Although your car is given a number plate by the DVLA when you first purchase it, the number can be replaced if the owner wishes to use a different identifier. These replacement plates are also known as private number plates. This is a term used for plates that are different from the ones issues by the DVLA. There are several words that are used to describe these plates including privet registrations, personalized plates and even cherished number plates.
These replacement plates can be customized to include the car owner’s initials, name or anything else they may want to display. But they can also be regular number plated with no customization at all, just not the ones issues by the DVLA. In order for these plates to be considered legal, they have to meet the legal requirements of the DVLA including the strict restrictions of font and color of the plate itself.
These replacement plates come in a variety of different types depending on the need and type of customization you need. These different types include the following;
- Personalized Number Plates
Personalized number plats are among the most popular form of replacement plates that you can own. That’s because they are highly customizable and are only limited by your imagination. The most common form of personalized number plates are those that contain the car owner’ initials. It is however important to note that finding the right combination of letters and numbers to spell your name or initials can be very difficult and sometimes the most sought after combinations can be very expensive.
But personalized replacement number plates don’t have to include your name. You can choose to share a message that is close to you or your profession. Whatever the message on the plate, it is worth mentioning that the right combination of numbers and letters can really customize your vehicle, putting you own personality into it and making it stand out.
- Cherished Number Plates
Although all these terms are somewhat interchangeable, some cherished number plate owners don’t consider their number plates to be personalized number plates. People who buy these types of plates ate often owners of vintage cars of veteran vehicle collectors. There is an emotional component to finding and buying a vintage car and the owners tend to assign these cars, identifiers that are also emotionally charged. Most cherished number plates will often have historical connotation that can include the date the car was released or something like that.
- Business Number Plates
More and more companies are realizing the marketing ad branding benefits of replacement number plates. For this reason, many companies are replacing their number plates and choosing a message that resonates with the brand. Of course this can be expanded to include specific branding messages for specific times of the year. For example, a plumbing company may choose to replace the number plate on its vehicles with words that are synonymous with plumbing such as “Water,” and “Drain.”
How Much Would it Cost to Replace a Number Plate?
When making any modification to your vehicle, you first thought might be the cost of the modification and number plates are no different. The cost of the replacement plates you need will depend on the personalization you are looking for as well as how you choose to purchase the plate. Some highly sought after number and letter combinations can be very hard to find and therefore very expensive.
The process of locating and then purchasing the replacement plates you need begins with a search for the availability of the letter and number combination you desire. There are also some services that allow you to create your own plate. But perhaps the easiest way to purchase a replacement plate would be to participate in an auction. Number plate auctions, make it easy to find the rare combinations that you need and you can even find them at cheaper prices.
Buying Replacement Plates as an Investment
The very nature of private car registration can make it possible for you to make a little bit of extra money over time.
Here’s how this breaks down. Each number plate in the UK needs to be unique to identify the car and owner of the car. Therefore each plate is actually attached to a lot of valuable information and as such security around the supply and distribution of these plates has to be high and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) ensures this security.
If you consider there is always the inclination for people to be different which drives them to want unique plate, you can easily see how number plates can make a good investment. People want to adorn their cars with unique plates such as their own name, the name of a loved one and so forth. Therefore if you have the right combination of numbers, you could sell them for a very high price. That’s because there are only so many combinations of letters and numbers and few spell out names or words.
This creates a great demand for these special and rare plates with some of them fetching as much as £11,900 per plate. Depending on how much you purchased the plate, this could be a significant profit. It is also worth mentioning that number plate investment is free of all the other dangers of investing that we have seen above. The controlled supply makes it very difficult to replicate them and it is very easy for a wise investor to find themselves tripling or even quadrupling their returns in a very short time and with very little research.
How to Fit a Replacement Number Plate
You have purchased the ideal replacement plate for your car, now comes the most important part; how to fit the plate on to your car.
Here’s a simple guide to help you through the process. You might find these steps useful if you are unwilling to spend extra bucks to hire someone else to do it for you. Practically, it will take less than 30 minutes of your time to get a number plate fixed.
Tools Needed for Fixing a Number Plate
- A drill bit – an appropriate type of between 4mm to 6mm
- A Philips screw driver – for unscrewing and screwing
- A cordless or electric drill – for drilling holes
- Original self-tapping non-corrosive screws,
- Original color-coded screw caps
- A piece of smooth wood, if necessary, but totally optional if the surface is of no great importance to you.
- A piece of clean, soft cloth for cleaning the plates and surface area.
Please note that all of the listed items may not be needed to fit a number plate to a car depending on whether they are new or replacement plates, but it is important to have the items. After all, there’s nothing to lose.
Let’s go through the steps together one by one.
- Remove the original number plate, if any (well, I expect that there’ll be)
- Pop open the plastic screw caps on the existing number plate, and
- Unscrew the screws that attach the original plate to the vehicle with a fitting screwdriver
- Place the old plate on top of the new one as a guide to measuring where to drill holes on the new plate. It is important to use the old plate as a template so that you don’t drill hole in the wrong spot on the new plate. The feeling is bad. So, be sure to be accurate in your measurement and drilling.
- You can place the wood under the plates (old and new) so that you don’t drill into the surface of the ground or whatever surface you’re using (could be costly or painful to damage your treasured surface area).
- Be careful to drill holes neatly and slowly to avoid slipping as a result of the vibration from the drilling machine. Avoid drilling a pilot hole because it can cause a crack.
- Because you want your work to be as neat as possible, polish the number plate using a clean soft cloth to remove residue from the drill and possible fingerprints from the surface of the plate.
- Carefully thread the screws through the plastic caps.
- Screw the new number plate firmly to the car using the original holes in the bumper.
- Be careful not to over tighten the screws as this can cause a dent or even break through the plate or the bumper.
- Close the plastic cap firmly and you’re done!
You are now ready to take your car on a drive. Of course you can choose to have a professional install the plates for you if you think you may not have done it correctly.