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Do personal number plates impact car insurance?

Do personal number plates impact car insurance?

Whether you’re considering personalised number plates for yourself or buying them as a gift, it’s worth knowing how they’re viewed by car insurance providers. And whether they could affect the cost of your premiums. 

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 31 OCTOBER 2019

What are personalised number plates?

You can buy a personalised registration from anyone who’s selling one, provided they give you the right documentation. To legally put the new number plate on your car, you need to have either:

  • V750 certificate of entitlement, or
  • V778 certification of retention

Make sure you’ll be getting one of these documents for the registration, before you complete the sale.

There are companies who specialise in personal or ‘cherished’ number plates. So if you have your heart set on a certain name, phrase or date, it’s worth shopping around.

The DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) also has a large database of personal registration plates available to buy on their website. Some are sold via auction, while others can be bought instantly at a fixed price.

How do I register a personalised number plate?

Once you have the V750 or V778 for your new registration number, you can transfer it online at the gov.uk website.

You’ll need your car’s VC5 (log book) to do this. The transfer will happen straight away, so make sure you have your new number plates ready to attach to your car.

It’s also possible to make the transfer by post, by sending off the relevant documents to DVLA. This could take a couple of weeks to finalise though.

Insurance considerations for private number plates

While car insurance premiums can rise if your car has modifications, you might wonder whether the same applies if you have personalised plates.

Do insurance providers think you’ll be more likely to look after your car and therefore less of a risk? Or could it make the vehicle more attractive to thieves and vandals.

While it might make the car stand out to criminals, that distinctive number plate is easier to trace if it does get stolen, so there are arguments on both sides.

We can’t speak for every insurance provider but, generally speaking, a personalised plate isn’t viewed as a modification. This does vary though, so it’s worth checking with your insurance provider before buying a new custom registration.

Your insurance provider can help you recover stolen number plates

Policy costs aside, it’s important to let your insurance provider know you have personalised registration plates. This is because if your car is stolen and you have to make a claim, the insurance provider will become the legal owner of the car and its registration.

If you’ve contacted them in advance to let them know the number plate is personalised, they can help you get it back to put on another car. You can also ask your provider to declare to the DVLA that they’ve ‘no interest’ in the number plate, so it’s clear after a theft that the plates belong to you, not to them.

It’s also worth knowing that the private number plate rules, for claiming back unused car tax from a stolen car, are a little different. You’ll need to apply to the DLVA for a refund, unlike with a standard plate, where the refund is automatic.

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