How to Retrieve Your Personalised Number Plate if your Car is Stolen or Written Off

Car number plate UK

If you have had your car stolen or written off, you might be wondering how to retrieve your personalised number plate. Read on to find out the answer in our quick guide.

Anyone who has bought a private number plate will know they can hold a certain amount of sentimental value, however, they can be lost forever is your vehicle is stolen or written off with the number plate attached.

And the worst thing about it? It is most likely you won’t receive any more back for it as insurance companies don’t normally cover private plates under their policies.

Between 2017-2018 nearly 400,000 private number plates were sold at DVLA auctions, and that doesn’t include plates being sold by private companies and sellers, so as you can see they are becoming increasingly popular. That being said, they still aren’t cheap, and losing your private plate could mean the loss of at least a few hundred pounds.

Studies show that only a small portion of insurance policies cover private number plates, and even if they do the chances of you getting all of your money back is slim. There’s more bad news, unfortunately your number plate is attached to the vehicle It has been assigned to, not the owner, therefore, if your insurance company claim the vehicle, it means they also claim the private number plate too.

Reclaiming a private number plate

There is a sliver-lining to this situation, as you may be able to retrieve your private number plate is you act quickly. You can let the insurance company know that you want to retain ownership of the number plate and have it returned if the vehicle is written off or stolen. There are certain companies across the UK that can save the number plate before the insurance company class the vehicle as a write off. In order to do so, you must contact the company before any documentation is sent to the DVLA or insurance company, that way they are able to save the private plate and a replacement plate can be placed on the vehicle before it is scrapped.

If you want to keep your number plate, it is essential that you contact the DVLA and your insurance company to let them know, the insurer will also send a letter of non-interest to the DVLA. Once this has been done, it is your responsibility to go through the necessary procedures to have the number plate legally retained and possibly placed onto another vehicle. If your vehicle is stolen and never recovered, you will have to wait 12 months to reclaim your plate, and you will not be reminded of this you must remember yourself.

If you want to retain your number plate it will cost £80 and you will need for V5C (logbook) and to fill out an application through the DVLA website. The process is fairly simple and can be done online or via post. Once the application has been approved, you will receive a Certificate of Retention which allows you to keep the number plate for up to ten years. If you decide to put the plate on another vehicle then you will need to let the DVLA know, however, if after the 10 years you want to continue the retention, you can reapply free of charge.

Make sure you always inform your insurance company if you buy a private number plate, otherwise it may make your policy invalid and you will receive no financial help if your vehicle is stolen or written off.

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