Did you know that if you are buying a brand new car it’s perfectly possible for it to be registered from day one with your private registration number? That means you won’t have to take delivery and drive around for a few days or weeks with a registration number that’s from the latest period of the current numbering system. But why would you want to do this, is it difficult to use a private number for the first registration, and what if you are leasing or buying the vehicle on finance?
Why register a brand new car with a personalised plate?
There are several reasons why you might want to register a brand-new car with your private plate as the first registration number. You might just want your own plate on the car from day one to avoid the hassle of having to buy and fit a new set of number plates when the transfer from the given number to your own number is complete.
It might also be the case that you don’t want a plate on your car that shows how new it is or how old it is if it isn’t new. This could be because you have a business and you don’t want clients, customers or staff to know for sure that’s you’ve just bought a brand new car. If you have your private plate on from the start then no casual onlooker can know for sure when your vehicle was first registered, unless, of course, they go to the trouble and expense of paying for a vehicle history check on your private number.
Let’s say you’ve got a great deal on a vehicle but it has to be registered just before the registration number changes. To get the very best deal on a new car it will often have to be registered before a certain date, which will usually be the end of a month or a quarter for the dealer to get a bonus from the manufacturer that allows them to sell the car to you at that bargain price.
Now, some people couldn’t care less if they take delivery of a brand new car a few weeks before the current registration changes again as long as they get a good deal. On the other hand, plenty of people like to bask in the warm glow of driving around for a few months with the very latest registration on their car.
If you did find yourself buying a brand new car a few weeks before the reg number changes again, registering the car with your private plate from the word go means the change of registration number on March 1st or September 1st would be irrelevant to you.
Here’s a great video to help register:
Is it difficult to register a car with a private plate?
Before the whole registration and transfer stuff went entirely online it could be a real pain in the you-know-what for a dealership to be able to register a vehicle with the customer’s private registration number. The actual process itself was no more difficult than using one of the free registration numbers allocated to the dealership by the DVLA, but getting the necessary documentation from the customer could be a nightmare.
The worst situation was where a customer has their private plate on another vehicle and they wanted to use it on their brand new one. I would always tell them to put their plate on retention, but they would often tell us about the private plate a few days before their new vehicle needed registering, and there simply wouldn’t be time to get the process done and receive the retention certificate to be able to use it for the new car.
Sometimes the customer would simply refuse to go down the route of putting their plate on retention, especially if they were trading the car in to us that currently had their personalised number plate on it. Anyway, those days of travelling miles to the regional DVLA office to get the transfers done are long gone and the whole process is infinitely quicker and easier.
Don’t let the sales exec or their sales admin departments tell you otherwise. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a brand new car registered with your private plate as long as you don’t drop it on them five minutes before the car is being registered.
What if you are leasing or buying on finance?
It doesn’t make any difference if you are paying outright for your new car or buying it on finance; there’s no reason why the car can’t be registered with your private number. Even if you’re leasing your new car it’s possible to use your private plate as long as you liaise with the leasing company and stick to their terms and conditions.
What you might find when you’re leasing is the vehicle may have already been pre-registered, but if you get in touch with the leasing company it may still be possible to put your private plate on the vehicle prior to it being delivered. Although the online transfer can be done in seconds when you have the correct documentation to hand, a leasing company may insist on something two weeks or a month from you taking delivery before they will assign your private plate to the vehicle.
You may also have to start the process of removing your plate from the vehicle when your lease is coming to an end up to as long as 15 weeks before you are due to return the car, otherwise, your private plate might end up going with your car and you could have a fight on your hands to get it back.
On the whole, registering a brand new car with your private plate is almost as easy as it being registered with a free number the dealership gets from the DVLA. The only caveat is when you already have the plate assigned to a vehicle. As long as you put your plate on retention and you have the retention certificate in your possession before the car is due to be registered there’s no reason why the dealership wouldn’t be happy to use it.
And when you take your private plate off a vehicle that was originally registered with your private plate the DVLA will assign it with the kind of number it would have been given at the time if you hadn’t chosen to use your private number.