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Archive for the ‘number plate advice’ Category

What happens to your private number plate if your car is stolen?

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Take action to keep your private number plate if your car is stolen

If your car is stolen, you can’t assume that your private number plate is safe. It isn’t!

Many owners assume that if they sort out the details of the theft with their insurance company, then the private number plate is taken care of. It’s not.

The insurance company may not even realise that the registration number has any special significance.

It’s your responsibility to take care of it, if you want to to be sure not to lose it. Whilst you can replace the car, you won’t be able to replace the number plate.

You’ll need to follow the right steps to make sure you get your private number plate back… by reporting the theft to the police, your insurance company, and the DVLA.

Follow our step-by-step guide to what to do with your private number plate if your car is stolen.

If the car is not found, your insurance company usually considers a settlement after 28 days. The DVLA require you to wait a full 12 months before they will restore your registration number back to you. So, whichever way you look at it, you’ll be without your private number plate for a while.

Ever been in this situation? Tell us your story.

Irish number plates are a good choice

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Irish number plates make sense

Buying an Irish number plate makes a lot of sense if you’re looking for a good cheap number plate.

There are usually plenty of these registration numbers for sale, making them much more affordable than other styles of number plates. Even shortened versions of first names (like BAZ or LEZ) can be acquired from just £500.

Irish number plates do have their limitations though – they must have either a Z or an I in them… so if you happen to have a name that fits within the Irish lettering system you’re in luck. If not, then you’ll need to shell out a bit more for your name on a private number plate. Or you can compromise with your initials instead… if your budget won’t stretch that far.

The great thing about Irish number plates is that they can be assigned to any car. Whether yours is an old classic car, or brand new and shiny straight from the showroom… you can transfer an Irish number plate to it. That’s because they have no age identifier, so they can be put on to any car of any age. And they can be used here on mainland UK as well as in Northern Ireland.

Transferring an Irish number plate can occasionally be a bit more complicated, involving two transfers. But the company you’re buying your number plate from should take care of all that for you.

All in all, because they’re reasonably affordable and there’s usually plenty of choice… it’s worth looking at Irish number plates.

New red DVLA V5C Car Registration Document

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

DVLA V5C Car Registration Document is going red

The V5C Car registration document is where you will find details of the registered keeper. It’s also sometimes referred to as the car logbook.

Many will have seen the new red V5C Car Registration Document. If you’ve bought a new car in the past 12 months, or changed your car registration number, then you will have received the new red V5 document.

If the document for your car is blue, don’t worry.

At the moment, both of these are valid.

But the old blue V5C document is gradually being phased out… and will eventually be replaced on all vehicles. From September 2011, when a vehicle is taxed or declared SORN, the DVLA will automatically replace the V5C with a new red one. Even when there is no change in owner or private car number plate. So it won’t be long before pretty much every car will have the new style V5C.

So why is it changing?

The DVLA has changed the colour and layout of the document. Their reason is to make it more customer friendly, and highlights how potential buyers should check the legitimacy of the car they are considering buying. More information can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/buyerbeware.

Confusion comparing private number plates

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Comparing private number plate prices

It’s not always possible to compare prices of private number plates, if you’re not comparing apples with apples.

We often get queries asking us to explain why one registration number has a higher asking price than another. And the person is sometimes comparing a prefix style number plate with a dateless registration number. There can be huge differences in price if this is the case.

It’s no good asking (about the advertised price of a specific private number plate):

“Having bought 2 other plates from DVLA Auctions over the last 3 years (both of which were “2 ***”) for less than £4k it seems this is a high price”

The problem I have here… I have absolutely no idea of the rest of the registration number being used as a comparison. All other things being equal, if the letters are XFJ the selling price will be lower (as the demand will be lower) than if the letters are JMS.

Here’s my response:

“As I do not know the full registration numbers you have purchased from the auctions, it’s impossible for me to compare them against 6 SJG.

The asking price is based a number of factors, including the rarity of the letter combination and the level of demand. The different letter combinations are not available in equal quantities, especially in the case of dateless private number plates like this one. Also, the demand for this combination of letters is quite high.

It is also influenced by the price that the seller of that number plate wants to achieve.

You would also, as a rule, expect to buy at a better price at an auction as it is dependent on who wants the registration number on that day. So it’s not valid to compare auction prices with an advertised price for a private number plate.”

The published selling price of a private number plate at a DVLA auction is the hammer price. It doesn’t take into account the buyer’s premium and vat.

What is the Cherished Numbers Dealers Association (CNDA)?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Cherished Numbers Dealers Association offers buyers assurance

The CNDA is a trade association that requires its members to work to a strict code of practice when dealing with sale of registration plates.

The Association has been around since 1971. It’s there to make sure that buyers are looked after and to protect their interests.

Not all companies are members of the CNDA – they are required to meet some strict criteria. And, if there’s a problem, the CNDA is there to help customers get to a satisfactory resolution.

Cherished Numbers Dealers Association is part of the much bigger Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

3 top reasons to buy a personalised number plate from a CNDA member

  1. CNDA members are established companies who have stacks of experience buying and selling cherished numbers
  2. Strict code of practice, including full money-back guarantee if the transfer does not go through
  3. Independent conciliation service if you have a problem

The Cherished Numbers Dealers Association (CNDA) is there to protect consumers by vetting number plate companies.

Buyers misled on road legal number plates

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Road legal number plates false claim by sellers

I saw a tweet today, from a seller promoting so-called road legal number plates. The link led to his ad on eBay.

Unfortunately, the claim is misleading to potential buyers who are (understandably) unaware of the details of the rules for legal display of number plates.

And the sellers are getting away with it.

The claim is that these are ‘road legal number plates’ – but if you read the small print you’ll find that they are in fact show plates. So what’s the difference?

Show plates can have (quite literally) anything printed on them. Images, italics, and any registration number. But they cannot be used on the road.

To acquire a set of number plates legally, the buyer must present ID (such as passport or driving license) and proof that they have the rights to the registration number they’ve requested. The reason for this is to prevent criminal activities (such as petrol drive-offs) on false number plates.

For a set of number plates displayed on a vehicle to be classed as legal,

  1. It must be supplied by a seller who is a Registered Number Plate Supplier.
    The supplier must have an RNPS number.
  2. Must have this printed on it: BSAu 145d
  3. Must have maker’s ID and postcode
  4. Display letters and numbers as defined by the DVLA rules for legal number plates.

If any of these are missing, and you are not asked to supply ID and proof of entitlement – then you are being duped. These are not legal number plates.

Private number plate lost after declaring SORN

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

SORN can lose you your private number plate

You could inadvertently lose your private number plate, because of a little-known rule. If you declare your car as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification for the human beings amongst us), that’s absolutely ok. You can still remove your private registration.

BUT, what many people don’t realise is that a clock has then started ticking.

If you decide not to renew your vehicle tax for any reason, you are required to declare a SORN.  If you then decide not to re-tax it (for instance it’s beyond economical repair and you plan to scrap it) then you are on a time limit to remove the private number plate on the car. And the time limit is 12 months.

We had a call from Kevin today. He wanted to sell his personalised car number plate.

Talking to him a little, he told us the registration number was on his vehicle, which had been declared SORN. My first questions, whenever we’re told that a private number plate is on a SORN’d vehicle is

“How long has it been on SORN?”

“How long since the MoT ran out?”

Unfortunately, in Kevin’s case the car had been off the road for over 12 months. And therein lies the problem.

One of the DVLA rules for transferring a private number plate is that if a car is declared off the road, the registration number can only be removed if the application is submitted within 12 months. If it goes over that time, then it has to be re-taxed before you can do that. And that can get quite expensive – if it involves repairing the car, MoT, and tax (and of course tax requires insurance).

So if the registration number is worth just a few hundred pounds, it may not be economical to go through all that. And the private number plate is lost. Boo hoo.

Our advice? Retain the cherished private number plate quickly – so you don’t forget later. Or you could lose it.

Has this happened to you? Tell us your story.

Car tax and private number plate transfer

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Valid car tax needed to transfer a private number plate

Many people are completely unaware of the seemingly complicated rules for private number plate transfer. The same rules apply for number plate retention too.

We’ve already blogged about the MoT requirements for number plate transfer or retention.

There are good reasons for the introduction of these rules. Fraudulent claims to registration numbers in the past, have meant that the DVLA have had to tighten the rules, gradually added more, to protect from fraud. But, unfortunately, that means that unsuspecting owners of private number plates have fallen foul of the pitfalls.

One of these is tax.

A vehicle must have a valid license disc to qualify for a number plate transfer

Or, if the tax disc is not current, it must not have run out more than 12 months before you apply for the transfer.

Added to that, you must not have applied for a refund of the tax. If you have applied for a refund, then you cannot retain the private registration number. And if you apply for a refund during the time the number plate transfer / retention is being processed, you’ll get the refund but the transfer will be cancelled.

The trick is to do things in the right order. Apply to take the cherished number plate off the car first, then send in the application for the tax refund.

Homework pays – do check before you do anything with your private number plate.

Tweet us on @uknumberplates with your questions.

MoT rules for car number plates

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Car number plates must conform to DVLA rules for MoT

We’ve all seen car number plates, where the letters have been mis-spaced, or they are displayed in fancy fonts.

Many people do this because they have a private car number plate that needs a little ‘manipulation’ to make it look like the word they are trying to display on the car. Or it may be that they simply don’t like the standard number plate fonts. I’ve seen letters in italics, or in varying sizes.

Unfortunately, though, these number plates are being displayed illegally.

The DVLA rules for number plates are very detailed.

Your number plate must display BS Au 145d, and the manufacturer’s name. And the manufacturer must be registered with the DVLA as a Registered Number Plate Supplier.

Letters on car number plates must be 79mm high (except for motorbikes).

Spaces between letters are 11mm, and groups of letters must be 33mm apart. You cannot move the spaces around.

The name of the supplier must appear on the number plate, as well as the manufacturer.

Flags are limted to Union Jack, St George’s Cross, Welsh Dragon, Scottish Saltire, or the European GB Euro symbol. Or none at all. Anything else, like your favourite football team, is not legal.

These are just the basics. For the full rules, including motorbikes and older classic cars take a look at the DVLA rules for legal car number plate display.

Has your car failed its MoT because of the number plates? Some car owners have had this experience.

Are all number plate anti-theft screws the same?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Checking out number plate anti-theft screws

Hearing more and more about number plate theft, we’ve been chatting to the police about their initiative fitting free number plate screws.

Number plates are being stolen by unscrupulous thieves, who then use them for petrol drive-off and illegal parking or other similar offences.

Because you now need to present ID and proof of ownership when you have number plates made up, it’s a bit more difficult to get number plates. Which makes it tempting to steal them off the original cars.

Anti-theft screws are designed to stop the potential thief from removing your number plate and using it on another similar vehicle. Most screws can be put in using a standard screw-driver, but then can’t be removed because they have a special head which stops them being turned anti-clockwise. Some number plate screws are a little different – they have a special head which requires the right tool to remove them.

Anti-theft number plate screws are now available from a number of sources. So we felt we should check out 3 of the main options.

Ryders: these look like standard number plate screws, but head is designed to turn clockwise only. Which means once they’re in, they’re in.

Pluses:
- no special tool needed
- reasonably cheap
- supplied by some local police forces
Minuses:
- can only be removed by drilling them out

Signam: again, these look like other screws, and need a flat blade screw driver.

Pluses:
- no special tool needed
- reasonably cheap
- supplied by some local police forces
Minuses:
- these ‘anti-theft’ screws can easily be removed using a standard screw driver,

Richbrook: these screws have special holes in the head, and can’t be removed with a standard screwdriver.

Pluses:
- can’t be removed using a standard screw driver
- easily removed, without the need to drill it out
Minuses:
- the most expensive of the three
- tool can easily be obtained by a thief

Our recommendation:
I’d be inclined to go for the Richbrook anti-theft number plate screws – mainly because I seem to find myself changing my car registration number more frequently than most. And I really don’t want to have the hassle of having to drill the screws out every time!