What to do with private number plate if car is stolen

What happens to a private number plate when your car is stolen?

We wrote previously that thieves prefer to avoid stealing cars with personalised number plates. But that's no guarantee, of course.

So what happens to the private number plate if your car IS stolen?

The private number plate is the one thing that can’t be replaced if your car is stolen.Don't just assume that you will automatically get your precious personalised registration number back.

You'll have to work to the assumption that your car will not be recovered, and put everything in place ready to recover the private registration. If you don't act quickly, you'll run the risk of losing it altogether, along with the car.

Generally, insurance companies consider the car lost permanently if it’s not recovered within 28 days. And then they will come to a settlement with you. But before you do, you must act to keep your private number plate. Don’t agree the settlement and think that you can sort the registration plate out later.

A vehicle theft has to be reported to the police anyway… and you will get a crime number. The details then have to be recorded at the DVLA as soon as possible after the car is stolen.

You’ll need to make sure your comply with the DVLA’s rules at the time of the theft too. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to what to do with your private number plate if your car is stolen.

Whatever happens, you mustn’t delay in informing the DVLA about the theft. Unfortunately, you will have to wait a whole year to get your private number plate back though. But that's got to be better than losing it.

Have you been in this position? What's your experience?

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