How Do You Buy Personalised Show Plates in the UK?

How Do You Buy Personalised Show Plates in the UK?

You’ve got your new whip. You love everything about it – the colour, the performance, the spec, the sound, the interior.

There’s just one thing missing – the plates.

You want something that’s more ‘you’. Maybe it’s your initials, your birthday, your football team, your favourite band. Just something that’ll take the car from just another of the same make and model, to YOUR car.

So how exactly do you buy personalised show plates in the UK?

First of all, you can’t just walk into a shop with your desired number and pick it up.

You’ll have three options when it comes to buying your ideal show plate…


The DVLA Website.

The DVLA has a huge bank of personalised plates on their website. You can search on their site for a plate that matches your search criteria. There are thousands of plates available, so you’ll have a good chance of finding something suitable.

The DVLA also hold auctions where you can bid on the plate you like. These auctions are pretty competitive and prices can quickly skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands for the popular plates!

You can bid on these auctions over the phone, online or in person – whichever suits you.


Dealer/Broker Websites 

If you can’t find the plate of your dreams on the DVLA website, you could always try a brokers website. They too have huge lists of personalised plates so you may find something suitable on there.

Expect to pay a slight premium for plates bought this way as the broker will be making their mark up too. That being said, it may be worth it for the plate of your dreams! Plus, it may be a way to get your hands on a plate that you couldn’t find on the DVLA website.

There are dozens of broker websites in the UK, so search around and you’ll find the plate you want. They’re a popular way to buy plates and also they have a huge range, so you’re likely to find something ideal on there.


Private Plate Sales

Just as you can buy cars privately, you can also buy plates privately too. This is perhaps the hardest way because there are no ‘search tools’ – you just have to keep your eye out in car magazines for adverts of plates for sale. It’ll need every ounce of your inner Sherlock Holmes in order to track down the plate of your dreams – either that or a slice of luck!

It’s more difficult to put a price on plates this way because there are fewer comparison tools. You’ll just have to negotiate a price the old school way and settle on something you’re happy with.

No matter which way you decide to buy your show plates, you’ll have to register them with the DVLA in order to make them fully legal in the UK. Failure to do so comes with a pretty heavy penalty from the law! For that reason, buying directly from the DVLA or a registered professional broker is the safest way to buy your plates.


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