Private Registrations

There are many private registrations on the road. Still many drivers are unaware that they aren’t required to keep a vehicle’s standard issue number and that they can in fact buy new registrations for their cars.

In the UK, the Private Registrations industry is massive but differs from many other countries which allow number plates to be personalised. In the USA for example, drivers can choose pretty much anything as long as it fits on a plate and no one else has already bought it. Here though buyers are not allowed to make their own combination up. The private or personalised registrations are merely similarities in the numbering system - the characters appear to spell something.  A good example is CLA 55Y, a standard issue number which because of its similarity with the word classy has exchanged hands therefore falling into the private registrations category. In fact originally standard issues were the only numbers that could be classed as private plates as they were the only numbers available to transfer between vehicles.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the DVLA began selling numbers that had been previously unused, this lead to a group of entrepreneurs who saw the opportunity of a market to start trading as dealers of private registrations.


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