Everything Motor Traders need to know about trade plates
A trade plate is a temporary number plate used by motor traders or vehicle testers to save them the cost and time to register and tax every vehicle temporarily in their possession.
Why do motor traders need trade plates?
As a motor trader in the UK, you’ll need trade plates for cars temporarily in your possession in order for them to be legally driven on public roads.
Trade plates are needed for any vehicle owned by a car trader, dealer, or manufacturer of an unlicensed car. This means that any car in your possession as a motor trader must have a trade plate, even if you’re only driving it on the forecourt of your premises.
Do I 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, a valet and accessory fitter, or a vehicle tester, you too will need trade plates.
How do I 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, expiring 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 still expire either in June or December.
What forms are there to complete?
There are four forms in total, but you need only fill out one depending on what type of motor trade business you’re in.
• If you’re applying for trade plates for the first time, you need to complete the VTL301
• If you want to renew your existing trade plates then you need to complete the VTL305
• If you wish to cancel your trade licence and therefore no longer need your trade plates, complete form VTL308
• If you want to apply for a duplicate or replacement trade licence (or plates) then complete form VTL310
There is a wealth of information on the DVLA site, as well as guidance on how to help you complete the forms.
How much do trade plates cost?
The DVLA’s pricing guide is below*.
|Month of application||Expires||Valid for|
|Rate of duty|
for all vehicles
|Rate of duty for bicycles and tricycles|
*correct as of 14th April 2020. Check the gov.uk site here for up to date information.
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