Plate-Trader seller offering guaranteed buy-back scheme!

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The DVLA gave us all some positive news recently about the transfer & retention of number plates. This included the removal of the £25 yearly retention fee, a fee which has been in place since 1974.

As from this March, there is no fee to renew a retention certificate, and the retention period has been extended from one year to ten. Also removed is the charge for Change of Nominee although it should be noted that some dealers have yet to remove their version of this particular charge.

This means that it is now possible to purchase a registration for a child for use at a later date when their driving career begins without incurring any further charges. Previously, the annual charges could have added up to twice the cost of the original purchase.

Another change, currently in beta test, will be the automation of the transfer from vehicle to retention or to another vehicle. Currently done by post and often involving two cycles, this has become a subject of frequent complaint since the closure of local offices. In the near future, this will be possible entirely online.

As far as the cost of registrations are concerned, the 25th Anniversary of the DVLA Auctions last November was accompanied by several records during the months that followed. Among these were:-

Highest Price for any UK registration at Auction – £400,000 hammer (£518,000 total) for 25 O.

Highest Price for any New Format UK registration at Auction – £180,000 hammer (£233,360 total) for KR15 HNA.

Highest Price for any Irish registration at Auction – £14,000 hammer (£18,224 total) for NAZ 786.

It should be noted that these records are absolute in that all exceed the previous record even after the effects of inflation.

The most recent auction also featured a completion rate (i.e. lots actually sold) in excess of 97%. This indicates a strong desire to acquire numbers either for display or resale.

All of the above point to an active interest in the process of acquiring and displaying your own personal number plate.

However, one of the effects of a bouyant market is the problem of getting the new owner to finally choose a number that is right for them at a realistic price. At the same time, sellers are nervous that they may be letting a number go for less than its potential value.

One of our sellers, number plate trader Mike Oyston (@DesirableNumber on Twitter) is aiming to make the choice much easier by proposing an agreed guaranteed buy-back for a number plate, with the customer only paying for the period for which they owned the number.

This allows you to have the benefits of owning and displaying a number of better quality but over a shorter period while making up their mind. It could, of course, even be just for a specific occasion or to impress certain people.

The system will work like this:-

The customer negotiates an acceptable price with the seller. The customer then pays that price in full but with the option to return the number (on a retention certificate in the seller’s name) at a later date. In such a case, they would only pay an agreed rate for the period during which they owned the number, taken from the original price. They may decide to retain the number or even sell it to another party. In either case, the original sale would then be deemed to be permanent. Because of the fixed costs associated with such a transaction (such as the £80 DVLA fee to return the number to a certificate), shorter periods of ownership would be proportionately more expensive.

The system has the advantage of getting numbers onto cars rather than sitting dormant on a certificate. In the meantime, the owner’s investment is working for them generating some financial return. The potential new owner also benefits from the use of a number that they would be unable to afford under any other circumstances.

What do you think? Would you use the scheme? Let us know in the comments below.

June 19, 2015

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