Commercial and Motor Trade Insurance

What are trade plates for the motor trade?

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Everything Motor Traders need to know about trade plates.

As a motor trader in the UK, you will need trade plates for cars temporarily in your possession. A trade plate is a temporary number plate which is used on unlicensed cars. This saves motor traders the cost and time to register and tax every vehicle.

Motor trade insuranceWhy do motor traders need trade plates?

The definition states that trade plates are needed for any vehicle owned by a car dealer of manufacturer on an unlicensed car. This means that any car belonging to you as a motor trader must hold a trade plate, even if you are driving it in the forecourt.

Do you need trade plates?

If you are in the motor trade industry then yes you do need trade plates. The DVLA states that dealers, manufacturers and repairers of vehicles (including those involved in collection and delivery) require trade plates. If you are a manufacturer of trailers or a valet and accessory fitter you too will need trade plates. If you are a vehicle tester who tests other people’s vehicles on public roads, then you too will need trade plates.

How do you apply for trade plates?

To apply for trade plates you need to head to the DVLA (click here). Trade licences last for either six or twelve months. They expire on 30th June or 31st December. This means if you are new to the motor trade industry and you are looking to purchase trade plates for the first time, you can get trade plates for between seven to eleven months as they will expire on 30th June or 31st December.

What forms are there to complete?

There are four forms in total, and you need only fill out one depending on what motor trade type you are.
• If you are applying for trade plates for the first time you need to complete the VTL301
• If you want to renew your trade plates then you need to complete the VTL305
• If you wish to cancel your trade licence and therefore your trade plates complete VTL308
• If you want to apply for a duplicate or replacement trade licence (or plates) then complete VTL310
There is a wealth of information on the DVLA site to help you complete the forms. They offer guidance notes to help you apply so do take a look.

How much do trade plates cost?

The DVLA’s pricing guide is below for you to help.

Month of application Expires Valid for (months) Rate of duty for all vehicles Rate of duty for bicycles and tricycles
January June 6 £90.75 £48.40
January December 12 £165.00 £88.00
February December 11 £165.00 £88.00
March December 10 £151.25 £80.65
April December 9 £136.10 £72.60
May December 8 £121.00 £64.55
June December 7 £105.85 £56.45
July December 6 £90.75 £48.40
August June 11 £165.00 £88.00
September June 10 £151.25 £80.65
October June 9 £136.10 £72.60
November June 8 £121.00 £64.55
December June 7 £105.85 £56.45

*This information was last updated on: 01/02/2019


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