Drivers face massive car insurance losses with urgent number plate warning

Chris Eubank Junior's number plate

Personalised number plates can be purchased for as little as £70

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 06/09/2023

- 10:47

New "73" number plates were introduced on forecourts earlier in September

Motorists are being warned of huge number plate issues they may face with their car insurance, just days after new rules were introduced.

It is estimated that 95 per cent of car insurance policies do not cover the loss of a number plate.

People who own personalised number plates could lose their custom plate in the event that their car is written off.

Drivers can purchase a personalised number plate from the DVLA, with most plates starting at £250.

A personalised number plate

Drivers could lose out if their car insurance policy does not cover their personalised number plate


However, motorists can also get their hands on number plates at auctions, with the DVLA hosting online auctions with prices starting from £70.

Prices of such plates can quickly go up in value depending on what they say or how short the reg plate is.

Ryan Fulthorpe, car insurance expert at Go.Compare, said personalised number plates are becoming more popular, but did issue a warning to drivers.

He said: “As personalised plates are a pricey purchase, we don’t want people to be out of pocket because they weren’t protected properly.

“Like all registration plates, personalised plates move with the vehicle they are assigned to, not the person who purchased it.

“This means that if your car is written off and your car is scrapped, then the number plate can disappear with it.

“To protect it you must arrange for the number to be transferred to another vehicle or retained on a certificate in sufficient time before your claim is settled."

Data from Go.Compare shows that 302 of 317 car insurance policies do not cover the loss of a personal plate, with one insurer covering up to £500, while the other 14 policies cover £5,000 or more.

This comes after the new “73” plate was unveiled on September 1, with the tradition of seeing new number plates in March and September continuing after the “23” plate earlier this year.

The UK’s most expensive number plate is believed to be “25 O”, which was sold for more than £500,000 in November 2014.

This pales in comparison to number plates sold around the world, with a private bidder paying £12million for the “P 7” number plate in Dubai, making it the most expensive in the world.

Ryan Fulthorpe added: “It is also important to be aware that if your car and personalised plate are stolen (and not recovered), you will have to wait six months to get the number plate back and you will have to report it as stolen to the DVLA.


A personalised number plate

Personalised number plates can sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds


“You then have two years and six months to claim it. You will also have to prove that the car had a valid MOT and tax at the time of the theft to claim the personalised number plate.”

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