Registering a custom number plate can be tricky if you are not sure exactly where to look, especially since a lot of combinations are already taken.
Companies like swiftreg.co.uk are a great option for people who want the complete package all at once, but how do you legally change your number plate?
Understanding number plates
Number Plates are a unique identifier, and that means that you can’t have another person’s number plate as your own if you are both registered in the same country. If somebody already has “MARK,” then you can’t have “MARK” for yourself in that exact combination.
To get around that, a lot of number plates are quite creative, mixing in numbers to replace certain letters or adding extra letters to make sure that the registration is unique. As long as a number plate is not taken, you can usually buy it for yourself, unless it is somehow reserved for a very specific vehicle or owner.
Getting a new number plate costs money since your car is being re-registered to suit that new number plate. The plate has to match your registry, so you could not have a single vehicle with two different vanity number plates.
How much do they cost?
Number plates are not a set price – they are priced based on how desirable they are. This can seem odd, but it all makes sense when you consider how valuable certain plates can be. For example, a plate that is literally just an existing name (like the MARK example above) can cost a lot of money because it is a very desirable thing to have.
The same happens for any desirable combination of letters and numbers, whether they are song references, number plates of fictional cars in popular media, names, places, or even descriptive words. The more recognizable a vanity plate is, the more it will cost you in the long-run, especially if you are not substituting any numbers or letters.
Custom number plates do not have to follow the same seven-digit limit as most other cars, and you can often get custom plates that go below seven. However, this can also increase the cost, especially when you are at three digits or below. A single-digit plate can be incredibly hard to acquire since they are all taken and priced very highly.
Getting a new plate
With companies like swiftreg.co.uk, a lot of the process is handled by experts. This means that you are not forced to try and get the plate yourself, which could take a lot of phone calls and plenty of awkward money transfers to handle. But how does the process actually work, and what do you need to do?
Identify the plate that you want
It always helps to start out with an idea of the kind of plate that you are looking for. Even if that exact plate is taken, it means that you have something to work with, and you can start replacing or adding digits to find a suitable alternative option.
Remember that some plates may be completely taken, especially ones that only use a few digits. It also helps to keep the price in mind since more direct plates (such as names with no alterations) are going to be expensive even if they are not already taken.
Find the plate
You can look on the Swiftreg site to see which ones are available, as well as the price that they are being offered for. Note that some plates may not be transferrable to vehicles registered before a certain time since there are still legal quirks involved in how a plate can actually work and what it has to represent.
Once that is done, you are able to just buy the plate, either for yourself or as a gift. It is no different from buying anything else online, although you will still need to get the car properly re-registered. You can also choose whether you want physical plates to be included in your order.
Enjoy your plate
Whether you pay it off all at once or follow a finance arrangement, there is not much stopping you from having your plate installed. You are able to get more options for how the service is handled and how the plates are delivered, but once you own them, you should be able to use them straight away.
Just make sure that your car is properly registered. If your plates do not match, then you could get in a lot of trouble, even if you technically own them but have not registered the car properly yet.