Private number plates can affect your car insurance

- Advertisement -

A rare DVLA number plate ‘TAX 1′ is expected to fetch up to £100,000 when it is auctioned next week – but drivers thinking about buying a personalised plate are being urged to consider the insurance implications.

The plate, which may appeal to tax experts or taxi firms, is likely to be one of the most expensive ever sold.  And while a registration plate costing tens of thousands of pounds will be beyond most people’s finances, personal plates are growing in popularity.

Personalised registration numbers from the DVLA start at £250 and, in 2016-17 the DVLA reportedly sold about 375,000 personalised plates.

The perfect private plate for a 4×4?

Is your private plate covered by your car insurance?

But, GoCompare car insurance is warning drivers thinking about buying a personalised plate that if their vehicle is stolen or written off, the private plate may be at risk.

The company analysed 302 comprehensive car insurance policies, which revealed only 19 specifically cover the loss of a personalised plate if the car was lost or stolen.   Of those providing cover, the sum insured varied widely from £200 to unlimited. 16 insurers cover a financial loss of £5,000 or more.

When an insurance claim is made for the cost of a car, the insurer owns both the vehicle and the registration number assigned to it. This also applies to personalised plates.

The claimant can repurchase the registration number from the insurer, if it still owns it, for no more than the settlement price. But, if the vehicle has already been disposed of by the insurer, then all rights to the registration plate go with the vehicle.

If a car with a personalised plate is stolen and not recovered, its owner will have to wait 12 months to get the number plate back. To reclaim the personalised plate, they will also have to prove that the car had a valid MOT and tax at the time of theft.

Similarly, motorists who’ve had a car with a personalised number plate written off have to arrange for the number to be transferred to another vehicle or retained on a certificate in sufficient time before the claim is settled.

Registration numbers move with the vehicle, not the owner

Registration numbers move with the vehicle they are assigned to, not the person who bought it.  So, if the vehicle is written off and the car scrapped – the number plate can disappear with it.

The policyholder will need to contact the DVLA and their insurer to let them know that they want to keep the plate.  The insurer will then write a letter of non-interest and send it to the DVLA.

The registered keeper will have to pay a retention fee to keep the plate if they don’t have another vehicle to transfer it to.

Matt Oliver from GoCompare commented: “When you register a personalised plate to a vehicle, you need to tell your insurer immediately, otherwise your policy could be invalidated. And if you’ve paid a lot for a registration number, you should consider whether it’s properly insured.”

A subtle depiction of a suitable private plate for a fish & chip vendor.

- Advertisement -
Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

Latest Expert Advice

Driving test change to boost accessibility

Video clips are to replace written scenarios in UK driving tests to make them more accessible.

Personal Contract Purchase: the PCP explained

The PCP (personal contract purchase) is the most popular type of car finance. This guide tells you everything you need to know about PCP car finance.

Latest Expert Ratings

Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke has received widespread praise for its smoother styling compared to the divisive original, as well as being much better to drive.

Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has received generally good media reviews, with praise for being a comfortable, quiet, efficient and practical large saloon.

All-new Hyundai i20 breaks cover

Hyundai has pulled back the covers on the new i20, with the supermini the first car to sport the firm’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ approach to design.

Refreshed Honda Civic Type R adds hardcore and stealthier versions

Honda has overhauled its Civic Type R, introducing a track-focused limited edition version along with a more subdued Sport Line option.

Car finance lender forced to pay customers £30 million in compensation

Car finance lender Moneybarn has also been fined almost £3 million by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after failing to help vulnerable customers.

UK used car market holds steady in 2019

Some 7.9 million used cars changed hands during the year, almost exactly the same as the previous year

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

1 COMMENT

  1. I have recently received my new log book with my private number plate as it was a birthday present I have emailed my insurance as there shut now until monday but my log book for my car now is registered with my new plates am I ok driving?

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.