Trade licence plates

Trade licence plates can save you time and money if you’re in the motor industry - you will not have to register and tax every vehicle temporarily in your possession.

You need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a trade licence to be able to use trade plates.

Who is eligible

You can apply for a trade licence if you’re either a motor trader or a vehicle tester.

Motor traders

This includes:

  • dealers, manufacturers and repairers of vehicles (including those involved in collection and delivery)
  • manufacturers of trailers
  • valets and accessory fitters

Vehicle testers

You’re eligible if you test other people’s vehicles on public roads.

How to apply

Trade licences expire on 30 June or 31 December. You cannot get a licence for less than 6 months.

This means, depending when you apply, your first licence may last from 7 to 11 months. After that you can renew your licence for 6 or 12 months at a time.

Download and complete the form you need:

  • VTL301 to apply for your first trade licence
  • VTL318 to renew your trade licence
  • VTL308 to surrender your trade licence (refund of duty)
  • VTL310 to apply for a duplicate or replacement trade licence (or plates)

You’ll also need to provide a copy of your Motor Trade Insurance Certificate, which must match the name on the application. If you do not have one, you’ll need to tell DVLA why and give details of your Companies House registration number.

DVLA cannot return copies of your documents.

Read the guidance notes for applying for a trade licence for more information about eligibility and when trade plates can be used.

Month you apply and licence length When the licence expires Rate of duty for all vehicles Rate of duty for bicycles and tricycles
January (6 month licence) June £90.75 £51.15
January (12 month licence) December £165 £93
February (11 month licence) December £165 £93
March (10 month licence) December £151.25 £85.25
April (9 month licence) December £136.10 £76.70
May (8 month licence) December £121 £68.20
June (7 month licence) December £105.85 £59.65
July (6 month licence) December £90.75 £51.15
August (11 month licence) June £165 £93
September (10 month licence) June £151.25 £85.25
October (9 month licence) June £136.10 £76.70
November (8 month licence) June £121 £68.20
December (7 month licence) June £105.85 £59.65