Trade licence plates

Trade licence plates can save you time and money if you’re in the motor industry - you won’t 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 last for 6 or 12 months and expire on 30 June or 31 December. First-time applicants can get 7 to 11 month licences.

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 one of the following if you’re renewing your licence or applying for your first one:

  • your Companies House registration number
  • a copy of a public liability insurance certificate in your name
  • a copy of a motor trade insurance certificate in your name

DVLA can’t 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 When the licence expires How long it’s valid for Rate of duty for all vehicles Rate of duty for bicycles and tricycles
January June 6 months £90.75 £48.40
January December 12 months £165 £88
February December 11 months £165 £88
March December 10 months £151.25 £80.65
April December 9 months £136.10 £72.60
May December 8 months £121 £64.55
June December 7 months £105.85 £56.45
July December 6 months £90.75 £48.40
August June 11 months £165 £88
September June 10 months £151.25 £80.65
October June 9 months £136.10 £72.60
November June 8 months £121 £64.55
December June 7 months £105.85 £56.45