Expert reveals how to protect your personalised number plate in the event of a crash

Cars crashed heavily in road accident after collision on city street.

The personalised number plate industry is now worth over £2 billion as more people try to differentiate their vehicles. A standard number plate contains seven digits; however, a custom one can include less. They are often used to create a word or phrase that is comedic or means something to the vehicle owner.

Personalised number plates can cost up to £200k and can increase in value over time. So, you could lose a very expensive asset by not retaining your number plate after a crash. If you are involved in a crash, you do have rights when it comes to keeping your plate.

Here, Dorry Potter, National Scrap Car’s car expert, explains exactly how to protect your personalised number plate after a crash.

“Private number plates are purchased for a number of reasons; some people want to individualise their vehicles, whereas others have a close connection to the message on the registration.

“Keeping your private registration is doable and a simple process as long as you follow the rules set by the DVLA.”

What to do if your car has been written off

If your car is damaged to the point that it needs to be written off, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible to inform them that you want to keep your personalised number plate. Ask for the confirmation in writing to make sure this request will be fulfilled, and inform the DVLA.

Your insurer will then send a letter of non-interest to the DVLA so that you continue owning that private registration number. A fee will then be required to pay the DVLA to keep the plate on a retention certificate if there isn’t another vehicle to transfer it to directly.

What happens if you don’t act

If you don’t act when your car is written off, then you risk losing your personalised number plate. The registration belongs to your vehicle, so it will be transferred to your insurance company. From there, it is either sold on to a new owner when your car is scrapped or scrapped with the car, so it’s important that you act and comply with the DVLA’s rules.

What to do if your car is stolen and then crashed?

You will again need to inform the DVLA and your insurer that your car was stolen and you want to keep your personalised number plate. Further on, you should prove to the DVLA that your vehicle had a valid MOT and road tax when it was stolen. You will also need to tell them that you have reported the stolen vehicle incident to the police.

If your car is never recovered, then you may have to wait six months to transfer the private registration number to another vehicle.

On the other hand, if your vehicle is recovered, then you can transfer it to another vehicle as soon as possible, as long as you’ve applied to the DVLA to keep it. You must go through this process before your returned car is scrapped or sold.

1 thought on “Expert reveals how to protect your personalised number plate in the event of a crash”

  1. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin

    I have an extremely valuable number which someone is trying to steal. They simply applied for a new V5 to replace the ‘lost’ one.

    I had no idea about this until I received a letter from DVLA querying the address change. I have since had to send in pictures of the vehicle, chassis number and engine number. Fortunately, the number was owned by my father before I was born so I could provide a list of vehicles going back some 60 years to which it was affixed.

    Interestingly, DVLA is not interested, at least at this stage, in pursuing anybody for fraud. The matter is still open but the paper application has been confirmed as no mistake.

    Make sure that your address on the V5 is always up to date and that you have evidence if ownership such as service records etc.

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