What happens to a personalised number plate when you scrap a car?

A number plate, also known as a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate attached to a vehicle for official identification purposes. Personalised number plates, or private plates, are number plates that have been specifically ordered by an individual and contain unique letters and/or numbers.

In the UK, number plate retention and transferring is allowed for vehicles heading to the scrap yard. This means that you can keep your number plate and put it on another vehicle, or transfer it to someone else by telling the dvla your car is scrapped.

If you want to retain your number plate, you will need to fill out a form and send it to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). There is a fee for this service, but it is relatively inexpensive.

You can also transfer your number plate to someone else if you wish. Again, there is a small fee for this service. If you have any questions about number plate retention or transferring, you can contact the DVLA for more information.

Is it possible for me to retain my number plate?

Number plate retention is a service provided by the DVLA that allows you to keep your personalised number plates even if you sell your car. In order to retain your number plate, you will need to have your car’s V5C logbook. If you have lost your logbook, you can apply for a new one from the DVLA. There are a few other conditions that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for number plate retention:

  • It must be registered with the DVLA in the UK.
  • It must be capable of being driven on its own.
  • The car must be eligible for an MOT certificate (although it doesn’t need a MOT at the time of application).
  • Your car may need to be inspected by the DVLA, so it must be available
  • Vehicle must have consistently been taxed or declared SORN for the last five years
  • A vehicle must be taxed or declared SORN if it is not currently taxed. For cars that have been SORN for more than five years, you will need to tax and MOT them

If you meet all of these conditions, then you can apply for number plate retention online.

When I scrap my car, how can I retain my number plate?

You’re scrapping your car & may be wondering if you can retain your vehicle registration number (VRN) and number plate. The good news is that you can indeed keep your number plate when you scrap your car. However, there are a few things you need to do in order to make this happen.

First, you’ll need to apply for the right to retain and transfer the plate. This can be done online or by post. Before you send in your application, though, make sure the vehicle is registered with the DVLA and that it has the appropriate road tax (or a SORN that has lasted for at least five years). You may also need to have the vehicle inspected by the DVLA. Once everything is in order, you’ll be issued a retention certificate.

With a retention certificate in hand, you can then transfer your number plate to another vehicle or keep it for future use. So, if you’re scrapping your car but want to hang onto your personalised number plate, it’s definitely possible. Just make sure you follow the proper procedures and have all the necessary documentation.

How to put a private plate on retention and transfer online

If you want to keep your vehicle registration number (VRN) for future use, the DVLA’s online retention service is the quickest and easiest way to do this. Once you’ve completed the online application, your VRN will be immediately removed from your vehicle. The cost of the online retention service is £80.

To apply, you’ll need the following information:

  • The private registration number you want to keep.
  • The 11-digit reference number from the vehicle’s V5C logbook.
  • The keeper’s postcode (noted on the V5C).

Once you have all the required information, simply visit the DVLA’s “Take a private number plate off a vehicle” page and input the relevant details. Once the application is complete, your private registration number will be safely retained for future use.

How to transfer number plate

If you own a private number plate, there may come a time when you want to scrap your car and transfer the plate to a new vehicle. It’s actually a pretty straightforward process, as long as you have the right documents.

First, you’ll need either an online reference number or a V750 Certificate of Entitlement. If you don’t have either of those, you can apply for a V778 retention document. Once you have the V778, you can begin the process of transferring the plate to your new car.

Just visit the DVLA’s “Assign a private number to a vehicle” page and fill out the application. If everything is in order, the number will be assigned to your new car immediately. And what happens to the old car?

Once the plate has been transferred, it will be issued a brand new registration mark. At that point, you can scrap it without any problems. So there you have it – transferring a private number plate from one car to another is really not that difficult. Just make sure you have the right paperwork and you’ll be good to go.

How to retain and transfer a car registration number by post

Getting a personalised number plate for your car is a great way to make it unique and stand out on the road. However, if you scrap your car or sell it, you may be worried about losing your private plate.

Fortunately, it is possible to retain your personalised number plate by post. First of all, you will require a DVLA V317 form. This can be ordered online or downloaded from the DVLA website. Once you have completed the form, you will need to select a nominee or grantee for your number plate.

A nominee is somebody who you nominate to take ownership of the plate, while a grantee is somebody who is issued the retention certificate. You can also choose to leave this section blank, in which case the retention certificate will be issued to the current registered keeper of the vehicle. Once you have completed the form attach it to the logbook along with an £80 fee and return it to the DVLA,

DVLA Personalised Registrations
SA99 1DS

Can you retain number plates from a write-off?

Number plates are legally registered to a vehicle and when that vehicle is written off, the number plate is too. If you want to retain your number plate, you’ll have to act fast and put in a request with your insurance company and the DVLA registrations.

Keep in mind that if your vehicle is still considered roadworthy, the insurance company has the legal right to keep the number plate and remove it from the write-off vehicle. If you’re successful in retaining the number plate, you’ll be asked to sign an ownership declaration. It’s important to remember that while the process of retaining a number plate from a write-off might seem daunting, it is possible with some perseverance.

What happens to a personalised number plate when you scrap a car?

The process of scrapping your car is less complex than you think

Scrapping your car is a simple, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of getting rid of old or broken vehicles. It’s important to choose a reputable authorised treatment facility when deciding to scrap your vehicle. Remember also that there are certain benefits based on where you live and incentives for scrapping. We’ve recently put together a guide to the London car scrap scheme which is just an example of the many types of government incentives available. 

They will submit the necessary documentation to the DVLA on your behalf once it’s been destroyed so that you will no longer be liable for taxes or other charges on the vehicle. Get a free quotation on how much you could earn when you scrap your car. 


When you decide to scrap your car, it’s normal to have lots of questions about the process. Check out our useful FAQ guide to answer all your questions. Here at Scrap Car Kings, we pride ourselves on making the process as easy as possible for you. We are rated 4.9/5 on Trustpilot, certified with the relevant environmental agencies and we pay the best prices in the market. Give us a call today

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