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Contact Registration Plate Dealers

Step 4. Get in touch directly with the dealers

The main dealers are a friendly and approachable bunch. You've checked their websites as well as the two DVLA sites and if you don't have a fair idea by now, make that call to them.

You should make contact with three or four of the main players. Again try Googling cherished number plates or private registrations.

Tip: choose 2 from the Adverts section of Google and 2 from the Organic results section:

Screenshot from Google results page. Note the difference between the Adverts section (red) in two places and the Organic results section (green) below.
Above: Screenshot from Google results page. Note the difference between the Adverts section (red) in two places and the Organic results section (green) below.

The reason for choosing from the Advert Section is because you know the companies advertising here are currently active and eager for business. They may possibly be newer and less experienced, so it is also worth checking with perhaps two companies from the Organic Results Section. The reason for choosing from the Organics is that these contain results for companies that may have been around for longer and are displayed more on merit of their age and popularity rather than how much money they are spending on advertising.

Note that depending on who is advertising with Google at the time, there may be no adverts returned on the right or above the organic results. The top Adverts section usually has a very faint coloured background to help distinguish it from the Organic results.

Most, if not all of the companies will offer you a free valuation. If you are asked to pay for a valuation, establish what it is you are paying for and how it might differ from a free and/or paid for valuation from their rivals.

These companies are keen to speak to you on the telephone rather than correspond via email so if you are comfortable with this then give them a call. Have in mind the values you have established in steps 1 and 2 and if they value your plate at a significantly lower price than you feel it is worth, tell them what you have found, with who and why you think it is worth more. Get a price from each of the companies, ideally via email.

The dealer(s) might tell you that your plate is worth £2,000, yet if you allow them to sell it you might find it on their website the following day for perhaps as much as £5,000. This is a negotiable figure however and may drop significantly. Don’t also forget that the dealers have offices and staff to pay for, so what seems like a gross over-inflation of your valuation might not necessarily seem so.

To calculate the average, you could try this useful tool:

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Please note: At the end of 2013 all 39 local DVLA offices closed and the DVLA transferred all dealings to its national centre at Swansea. If your vehicle was registered before the end of 2013 then the street view map shown on the car registration page will point to the original office despite the fact that the office has closed.