’t look tacky

There are three different kinds of custom plates: name, car make/model and dateless. For the average motorist the license plate means little more than how you car is identified. However, they’ll have an idea of how each license plate shows its own time of creation - the third and fourth number being the age of the vehicle.

Car enthusiasts, however, appreciate the more intricate details of their cars. The license plate may be a tool for the DVLA to identify your vehicle, but its also a potential place to put your personal stamp. Unfortunately, not everyone who decides to upgrade their number plate knows the difference between a cool and a tacky custom plate.

You’ll have seen them on the internet, the horrid “DA B3ST” number plates, which elicit groans from onlookers and costs more than a pretty penny. Avoid these at all costs by looking instead for a plate more in tune with who you are, such as initials or favourite numbers.

Look for matching make or model license plates

Personal registration specialists, Click4Reg suggest that “for those who love their cars but prefer to avoid using their names or initials we suggest checking out some of the affordable make or model plates, ones that end in SLK or BMW are desirable but not extortionate”.

If you have multiple cars or a higher end collection, co-ordinating your vanity plates with your vehicles could be a great finishing touch.

Alternatively, if you’re really keen to get your initials on your pride and joy then its worth doing some research or speaking to a specialist about the popularity of your initials. Chances are that, in the UK, there won’t be someone else with the same initials as you wanting custom plates.

If your initials are popular then the cost of the plate can rise considerably. In this instance, you might want to mix in your initials with numbers, like your year of birth. If you do this though, watch out for misrepresenting the age of your car should you be planning to sell one day. Remember the age of your car is typically in the 3rd and 4th number position and you don’t want to make your car look older than it is.

Sell on your old plate to make money

Once you have your personalised license, what do you do with your old number plate? One of the simplest solutions is to transfer it to another vehicle that you own. But if you just want to get rid of the extra plate, consider selling it on.

License plates, notably personalised ones, come with a value and can be sold on. You license plate might not mean anything to you but the combination of letters and number may be significant to someone else. Something they are willing to pay for.

This is also something to bear in mind when purchasing your personalised license plates. Going for a more desirable plate is an investment and there are many people around the world who collect the most wanted plate. For example, in November 2014, a registration plate sold for £500,000 in Wales.