How to Keep Your Personalised Number Plates When Scrapping Your Vehicle

Your car has reached the end of its life, but throughout your time together, you put a lot of love (and money) into keeping it in tip top condition and looking fancy. Your vehicle really became a part of you, so much so that you invested in a set of personalised number plates; the icing on the cake for any car-loving driver.

Now, your car has seen better days and it’s time to say goodbye before swiftly moving on to a new model. That being said, those number plates are still in perfectly good nick, so there’s no reason to send them off as well. After all, as much as you loved the car, the plates are personal to you, not it. Here’s how you can save your personalised licence plates when you’re selling your car for scrap or salvage.

One half of a personalised number plate

Can I Keep My Personalised Number Plates When Scrapping My Car?

Yes, this is perfectly acceptable, but it’s not as simple as just taking them off before you hand over the keys. There are several hoops to jump through and unfortunately, a fee to pay, before you’re legally allowed to hold onto your pricey plates. Here’s how it’s done…

How Do I Keep My Personalised Number Plates When Scrapping My Car?

The DVLA’s process for reallocating a personalised, or private, number plate shouldn’t require too much of your time, but there are a lot of details that need to be included in your application, plus a lot of people you’ll need to inform about the change.

The application in question is for a V778 Retention Document, although you will also be sent a new V5C logbook for the vehicle as well. It’s absolutely crucial to understand that you must have the V778 and the new V5C logbook before selling or scrapping the vehicle, or your right to the private plate will be lost.

Once the personalised plate is successfully taken off the car by the DVLA, the original registration number should be automatically reassigned to it. Unfortunately, any private numbers beginning with ‘Q’ or ‘NIQ’ cannot be retained. 

Your vehicle itself must also meet some criteria in order to be eligible for a personalised number plate removal. It must:

  • Be DVLA registered in the UK
  • Be able to move using its own power
  • Be of a type that requires an MOT or HGV test certificate
  • Be available for inspection
  • Have been taxed or SORN’d for 5 consecutive years
  • Currently be taxed or SORN’d

Annoyingly for some, even if your classic vehicle is usually exempt from MOT’s, it will need an MOT certificate for this.

As with most things in the modern day, you can apply online (unless the vehicle is not in your name) and the whole process will set you back £80. You’ll also need the current V5C logbook.

What Happens After I Complete the Application Process?

Once you’ve given the DVLA everything they need, you’ll be sent the new logbook, which will arrive within 4-6 weeks. This is when your V778 Retention Document will be sent to you, or alternatively, to the car’s owner if the vehicle is not in your name.

Remember, that you can no longer drive the vehicle that the plates are being unassigned from without attaching the original plates and notifying your insurance company of the newly updated licence plate number.

The V778 Retention Document entitles you to the rights of your personalised plate for 10 years, meaning you can wait a whole decade to stick it on a new vehicle if you really want to. If, for whatever reason, you need to hold onto it for more than 10 years, you’ll need to renew your right to the number. Or, if you’re feeling generous, you could give up your right to the licence plate number and allow somebody else to take it instead.

Who Do I Need to Tell About The Change?

After your personalised number plate has been removed from the car, you need to inform several authorities so that they can keep an up to date record of who the vehicle belongs to. As we mentioned, your insurance company needs to know, but you should also update your number plate on any automatic payment services that you may use to pay tolls or congestion and emission charges.

How Do I Assign the Plates to A New Car?

Your old car is a thing of the past and despite the good memories it gave you, you’re excited to try out your new car. You’ve kitted out the interior with all the bells and whistles that your heart desires, but it’s missing the jewel in the crown: your private number plate.

This process is very similar, so as long as you haven’t left too long between removing the plate and reassigning it to a new car, you’ll probably be a dab hand at it. First things first, you’ll need the all-important V778 Retention Document (for clarity’s sake, if you’re reading this wondering why you’ve got a V750 Certificate of Entitlement instead, it’s because you’re awarded those documents when you’re the first owner of a brand new private plate).

You’ll also need the V5C logbook for the new car, and then you can apply online, or by post. The biggest (and best) difference from removing a set of plates, is that assigning them to a vehicle is completely free, whether you do it online or by post.

Next, you’ll be sent a new logbook and advised to keep hold of the original plates, in case you need to repeat the process and remove them again somewhere down the line. Similarly, you should notify the same authorities of the change.

What If I Want to Transfer the Personalised Plate Straight Onto Another Vehicle?

If you’ve already acquired a new car before scrapping your old car and you want the personalised plates to go directly onto your fresh purchase, then you can make this happen by filling in the ‘Option A’ page of a V317 document. The process is essentially the same, but compiles everything into one piece of paperwork which must be sent by post to the DVLA.

After you’ve taken your personalised plate off your old car, it’s time to get a quote for scrapping it. In just 30 seconds, Scrap Car Comparison can find you the best prices around to sell your car for scrap or salvage. Thanks to our network of car buyers that stretches across the country, you’re able to arrange the collection of your vehicle at a time that suits you, and at no extra cost, no matter where you are. Find out how much your car is worth and sell it as scrap or salvage today.

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