Can I Sell My Private Number Plate To The DVLA?


Okay, so we were checking our search engine rankings as we often do, and noticed that every time we type in “sell my number plate” or “sell number plate” etc. Google suggests adding “to the DVLA” at the end, which suggests that people are searching for it. This inspired us to write a post to clear this up so here goes…

In a word, no, you can’t sell your number plate back to the DVLA .

The DVLA issue new registrations for vehicles and also hold/sell the stock of all cherished registrations that have never been issued to a vehicle before, but they have no interest in buying registrations.

So where can I sell my registration?

There are generally two options, either to go to a dealer or to try and sell your reg privately.

Advertising your number plate through a dealer

This option usually won’t cost you anything upfront, as dealers don't generally charge to advertise plates and instead take commission from sales.

Do be aware though, that this option can prove quite costly in the long run as their commissions tend to be quite large (around 30% on average) and as the industry is unregulated, you never actually know what this commission is, so in some cases it could be even larger.  

If we take 30% as an example, that’s a lot of money from the sale of your number plate, being taken by the dealer in commission. You may also lose control of your registrations selling price, as dealers act on your behalf, and their commission needs to be incorporated in the price.

Selling your number plates privately

This option gives you full control over things, you set the asking price, you communicate directly with buyers, and you keep 100% of the selling price. The question is, where can you sell privately? Well, some people choose eBay, however, their fees can end up being almost as much as going through a dealer, as they charge listing fees to list your plate on their site, re-listing fees if it doesn’t sell within the auction time, and then a ‘Final Value Fee’ of approx. 10% of the selling price when it does sell.

In our experience, though, not many people search for number plates on eBay, and even when they do, eBay’s search facility is somewhat limited making it difficult for buyers to find your plate.

That’s why we created Plate Trader – to be the Auto Trader of the number plate world. We aim to offer an alternative to number plate dealers or auction websites that demand a percentage of the money from the sale of your registration plate.

We provide low-cost, transparent number plate advertising that allows you to deal directly with your buyer, meaning you keep 100% of your number plates selling price. To find out more information, visit our page on selling your private plate.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch!

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