Trade Plates – A Guide

We recently wrote an article on setting up your own motor trade business, and touched briefly on the topic of getting trade plates (also known as a trade licence).

As this is such an important topic, and can make a real difference to your business, we thought we would give you some more information on trade plates, and how you can go about getting them for your own business.

What are trade plates?

Trade plates allow certain people working within the motor trade, to drive and move vehicles that are temporarily in their possession, without having to tax or register them.

Who is eligible to apply for trade plates?

Motor Traders and Vehicle Testers are eligible to apply for trade plates.

Motor Traders include – dealers, manufacturers and repairers of vehicles (including those involved in collection and delivery), manufacturers of trailers and valets and accessory fitters.

Vehicle Testers – if you test other people’s vehicles on public roads you are eligible to apply.

The DVLA make it clear that there is no automatic right too own a trade licence.  Only those applicants that fully comply with the specified criteria will be eligible to become a trade licence holder.

Where can I get trade plates?

You must apply for trade plates through the DVLA.  The application form can be found on their website, along with guidance notes to help you through the process.

How much will they cost?

Prices for the plates will vary depending on the month that you apply for the licence, and the duration of the licence.  Prices for a 6-month licence start from £90.75 for all vehicles, and from £42.90 for motorcycles and tricycles.

How long will it take?

It can take 4 weeks for your application to be processed and for the trade plates to be issued.

If you are successful in your application for a trade license it is important to note that the trade plates must only be used for the business purpose for which they were originally issued.

Trade plates can save you time and money, providing they are used correctly but you can be fined for using trade plates for a purpose not permitted under the DVLA regulations.

For more information simply visit the DVLA website.

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