Buying a DVLA registration is a cost effective way to personalise a vehicle. Technically,
even after your purchase the Secretary of State owns the registration – but you have
secured the right to display it on a vehicle. The rule is that the 'age identifier' must not
make the machinery look newer than it is. As such a car registered in February 2005 can
only display plates up to 2005/05. This includes old-style registrations such as 1997/R.
Registrations can be bought online, at www.dvlaregistrations.direct.gov.uk. Prices start
at £255 including VAT and the 'assignment fee'. Alternatively, the DVLA holds roughly
six auctions per-year each listing about 1,500 registrations. After any sale you receive
a Certificate of Entitlement Form (V750). This lasts for one year after which, if the
registration has not been assigned to a vehicle, a fee is required to extend the entitlement.
By Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk