How to swap a cherished numberplate for a standard one

WORD of warning. Do not, whatever you do, under any circumstances ever, and I mean ever, call the DVLA.

Why? Because you will lose an hour of your life you will never get back. It would actually be quicker to walk to Wales (it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, it’ll still be quicker), and actually knock on their door and ask a question.

Problem is they won’t be able to answer. And when I say ‘they’ I actually mean ‘he’, because there is now only one person that works at the DVLA.

He’s called Matthew and today I managed to get through to him as the moons aligned and he answered the phone. That was of course only after pressing 40 buttons, ringing three different numbers and pretending I actually wanted to buy something rather than ask a question.

Matthew was a thoroughly helpful chap. He certainly knew his numberplate onions. That’s because he IS the DVLA and knows everything there is about licences and numberplate and speeding tickets and all the other boring stuff you might one day need to know.

Since the Tories cut everything that was any ever use to save money (the NHS, The Ark Royal, kids’ break time milk, etc), you’ll have to break through a maze of button pressing options to find out anything at the DVLA.

‘Press one to move to option two, press two to move back to option one, press three to scream at our answerphone, press four to talk to yourself and think you’re actually talking to Matthew, press seven to leave Matthew a message if you think he’s on a break, press nine if you wondered where option eight was, press 10 if you can work out how to press 10 without pressing option one again.’

That was pretty much how it went.

Anyway, as I said, I did eventually get through to Matthew and he told me exactly what I needed to know. Which was how do I get rid of the chav plate on my XR2 and return it to a standard E plate.

And if you want to know here’s how you do it. If you want to keep the cherished plate (chav plate) then it’ll cost you £150. If not it’s free…

Do what I did and check online with a broker for numberplates first. I was offered £250 for it from one and have agreed to sell it. That means I’ll need to put it on retention which costs £105.

You need to:

  1. Download the form V317 from the DVLA here
  2. Fill it in
  3. Send it with your logbook and MOT to your LOCAL DVLA office (Google it).
  4. Include a covering letter saying you either want to just get rid of the plate (FOC) or put it on retention (£105). If it’s the latter include a cheque made payable to the DVLA.
  5. DVLA will process it and send you back a new logbook with the new reg and new MOT. They aim to give you back the car’s old reg if possible. I am hoping that’s the case with mine!
  6. You can then get the new plate made up and put it on the car. Be warned, the DVLA can ask to inspect the car at any time in the process though…

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? No, you’re right, it doesn’t it sounds like hell, but I’m going to try anyway. It’s the only thing I hate on the XR2 at the moment so it’s got to be worth the effort.


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