Can You Put a Private Plate on a Lease Car?

Published 24/09/2021
by AVL
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We get asked a lot of questions about leasing vehicles here at AVL. One of the more popular queries that crops up, however, is relating to private registrations, or personalised number plates, and whether or not you’re able to legally display a private number plate on a leased car. In this blog, we’ll take a look at this question and give you some information surrounding number plates, what they actually are, how to buy one, number plate law, displaying private number plates on your leased car, and we’ll also let you know where you can lease yourself a car or van to suit your budget.
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What is a Personalised Number Plate?

So, before we cover the legality around putting a personalised plate on a leased vehicle and how to buy one, let’s take a look at the specifics of what a personalised number plate actually is, and some of the rules of the road when it comes to these registrations.

Private number plates go by many names, from personalised plates to car registration numbers, and there’s a little more to it than the actual plates that go on the front and back of a vehicle registered in the UK.

You need to own the rights to a private number plate, or a registration number, and this needs to be in the form of a retention certificate or a log book provided by the DVLA. If a registration number is on a retention certificate or document, then you can transfer it to a vehicle you own or you are leasing with AVL.

Only when you have transferred a number plate from the retention document to the vehicle log book can you think about buying physical private number plates to display. The vehicle must also be registered in the UK and roadworthy, with a valid MOT test carried out on the vehicle.

Can I Legally Put a Private Plate on a Leased Car?

The short answer to this one is yes. You can legally put a private plate on a leased car. You will need to arrange this with AVL to do so, but there shouldn’t be any major issues that arise when wanting to get this carried out.

The process is slightly different to buying a reg for a vehicle you own outright, and you need to speak to us about certain aspects of the transaction, such as whether or not you want the plates on before your vehicle is purchased and delivered or afterwards. 

So, with this in mind, let’s take a quick look at the process of buying a private number plate for a leased vehicle as opposed to buying one for a vehicle you own outright. 

The Process For Buying a Private Reg For Your Leased Car

To buy a personalised plate, you need to purchase the rights to the plate with a registered dealer or the DVLA, then you need to fill in the nominee details on the retention document. When leasing a vehicle, these details will need to include the finance company you are leasing the vehicle with, as opposed to your personal details if you were to buy the car outright. We can help with this, please just get in touch.

The next step is for you to send the retention document to the DVLA. Once everything is processed, the DVLA can send the updated retention document (V778) to the supplying dealership or directly to you. If you choose the dealership option, please note that you will need to get in touch with us beforehand, so we know what’s happening and can arrange everything necessary, ensuring the process runs smoothly.

It’s also worth noting that this might delay the delivery of your vehicle if you would like the number plate fitted before it’s sent out to you, as it means we will have to wait for the DVLA and whoever you buy a private reg from to deliver the paperwork. 

Alternatively, if you want to have a number plate fitted to your car after your new vehicle is delivered, you can put them onto the car yourself once all the red tape is sorted. This prevents delays in the delivery process and ensures you have your car or van as quickly as possible.

Where Can I Buy a Private, or personalised, Number Plate?

There are numerous number plate dealers out there who buy and sell private number plates. Make sure they’re registered and certified as a legitimate DVLA reseller however, as there are some cowboys out there operating illegally.

As well as these third-party registration dealers, you can also go directly to the DVLA website to buy a private number plate. All personalised registrations are distributed by the DVLA, so this would be the cheapest option. You can also buy personalised number plates at DVLA auctions that happen throughout the year, and you can buy personalised registrations for the newest number plate releases which happen on a bi-annual basis. Using a dealer can make this process much easier.

To buy physical number plates to display on a vehicle, you need to make sure that they are legal for the UK roads. This means adhering to certain standards set out by the DVLA covering things such as character spacing, fonts, colour schemes and whether or not they can include patterns or 3D finishes. There are lots of websites out there that sell illegally spaced number plates, otherwise known as show plates, but be aware of the serious consequences for being caught by the police and having illegal number plates on your vehicle. This can range from a hefty fine to having your number plate taken away from you.

Where Can I Lease a Vehicle?

If you’re looking to lease any kind of vehicle suitable for UK roads, from electric vehicles to vans for your business, you’ve come to the right place.

We have years of experience providing affordable, fantastic lease deals on vehicles from all the major manufacturers, and can help you find your dream car with a contract that suits your requirements. We keep the process as simple as possible, and work with transparency at the heart of our operations. Everything we do is with the customer in mind, so you can expect a top quality customer service when you get in touch with AVL.

We also have regular special offers that are updated on a regular basis, which you can check out at our website. As well as this, we provide lease deals and contracts on used vehicles, as well as the newest ranges and models available in the UK.

All in all, AVL are passionate and knowledgeable about all things relating to the leasing of vehicles in the UK, and offer nationwide delivery on all of our stock and an unbeatable customer service and product. 

Get in Touch with AVL Today

Whatever your requirements, browse our website or request a quote with AVL today to discuss your perfect leased vehicle.

With national delivery and the widest selection of vehicles around the UK, we have something to suit everyone, at the best price possible.

Our customer service is second to none, so get in touch with our friendly sales team on 01642 793 444 with any questions you might have or email our team at for more information.

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About The Author

Advanced Vehicle Leasing was founded in 1997 and is now a leading provider of vehicle contracts. Specialising in all aspects of car and van contract hire and leasing, we supply vehicles to our customers across the country from our head office in Middlesbrough. We offer every method of acquiring a vehicle finance lease, lease purchase, contract purchase, hire purchase, contract hire, personal leasing – personal contract purchase (PCP). personal contact hire (PCH)