Northern Irish Number Plates

By: Ross O'donnell

Irish registration numbers account for a large proportion of number plate sales throughout the UK. The registrations are issued in Northern Ireland by the DVLNI and display 3 letters followed by up to 4 numbers to create a unique registration plate.

Buyers are attracted to Irish number plates for many reasons. The registration numbers are very distinctive and give great finishing touches to vehicles of all ages. NI registration numbers display the letters I and Z which the majority of their DVLA counterparts do not. This leads to popular combinations such as GIL, WIL and DIG registration plates being available.

Some drivers want to disguise the age of their car by assigning a dateless registration number to it and many opt for an Irish registration to do the job. Irish number plates are classed as dateless registrations meaning they can be assigned to any roadworthy vehicle, regardless of age. Compared to many DVLA prefix and new style number plates, Irish registrations provide a great solution to buying cheap number plates. The cheapest dateless DVLA number plate's retail at over 500 pounds however a cheap Irish cover plate can be bought for less than 100 pounds.

Transferring an NI number plate to your vehicle on the UK mainland is easy and typically takes 4 weeks to complete. The current fee for Northern Ireland transfers is 80 GBP. Applications for transfer must include a signed V317 form and documentation for both donor and receiving vehicles. Number plates from the Republic of Ireland are no longer eligible for the transfer scheme.

Wilson's Auctioneers release the most prestigious Irish number plates at their auctions every few months. Reg numbers such as GIL 1 and WIL 1 were both released at these events and attract lots of attention. Sean McCrory snapped up the registration BIG 1 at auction for over 100,000 GBP, and added BIG 2 and BIG 3 to his collection as well.

Whilst many drivers in England, Scotland and Wales want to buy Irish number plates the opposite is true for residents in Northern Ireland. Drivers across the water often buy DVLA private plates for theirs cars and have them transferred onto their vehicles.

DVLA registrations that are already assigned to a car on the mainland can easily be transferred vehicle to vehicle into Northern Ireland for a set fee of 80 GBP. Registration numbers held on a DVLA certificates however must be assigned to a car on the mainland first and then transferred vehicle to vehicle. As two transfers are involved an additional 80 GBP transfer fee must be paid and the buyer in NI must have a car to use as a donor vehicle on the mainland.

Certain number plate dealers can supply a donor vehicle for use in the transfer process and handle all the paperwork involved. This takes the hassle out of the transfer and you have the knowledge your application is being handled by professionals. These Northern Ireland transfers take approximately 8 weeks as two transfers are involved and completion is confirmed when you are in receipt of the new tax disc.

Before the transfer commences its best to have your current number plate valued as certain combinations of Irish number plates are worth several hundred pounds. Many people sell their Irish plates and put the money towards the new reg that they have found. Most number plate dealers offer free valuations and can sell you number plate for you.

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