The private number plate in the UK is huge and continues to grow year on year, however buyers need to be aware of the risk associated with stolen or written-off vehicles.
Of the 380,000 number plates auctioned off by the DVLA last year, most will have cost little more than a few hundred pounds apiece. Nevertheless a leading car insurance comparison site looked at 302 comprehensive insurance policies and found that a mere 19 of these covered the loss of a personalised registration number. Indeed even if you are covered, you might not get back what you paid for it.
The big problem isn’t just that the registration number plate isn’t covered, it’s also when something happens to the vehicle that it is attached to. Remember that a registration number is assigned to a motor vehicle, not a person who purchased it. As such, if the insurance company claim the car in the event of it being written off, then they also get the plates.
The good news is that there are steps that you can take in order to get your cherished plates back. Quite simply, let your insurer know that you wish to keep your registration number in the event of the car being stolen or written off. You will also need to tell the DVLA and inform your insurer that they are happy to let you have the registration number (you may have to pay a fee to your insurer for doing so). Then you will need to pay a retention fee to keep the registration should you not have another vehicle to assign it to.
If your car is scrapped, then the plate could disappear with it and if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered, then you will need to wait a year before you can reclaim the plates and also prove that the car was taxed and had a valid MOT at time of the theft.