Motorists are being warned to check with their insurer to see if they are covered for damage to, or theft of, their new registration plates.
On a positive note, there isn’t a fee to register new personalised plates nor are they viewed as vehicle modifications like branding or alloy wheels that could potentially raise premiums.
However, Greg Wilson, Founder of CompareNI.com, Northern Ireland’s largest price comparison site, comments: “Most insurance providers won’t specifically ask if a driver has a personalised number plate. With comparison sites such as ours, most of our insurance partners provide a customer services phone number right beside each quote, so drivers can chat to the chosen insurance provider directly, in order to tailor the policy to suit them – and ensure their number plate and indeed their investment, is covered.”
If a driver’s car was stolen or written off in a road traffic accident and the insurance provider paid out for the claim, that insurance provider would then own the vehicle, the physical number plate and the actual right to that registration number.
It’s often possible for policyholders to buy a car that has been written off back from their insurance provider, but even if they don’t want to buy the actual vehicle, they might still have to pay to buy back the registration number, since that reg would belong to the insurer after the insurance payout.
However, if the car was stolen and the vehicle was never recovered, things get a little more complicated, because the driver would have to wait for a period of 12 months from the date of the theft before they could apply for the DVA to transfer the registration number to their new motor.
The first personalised number plate was the 99 MG, sold by the DVLA for £8,000. Sales now bring in over £100 million yearly. Businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri spent $14.5 million to secure the number ‘1’, making it the world’s most expensive number plate.
Personalised number plates are especially popular in Northern Ireland as the region is the only one in the UK to start with three letters – giving more opportunity to personalise. They are also increasingly popular amongst celebrities:
- Jay Kay of Jamiroquai – JAY IK
- Russell Watson – T3 NOR
- Sir Ian Botham – B33 FYS
- Vinnie Jones – 100 VJ
- Amir Khan – BOX 111NG
- Alan Sugar – AMS 1
- Chris Eubank Jnr – 1 KO
- HRH Princess Ann – 1 ANN
- Prince William and Kate Middleton – JU5T WED
CompareNI.com is Northern Ireland’s largest insurance comparison website, and has helped over 650,000 users compare products from over 200 insurers – including bespoke products such as young driver insurance, older driver insurance and convicted driver insurance. Recommended by 97% of reviewers on Reviews.co.uk. -ENDS-