Trade Licence Plates

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If you work in the motor trade then you’re going to have vehicles that you do not own coming in and out of your possession all the time. This can become very inconvenient if you’re having to worry about registering and taxing every vehicle that is temporarily in the possession of your business. This is what trade licence plates are for.

Trade licence plates make your life much easier when you work in the motor trade since you do not have to register and tax each vehicle that comes into your possession.

Am I eligible?

Most business types in the motor trade are eligible for trade licence plates. The two main business types that are eligible for a trade licence are –

  • Motor traders - This includes car dealers, manufacturers and any type of business that repairs, transports or fits accessories to vehicles.
  • Vehicle testers - If your business involves testing other people’s vehicles then you’re also eligible for a trade licence.

Applying for a trade licence

You can apply for a trade licence by visiting https://www.gov.uk/trade-licence-plates. There you’ll find the appropriate application form you need to complete depending on your circumstances.

Trade licences generally last from 6 or 12 months  although for new first-time applicants that changes to 7-11 months.

You can apply for a trade licence at any point during the year but the month you apply in will determine the amount you pay and how long your licence is valid for. For example, in January you have the option to apply for a 12 month licence. This is not the case in any other month of the year since all licenses expire on either the 30th June or 31st of December.

If you want to get the most value from your trade licence then January is the best time to apply. If you apply in February then you pay the same rate of duty for all vehicles but your licence is only valid for 11 months.

Click here for more information on motor trade insurance in general.