Personalised number plates are a fantastic way to improve any vehicle, whether as a treat for your own car or as a gift for somebody else. Many people consider getting new number plates, but are put off because they don’t understand how simple the process is. There are also lots of myths out there about the costs of getting new licence plates for your car.
By taking a look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions, we hope that we can reassure drivers looking for a fun way to add some personality to their vehicle.
The cost of new number plates is less than you might think
Perhaps the biggest misconception about personalised number plates is the idea that they’re only for the super-rich. While it’s true that the rarest and most exclusive number plates can cost thousands of pounds, there are still plenty of options available for those looking to spend a more modest amount. The key is to be flexible about what you want your number plate to say. Getting your initials, for instance, might be more affordable than trying to spell out a popular name.
Use a dedicated dealer such as CarReg to help you find a suitable option within your budget. CarReg offer number plates in a range of different styles, and have handy search tools to help you find something that offers the right combination of numbers and letters without breaking the bank.
They usually won’t affect your insurance premiums
Some people worry that any kind of modification to their car could come with a hidden cost: increased insurance payments. Luckily, the evidence shows that this is rarely the case for personal number plates. Experts at compare the market explained:
“We can’t speak for every insurance provider but, generally speaking, a personalised plate isn’t viewed as a modification. This does vary though, so it’s worth checking with your insurance provider before buying a new custom registration.”
Some have even suggested that custom number plates could be seen as a benefit for your insurance, as they make it easier to trace the car in case of theft. This means that they can be off-putting to criminals, and it also means that they’ll be easier to track if a crime takes place.
Registering a new licence number is a quick process with only a little bit of paperwork
Perhaps you’re more worried about the amount of hassle involved with purchasing and registering your new car? Well, this is actually another common myth, as registering new plates is typically a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few working days. It’s also something that a number plate dealer will be able to do for you when you make your purchase, so if you prefer to have all of the paperwork handled by somebody else then that option is there.
You don’t have to register number plates onto your vehicle immediately, either. So if you want to by some new plates and hang onto them, perhaps as a gift or because you’re waiting to buy a new vehicle, that’s absolutely fine. You’ll simply need to complete the correct HMRC form when the time comes.
Personal number plates still need to play by the rules
While it would be amazing to make additional customisations to your plate, such as changing the font or putting a fun image in the corner – there are actually lots of rules around what can and can’t be displayed. While choosing your own number plate can be fun, it’s important to remember that they still serve a practical purpose, letting the government know key information about your car. It’s also important that the number is clear and can be identified by others on the road or by traffic cameras. This means that it needs to be in the correct format, with the right font, sizing, spacing and colours. Make sure you stick to the rules to avoid being stuck with a very unwelcome £1,000 fine.
Overall, number plates are a simple and surprisingly cost-effective option for giving your car a bit more personality. As long as you follow a few simple rules and buy your plates from a reputable source, you shouldn’t have any difficulties.