Buyers’ Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Buyer's Frequently Asked Questions. Click on a question below to show the answer. If you have a question about selling a registration please view our FAQ for registration number sellers .

Show all answers

The Transfer Process

What happens to my present registration number?

If the number currently on the vehicle is the one it was first issued with, the Department for Transport will generally reissue this number to the vehicle when the new personalised number is removed in the future. However, it is entirely at the discretion of the Department for Transport. Alternatively, you can pay the Department for Transport transfer fee and retain the number.

Is there any restriction to the transfer of registration numbers with year identifiers?

You cannot make a vehicle look newer than it really is by transferring a younger year letter. For example XX14 ABC cannot be transferred to a vehicle originally registered as HJ10 XYZ as this would make it look younger. However, it is possible to transfer it to HJ15 XYZ, as the recipient vehicle would be newer than the donor registration.

How long does a transfer take?

This depends on the type of transfer, although we suggest allowing three to four weeks. We ensure that every transfer is expedited as quickly as possible. However, it should be noted that where we require physical documents to be posted to us, the transfer cannot be started until we receive those documents. Please note that whilst we take all reasonable care of your documents, we cannot accept any responsibility for their safety once passed into the hands of the Department for Transport, although it must be said that it is extremely rare for them to lose documents.

Is it possible to transfer a registration number to a vehicle registered with a "Q" mark?

Transfers are not possible to "Q" registered vehicles.

If my vehicle is brand new and not yet registered, is it possible to transfer one of your registrations on to it?

In some circumstances it may be possible for paperwork to be released to you to give to your garage to facilitate your own transfer. Please check with us prior to purchase.

What happens to my MOT Certificate?

Your vehicle's MOT certificate shows the registration number that was on the vehicle on the date that the MOT test was carried out, and therefore this does not need to be changed.

If the recipient vehicle already has a cherished mark can it be transferred to another vehicle at the same time you transfer the number I am purchasing from you?

Yes. This is called a double transfer. We will ask you about your existing registration number during the online transfer process. If you wish us to transfer the existing registration number to another vehicle you will need to send us the V5C Registration Certificate of the other vehicle involved and an extra £80 cheque payable to the Department for Transport. Although this creates more work for us, we do not make any extra charge. If no other vehicle is available then the mark can be retained on a Retention Document. The additional transfer fee (£80) will be required in advance.

What happens if I need to tax my vehicle?

If your vehicle tax expires within the next 4 weeks, tax it as soon as possible in the normal manner (phone, post, online or at a Post Office) and let us know the new tax expiry date when we request your V5C Registration Certificate.

What happens if I change my mind after the transfer has been completed?

As part of our service we offer 6 months advertising at no cost, provided we receive your written instructions within 3 months of the purchase date. Such commissions are subject to our selling terms of business.

Does the recipient vehicle need to be inspected by the authorities?

No. However, if, for example, there was a change of construction of the vehicle the authorities may then want to inspect it. You would be notified if this was necessary.


Why are some prices subject to VAT?

If the registration is actually owned by us or a Government issue, VAT has to be added. Registrations not subject to VAT are being sold on a commission basis.

When is the £80 Department for Transport transfer fee NOT payable?

When you are speculatively purchasing a registration where Elite Registrations has already submitted the £80 transfer fee to the Department for Transport or where Elite Registrations are prepared to do so, and you are purchasing the registration with a view to making a short term profit, and you are giving Elite Registrations exclusive rights to sell the registration on a commission basis. (Full terms and conditions of this service are available on request).

Number Plates

I have seen many number plates that spell words by making digits look like letters and vice versa. Is this legal?

No. To display illegally spaced or indistinguishable number plates is an offence.

Where do I get a new set of registration plates from?

Elite Registrations are ‘Registered Number Plate Suppliers’, and we are able to supply plates suitable for most vehicles. A standard pair of plates would normally cost you £25 including P&P.

Other Questions

Does the price include a vehicle?

No. You are merely acquiring the right to transfer the registration to a vehicle.

What happens if I don't have a vehicle to transfer the registration number to?

If you are unable to supply suitable vehicle documents within four weeks of purchase, we can usually offer to defer the transfer for you and send you a 'Certificate of Purchase' which will be valid for three years - giving you plenty of time to find a suitable vehicle.

Can I purchase one of your stock registrations on a speculative (profit-making) basis?

If you are buying one of our stock registrations on a speculative (profit-making) basis to be sold through our commission sales service, please telephone 01380 818181. We may be able to accept your instruction to buy and sell through us, on the basis that you pay for the cost of the registration in full in advance. The price is not subject to the £80 Department for Transport fee as an eventual (subsequent) buyer will pay this. However, the agreement is limited to a period of 12 months, after which, if a buyer has not been found, you will be obliged to pay us the £80 DfT fee.

What happens if I want to sell my car in the future and keep my registration number?

No problem. The registered keeper can apply to retain your current registration number through the DVLA at a cost of £80 ( DVLA will issue you with a new V5C Registration Certificate (showing a replacement registration number) and will also post to you a Retention Certificate (showing your retained registration number) which will be valid for 10 years. Assigning the registration number from Retention to a future vehicle can be done at or by following the instructions on the certificate itself.

Back to top