Personalised Number Plate Fees Explained

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Many people are hesitant when it comes to purchasing a personalised number plate as they are unsure of the fees involved. On top of the initial purchase price, you’ll typically incur other additional costs, payable to the DVLA in order to carry out certain tasks related to personalised number plate ownership. 

In this guide, we’ll be looking at how much a personalised number plate actually costs and explaining some of the various types of fees involved.

How Much Does a Personalised Number Plate Actually Cost?

Many people believe that personalised number plates are reserved for the wealthy, however, people buy private registration plates for all kinds of reasons and you may be surprised to learn that you can purchase a basic personalised number plate for as little as £150.

Basic personalisation includes those that keep the current two letters, two numbers, three letters format. For instance, if your name is Dan, you could have the plate BL61 DAN, or for Meg, BK51 MEG. These typically sell for £150 to £350.

Slightly more expensive are plates where the triple letter combo is at the start instead of the end and there is a single letter suffix. For example, if your name was Dan Potter, you might choose the registration plate DAN 254P, or you may wish to make the middle number represent your birth date. For example, DAN 399P Would mean Dan Potter born in March 1999. 

These types of plates can significantly vary in price, however, you can usually expect to find one them in the range of £200 to £600, depending on the specific combination of letters.

The next level up from the basic triple letter combinations are triple letter combinations with prefix year letters e.g. F5 MJK. These plates aren’t as common as the longer varieties we previously mentioned and can cost a fair bit more. Whilst you might strike lucky and land one for £200, they can also go for as much as five figures, with the most expensive plate of this kind selling for over £60,000!

Next up are plates which don’t come with any prefix year letters, just year numbers. For example, 9 DAN, 6 MEG. These personalised plates sell for £500 to £60,000 depending on their popularity and combinations.

If you’re looking to upgrade even further, you should expect much higher prices and more difficult to find plates as these are becoming more and more rare. Double letter suffix combinations with a single preceding number e.g. 9 DP are perfect for people who wish to display their initials on their plates or who wish to represent a business. Single-letter suffix plates tend to be even more rare and expensive, especially those which represent dates such as ‘1999 D’.

At the very top of the personalised number plate hierarchy are the single letter prefix combinations, such as D 99 or M 86. These tend to be reserved for very exclusive or classic cars, however, if you do manage to get your hands on one there’s no rule to say you can’t put it on a regular vehicle, however you would be looking at paying over £15,000, with the most expensive selling around £500,000.

One thing to note about the pricing of personalised registration plates is that if your plate has a ‘1’ at the start or end, you should expect to pay a fair bit more. Another point to bear in mind is that plates without year identifiers tend to sell for a lot more than those that do.

Additional DVLA Fees

Put a Registration Mark on Retention – £80

When you want to separate your private number plate from your vehicle, rather than transferring it to another vehicle, you can keep it on a retention document (V778). This will cost you £80 and you can apply to take a registration number off a vehicle either online or by completing a paper V317.

Transferring a Personalised Registration – £80

If you want to transfer your personalised number plate between vehicles (usually from your old car to your new one), you’ll have to complete a V317 form or complete the two-step process online which will both cost you £80.

Extend a Retention Document or Certificate of Entitlement – £0

If your Retention Document (V778) or Certificate of Entitlement (V750) is due to expire soon (after ten years), you can apply to extend it within 28 days prior to the expiration date for free.

Add or Change a Nominee 

When you wish to assign or transfer a number plate to a car. The name on the V750 or V778 Document must match the name of the registered vehicle keeper. If the names don’t match, you’ll need to add a nominee, either through your online DVLA account or by filling in the relevant section of your DVLA certificate.

Note that this only applies if you’re buying a brand new unregistered vehicle, or submitting an application to assign a registration by post. 

It’s also worth noting that if you use the DVLA online service to put a cherished, or dateless, number plate on a vehicle, the nominee is considered irrelevant and the names don’t need to match.

Looking to Buy or Sell Personalised Number Plates?

If you’re hoping to buy or sell personalised number plates, Plate Trader has the solution for you. We believe that buying or selling a personalised number plate should be made as straightforward as possible and that buyers & sellers should be able to speak with each other directly, without dealers, auction sites, or other middlemen taking a percentage of the sale price.


Check out how you can sell your number plate with Plate Trader or take a look at our wide range of personalised number plates available to buy!

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