Buying number plates

  interzone55 17:25 22 Jun 2011

I've been wondering how one goes about buying a "cherished" number plate, specifically the number plate from my first car, which I'm fairly sure should be in Mini heaven by now.

Do the DVLA sell number plates for scrapped vehicles, or are they lost forever?

  bremner 17:56 22 Jun 2011

Go to the DVLA website and put in the reg and it will tell you if it is available. Click here

  woodchip 18:43 22 Jun 2011

Just checked, the answer is no

  TonyV 19:26 22 Jun 2011


You can also put the number you are looking for in Google and see what comes up there. It is conceivable that someone may already have it and is now for sale via one of the number plate retailers.


  birdface 20:06 22 Jun 2011

Do the DVLA sell number plates for scrapped vehicles, or are they lost forever?

Not sure about that.I do know that every scrapped vehicle the scrap man gets he has to inform the DVLA about the details.

So I would imagine if the owner of the car did not want to keep the registration number it would automatically revert back to the ownership of the DVLA for them to sell or do what they want with.

I know when I wrote my van off after an accident I had a very short time to keep the License plate for my new van.

So I have to believe if your car is scrapped or written off by the insurers it goes back to ownership of the DVLA.

My license plate only cost me £250 from the DVLA.And I was quite happy with it.

  v1asco 20:08 22 Jun 2011

I applied for my plate via the web, priced at £500, by the time the site had added their bits on it came to £800. I checked out the DVLA and it was £500 no extras. The paperwork arrived 3 days later, as it was a new car I did not need plates made up. A little known thing,perhaps, is you can buy a number plate from the DVLA anytime and hold onto it for years without using it. There is a small fee to pay the DVLA (of course) every year and if I remember correctly if it is not paid on time you loose the number.

  bremner 20:13 22 Jun 2011


My link Q&A's state that once a vehicle is scrapped the number plate is not available for reissue.

However how do you know it is scrapped?

You can check the DVLA site but you would also need to check the private sites.

  birdface 00:14 23 Jun 2011

I used to be a courier driver and one of my jobs was going down to the DVLA with a bunch of car registration forms from one particular scrap yard.

Now I would assume if he had to send details to the DVLA all scrap yards would have to as well.

I don't think that I actually said that they were reissued just that they were the property of the DVLA.

Once my van had been scrapped I would not have been able to transfer my number plate to another vehicle.

Now not sure who told me but it was either the DVLA whom I think it was or it was my insurance company.

  v1asco 05:04 23 Jun 2011

The DVLA say once a vehicle has been scrapped you cannot retain the number, but, if it is written off you must keep the vehicle for DVLA inspection to retain the number. The info is here registration numbers and you, form inf46 or more broadly here retaining a registration mark

  interzone55 10:12 23 Jun 2011

Thanks everyone

So basically there's no chance if the car has been scrapped, which is highly likely as it was a 1980 Mini.

I would have thought that the DVLA would have gone the way of BT and started recycling number plates, I would have thought there would have been a nostaliga market for selling people's first number plates back to them, as many people, such as myself, remember their first car fondly. That is unless you are in the same boat as my older brother who merely inherited my dad's used Lada when he bought a new one...

  Chegs ®™ 11:06 23 Jun 2011

I can still recall the registrations of my Parents cars from 40+ years ago,but not the registrations of any of my own cars(including the present car parked outside)My Dad had a Vauxhall Victor estate 219 GRM & my Mother a Morris Minor XVK 64.I can even remember the registration of another Vauxhall estate left to RIP(Rust In Peace) on an allotment,and I only ever visited it the once to see if it had any servicable parts on it for my Dads.

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