The first-ever issued number plate in the UK was sold in 1903. Earl Russell camped outside the vehicle registration office to make certain he owned the very prestigious plate A 1. Back then it cost nothing more than a small registration fee but if the A 1 plate was ever for sale today it is estimated that it could be worth over £1million. Today private number plates (also known as personalized number plates or vanity plates in the USA) are more popular than ever and are a great way of getting your car, no matter how ordinary, to say something about you. It is possible to find private number plates with anything from your birthday to your initials. There are several things to think about and confirm when buying a private plate.

As when buying a house, a car or any large purchase, you need to decide a budget and stick to it. It's easy to get carried away and spend more than you can afford, but whatever your budget is you'll be able to find a plate that suits you. The most important thing to confirm when buying a private number plate is that is genuine and legal. It needs a V750 Certificate of Entitlement or a V778 Retention Document (both of which are official DVLA documents) to be road legal. When buying the plate, for it to be transferred to your vehicle the DVLA needs to be applied to via the DVLA's V317 form. To locate your local DVLA office, go to DVLA gov uk.

The fun part when buying your personalized private plate is of course the actual choosing. You may spend weeks or even months hunting for the right one for you, just like choosing a home. Many websites, for example, nationalnumbers, have a facility on their site where you can type in your initials and view the plates that correspond. This can make choosing your private plate very simple. You can also choose a plate which matches your car. Maybe you love the fact that your car is pink. If this is the case, you can find a plate that celebrates this. Typing "pink" into one of the search engines on a private number plate site brings up plates for sale such as "P9 YNK" for £188. You can also find plates that show how much you love the car itself. If you own a Mini you can find plates such as "M100 YNY" for under £200. Plates that simply spell out MINI can be located but could cost you up to £50,000. It all depends on how much you love that Mini. cheap private number plates under £200

It's worth remembering that the cheaper plates have a letter prefix which adheres to the year your car was manufactured. You cannot buy a private plate to make your car appear newer than it actually is. Therefore if you wanted P9 YNK for your M-reg car, it wouldn't be possible. If you just want your initials on the plate then it is easy to buy a cheaper plate as the prefix and numbers will make up the beginning of the registration and your initials e.g SMK or GCB will be at the end.

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