Can I add a private plate to my new lease car-

We answer a lot of questions about leasing at OSV ranging from the start of your leasing journey to the very end.


One of the questions we get asked quite a bit is in regards to private registration plates. When you lease a car you might want to add your own, personalised registration plate.


In this article, we take a look at whether this is possible and how to go about it.

How do I add a private plate to my lease car?

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to put a personalised licence plate on your lease car. As long as you let the funder know that this is what you are planning to do, the process is pretty straightforward. There are two ways you can do this. You can either do this before your car is delivered or after.

How do I add a private plate to my lease car before it’s delivered?

Firstly, you have to take the private plate off the vehicle it is on currently. The private plate will already be registered to a different owner and therefore you can’t just switch it over to a new car.


You will need to put the plate on a retention document. You can do this at the gov.uk website and as you will see if you head to the website, this will then retain the registration number in the name of the registered keeper. In the case of a leased vehicle, the registered keeper is the finance house. For more information on registered keepers you can read our article here.

Once you’ve done that you will have to name the finance company as the nominee on the license plate certificate. You will also need to put the name of the finance company in the nominee details section of the retention document. Once this is all updated then you need to send this to the DVLA. They will then return the Retention Document and you will have to send this to the dealership.

Can I add a private plate to my new lease car

This process can take up to 8 weeks, with the DVLA stating 6 to 8 weeks for this to happen. It can take less time but it can also take longer especially around busy periods such as September and March. This can delay the delivery process, so it’s important that you are aware of that when you decide to put the plate on before your car is delivered. You can read more on how long it will take for your lease car to be delivered here. 

How do I add a private plate to my lease car after it’s been delivered?

We recommend adding your private plate to your lease car after it’s been delivered and this is the option many go for. Mainly because you don’t run the risk of slowing down the delivery time.


To add a private plate after the car has been delivered,  you will have to get the finance company to be named as the Nominee on the Certificate of Entitlement. You can do this either online or by post and you will be able to find out more about this on the actual Certificate of Entitlement.

man in a suit replacing a registration plate on a red car

Once you’ve done this you will need to send the Certificate of Entitlement (with the finance house as the nominee) and the administration fee to the finance house. The administration fee will vary depend from funder to funder so you will have to check with them for exact fee totals. You will also need to send them a letter to explain that you want the private plate on your lease car.

When they have received these documents they will send you a letter acknowledging that they have done so. They will then send them off to the DVLA who will process the transfer. Once the DVLA has assigned the registration number to the vehicle, the documents will be sent to you and then you can update the vehicle plate. You must not display your private plate on the vehicle until you’ve received confirmation from the DVLA and the finance house.

Removing your private plate at the end of the contract

As your contract is nearing its end you will need to arrange for your private plate to be removed. We recommend you begin this process around two months before it’s due to end because it’s can take a long time to be completed


You do this directly with the finance house and you will need to send them information confirming the nominee details (it’s usually the keeper of the new vehicle if there is one, if not, then the owner of the plate), an administration fee and a cheque for the DVLA for £105. Once this is received you will get an acknowledgement letter confirming this. They may also ring you to arrange payment of the administration fee.

Once the DVLA have assigned the registration number the documents will then be forwarded to you so you can update the plates. The plates must be transferred before collection of the car can be arranged.


If you are in doubt about any of this then you can ring your finance house and they will be happy to help you through this process.

Can I add a private plate to my new lease car

Hopefully, this has cleared a few things up about registering a private plate on your lease car. The process isn’t overly complicated, it’s just a lot of sending information back and forth. The process, while fairly simple, can be long so it’s important that if you want the private plate on before the car is delivered, you arrange this to happen at least six weeks before your car is due to be delivered. When your car is due to go back then you also need to give it at least six weeks to transfer the plate back. If you don’t, then this can delay the process and the car cannot be collected until this is done. As we mentioned, if you are in doubt about any of this then you can ring your finance house and they will be happy to help you out. Alternatively, we also advise customers on this process so you can always give us a ring on 01903 538835 and we would be happy to help and answer any queries. 

What happens if your lease car   is in an accident?  Find out here! 

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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