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Trade Plates

The complete guide to trade plates for the Motor Trade

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Why do you need trade plates?

It is important to have trade plates for any car or vehicle owned by a car trader, dealer or manufacturer which is unlicensed. Therefore, if you, your staff or a customer is going to be driving anywhere, even if it is just on the forecourt it must have a trade plate if unlicensed.

What type of traders need trade plates?

Applying for your trade plates for business

You can apply online at the government trade plate license website. You have the option to choose whether you want your trade plates to last for 6 or 12 months.

However, if you are buying trade plates for the first time you do have the opportunity to purchase them for 7 or 11 months as they all tend to expire on the 30th of just or the 31st of December.

There are various form to complete depending on what type of trade plate you are applying for such as:

  • For your very first license
  • If you are looking to renew an existing license
  • If you are applying for a refund on your current trade license
  • If you need to get a replacement or duplicate trade license

The government website provides comprehensive guidance notes and instructions on how to complete the forms and further critical information about trade plates and their uses.

How much are trade plates going to cost?

Month of Application Expiry Date Valid for (months) Price for all vehicles Prices for bicycles and tricycles
July December6£90.75£44.00
August June11£165.00£80.00
October June9£136.10£66.00

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Full-time and part-time trade plates

The effects of the change to the new electronic tax disc

Where to display your trade plates

To abide by the law and to behave in a manner that is in accordance with regulation 42 of the 2002 act ‘the trade plates issued by the Secretary of State shall be fixed to and displayed on the vehicle in such a manner that, if the general registration mark assigned to the holder were a registration mark assigned to the vehicle, the provisions of regulations 5 and 6 of the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 would be complied with’.

Therefore, in laymen’s terms you need to place the trade plate on a car or any other vehicle in the same location as you would expect a normal registration plate to be shown. This means it is perfectly ok to cover the original plate on the front and back of the car.

Furthermore, it is not illegal for the plates to be displayed elsewhere within the car, for example, on the dash board or parcel shelf.

ANPR cameras

ANPR cameras are a great tool used mainly by the Police to conduct mass surveillance on several cars or other vehicle registrations. They work by capturing and storing images of car number plates and then use this information to catch anyone who is not abiding by the laws of the roads.

Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the car or vehicle is correctly taxed and you are properly displaying the trade plate on or inside of the car, failure to do so can and will result in a fine.

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