If you’re anything like us, picking your car will be a very personal choice. The brand, model, colour and specification are all big questions that the discerning buyer must consider. The pinnacle of car personalisation though has to be the personalised registration plate. For statement-making drivers, getting a customised plate for their beloved set of wheels is simply a must. But what happens when you get a new vehicle? Find out more about transferring the plate to your new set of wheels here.


With prices from the DVLA starting at £250 (plus VAT and an £80 transfer fee), it’s no wonder that hundreds of thousands of British drivers have bought into the affordable, yet luxurious choice of making their number plate personal. Some independent number plate traders can offer even cheaper deals!


However, once you’ve got a personalised registration plate it can be difficult to imagine driving without it. Luckily, the answer for anyone out there looking to transfer their customised plate is a yes – it’s very much do-able! However, there’s a few steps involved – so read on.


First steps


The first thing you need to do when you are transferring a personalised registration plate to another car is place the registration number on retention. This allows you to either keep the number for a vehicle in the future or transfer it over to another car.


In addition, you must also be the owner/registered driver of the car that you are going to transfer the plate over to. The car must also be:


• Registered with the DVLA


• Have been taxed for the last five years or declared off the road with a SORN certification (Statutory Off-Road Notification)


Making it happen


When you’re sure you have taken the first steps in the process, you can visit the DVLA’s online portal. You will be asked to enter the registration number you want to place on retention and the 11-digit document reference from the current car’s log book (also known as a V5C). It usually costs around £80 to make this happen, which must be paid in one transaction with a debit or credit card.


Depending on whether you have chosen to retain the personalised number for a later date or transfer it immediately, you will be issued with either:


• A reference number to immediately transfer the number to another vehicle.


• A V778 retention document which gives you the right to use the personalised registration number for the next 10 years.


So, if you’re looking to transfer your personalised registration plate – what are you waiting for? It’s a very efficient process, as long as you follow every step. Here’s a few key details to keep in mind:


• If there is an interim period between your current number plate and the transfer of your personalised number plate, you will be given a replacement number to use.


• You’ll lose the right to use a personalised registration number if you sell or have your car scrapped before you get the V778 document.


• You must have your personalised number plates (or your replacement plates) on your vehicle before you drive it.


• You must inform your insurance company of your new personalised registration number.


• You cannot transfer a personalised number that starts with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’.


• Your plates must be made from a reflective material, which is white with black characters on the front of the car and yellow with black characters on the rear. No patterned backgrounds are allowed, and the character size and font must be within regulation.


Personalised number plates are a fantastic way to make your car extra special. Whether you go for the classic name plate or some hilarious wordplay, they’ll show everyone else on the road a bit of your personality. It’s for these reasons that many people like to keep their personalised number plate and transfer it on to another vehicle, and we hope that this article has made the process as smooth as possible.


For more information why not visit the GOV website here.