Personalised number plates have become really popular in recent years. Car owners will pay a lot of money to put a registration number on the car which reflects their name, job or car type rather than the standard, anonymous issue numbers.

If you know how and where you can buy these personalised numbers at point of issue and resell them for a lot more…

Where to source numbers cheap:

The DVLA are in charge of issuing new vehicle registration numbers. As you probably know, new numbers can first be used in March and September each year.

What you might not know is that you can first apply for the right to use a new number around 90 days before it can first be used – normally early December for the March numbers and early June for the September numbers.

So here’s an opportunity to think ahead and jump in quick before anyone else reserves potentially lucrative numbers!

Sit down with your thinking cap on and make lists of numbers that could appeal to image-conscious drivers in advance of them being issued. Look for numbers that could be popular initials, or which look like names, car types, jobs or amusing words.

(You’ll need to use some imagination here. Bearing in mind that some numbers look a bit like some letters. Also that rude words are not allowed and that the DVLA pick out some of the best numbers to be auctioned.)

Here are a few ideas:

RO13 ERT might appeal to a Robert.

RO63 RST might look good on a Focus ST owned by Roger.

You can also reserve numbers from previous years which haven’t already been bought. So for example you could buy M4TT V which might sell to MATT V or A300 CLK which might appeal to a Mercedes owner (assuming they’re still available).

Once you’ve picked interesting numbers you can go to the DVLA website and reserve them in your name. Numbers cost from £250 and there is also an £80 fee.

Here’s the site you need:

Worth knowing:

You don’t actually need to buy the number plates, have a car, or know anything about cars to reserve these special numbers or sell them on for profit. The DVLA will give you a Certificate of Entitlement (known as a V750). You then sell this certificate to the end buyer and they use it to register their vehicle with the new number.

Now on to selling your numbers…

You can sell on your personalised numbers as soon as you have reserved them in your name. You can use any method you like to sell your numbers. Some newspapers have columns dedicated to personal numbers, also try specialised car magazines.

But eBay is absolutely perfect for selling these numbers because you can auction them to the highest bidder!

Tip: Looking through completed listings will give you an idea which kinds of numbers people like and what they are prepared to pay. (For example, JA55 AXX recently sold for £2,950 on eBay. That number could originally have been bought for just £200!)

Yes, there is an element of risk with this kind of biz opp in that you can’t guarantee you’ll sell the number for a profit. It’s all about reading the market and trying to spot numbers you can reserve cheaply – and sell for much more.