It’s a scenario that occurs fairly often, a car comes into a dealers stock, generally as a result of a part-exchange deal, sometimes from the auction and it happens to have a personalised number plate. What should they do with it?
There are some people who simply do not like personalised number plates. If the car is going to be retailed they may want to get rid of the cherished registration and put the car back on a standard age related plate. There are plenty of car buyers who are also number plate fans, but there is a greater risk that certain cherished number plates actually makes a car more difficult to sell.
A typical example is the five year old car with low mileage which has been very well looked after. It could be a part-exchange or it could have come from the auction. It has a cherished prefix style plate such as T555 EDF.
The registration plate was bought from DVLA for £250 and probably had some relevance to one of the previous owners. The problem is that to most people it looks like a standard ‘T’ prefix plate and dates the car to 1999. A potential buyer doesn’t want his neighbours thinking he has downgraded to a twelve year old car, when in fact he has just upgraded to a tidy five year old motor.
Thankfully this situation is easily resolved and can often be sorted the same day at the DVLA Local Office. It is likely that somewhere, amongst the service history, there will be a record of the car’s original age related registration. If not, a quick HPI check will reveal the cars history including any number plate changes. So discovering the car was once registered as FL56 XOY, a dealer may even find an old set of plates in the boot if they’re lucky.
Whilst the car is in the showroom or on the forecourt there is no harm in displaying the original ‘56’ registration plates on the car. It is also a good idea to put the plates on while the car is being photographed for advertising on the internet. When the car is sold, the dealer takes full payment and completes the change of keeper section.
They then go along to the nearest DVLA Local Office and advise that they want to surrender their rights to the personalised registration and request that the car is issued with a standard age related plate as a replacement. There is no charge for this service. The dealer should point out that the car was originally registered as FL56 XOY and that they would like the car to be reunited with its original registration if it is possible.
They may not get the original registration, but will be issued with a replacement tax disc and MOT certificate showing an appropriate age related registration number. The V5C is reprinted at DVLA Swansea and posted direct to the new keeper of the car.
Until the main DVLA computer is updated the car buyer may have to provide their motor insurer with the old registration to access the make and model details for the car. However it can be insured straight away on the correct age related registration once the vehicle is located on the insurance database.
Thanks to James Saperia for helping with this article. Follow James on Google+