A registration number is a unique identifier for a specific vehicle and in the UK every car is legally required to have a registration number displayed on a front and rear licence plate in order to drive on the road.

In this article we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly asked questions we get from customers about number plates and registrations so all the answers are in one place for you.

Lease Car Registration FAQs

When Will I Know What the Registration for My Lease Car Will Be?

The car cannot be assigned a registration until the vehicle is in the UK so you will not get a registration number until your car arrives at port or the dealership depending on the dealer’s process. This means that it usually be quite close to delivery that you know the registration number.

Can I Choose My Lease Car Registration?

Unfortunately unless you opt for a private registration number you will not be able to choose your registration. Most vehicles will be assigned a registration by the dealership and this is based on the dealer’s location and the time of year the registration is being issued. 

When is a Vehicle Registered?

 Most of our lease cars will not be registered until the day of delivery. The date of first registration is used to calculate when the vehicle’s road tax payment and MOT are due as well as being the date that the warranty begins which is why it is better for you if the vehicle is registered on the day of delivery.

Who Is a Lease Car Registered To?

For most lease vehicles the car will be registered to the funder as they are the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle of the vehicle.

This means that they will get the V5 certificate but you can request a copy if you need it for a parking permit, congestion charge exemption or something similar.

Why Isn’t My New Car Showing on the DVLA Database?

The DVLA database that car insurers use to locate your vehicle and make sure they have the correct details is not an instant service so it may take a couple of days for the vehicle to show up.

This is not a problem as your insurance provider will be able to quote and insure you based on the vehicle specification, which we can provide if you’re leasing through us.  One thing to be mindful of though is that you will not be able to use comparison websites for insurance quotes and will instead need to speak to insurers directly.

What Do You Need to Get a New Number Plate?

There may be an occasion when you need to get an extra or replacement number plate, for example if you’re towing a trailer or one of yours is broken.

In order to get a new number plate you’ll need to take with you proof of ID and proof of ownership. These documents are required in order to verify you have the authority to have new number plates made for the vehicle. We advise taking your driving licence and the vehicle log book for these.

Can I Get a New Number Plate for a Lease Car?

Yes, you can still get a new number plate if you are leasing your car but you will need a little more documentation. As you are not the legal owner of the vehicle you will not have the V5 but you can request a copy of this along with a letter of authority from them for you to be able to get a new plate.

Where Can You Get a New Number Plate?

You should only get a number plate made from a registered supplier. If you go to the government’s website you’ll be able to find a list of all authorised suppliers and search for your closest one.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a New Number Plate?

The exact cost of a number plate will vary but you should be able to get one for around £20 - £25.

Can I Put My Personal Plate on a Lease Car?

Yes, you can put a personalised number plate on a leased car.

You will first need to take delivery on the assigned age related number plate and then you will be able to change the vehicle registration. Each funder has a slightly different process that they need to complete internally and with the DVLA to get the registration onto your vehicle so you’ll need to contact them directly.

One thing that you should be aware of is that if you want to keep the number plate then you’ll also need to put it on retention before the end of the lease and return the vehicle on the original age related plate. You’ll usually need to contact your funder about six to eight weeks before the lease end date in order for the changes to be in place prior to collection.

Please note that there will usually be an admin charge from the funder as well as the charge from the DVLA to move the plate.

How Do I Get a Personalised Number Plate?

There are three methods to get a personalised number plate; you can buy it directly from the DVLA online, in a number plate auction which are held several times a year or purchase it directly from a private seller.

The way you get your new plate may depend on the registration number you want and whether this is already owned by another party or is with the DVLA still and whether there is an auction coming up within your timeframe.

What Do I Need to Put My Private Reg on a Lease Car?

In order to add a private registration onto your lease vehicle you’ll need the certificate of ownership or retention for the registration. Your funder will also advise on any additional documents they need when you speak to them about their process.

For more information on adding a private plate to your lease car take a look at our private registration guide.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Vehicle Registration?

This will depend on whether you already have the registration in your name, the new plates, whether you own or lease your vehicle and a few other factors. We generally advise it takes between three to six weeks to get everything completed and the new plates on your vehicle.


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