Personalised plates

A personalised plate can make your vehicle more individual, can signify something special to you or may be just a bit of fun. But how do personalised plates work?

We’ll talk you through what you need to consider when you buy a personalised plate.

Finding the perfect plate

Personalised plates can range from a few hundred pounds up to £518,000. The highest price plate ever sold by the DVLA for plate ’25 O’. It was bought by Ferrari dealer John Collins in 2014. The plate is now believed to be on a Ferrari 250SWB once owned by Eric Clapton, worth around £10million.

You can do a check on the personalised plates available at the DVLA based on your budget and the characters you’d like to include.

Remember that plates with a clear or popular meaning are likely to cost more.

Some plates have certain restrictions. For example the age of the car, you could only register an ‘F’ reg plate on a car registered new as new on or after 1 August 1988.

Vehicle registration 

Once you have chosen and bought your ideal plate you need to update the vehicle registration (V5) with the DVLA. As long as your vehicle meets the following conditions:

  • can move under its own power
  • is registered with DVLA  
  • has an up-to-date log book (V5C) with the name and address of the current registered keeper
  • has been taxed for the last 5 years without any gaps (or a SORN has been in place for that time)


You need to keep the original registration plate so that the vehicle registration can be transferred back when you buy a new vehicle or want to remove the personalised plate.

When you come to sell a car with a personalised plate, you need to move the vehicle registration back to the original plate before the sale. If not the plate will be sold along with the car.

Motor insurance and personalised plates

It’s important to remember that personalised plates are registered to a vehicle and not to a person. So you need to understand what your motor insurance policy would cover your for if your vehicle was stolen or written off. Would you be able to recover the plate from wreckage and would you be given any financial compensation for a lost plate?

esure has a process in place to make sure that, in the unfortunate event of a total loss, we’ll ensure that the personalised plate is not disposed off with the vehicle.

Some insurers may class a personalised plate under a modification and so you should check before buying the plate if there would be any impact on your motor insurance.

Personalised plates are a great way to add a bit of individuality to your car. If you have a unique plate post a picture on our Facebook page or let us know what you’d chose if money was no object.