What are Trade Plates?
Trade licence plates are used by the motor trade, including dealers of new and used cars, manufacturers, testers, body shops, mechanics, accessory fitters, valets and hire companies. They can be used by all eligible individuals and businesses, whether they operate full time or part time.
Using these plates means that you don’t have to register and tax each vehicle you are responsible for, making them convenient and cost-effective. Anyone wishing to use them needs to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a trade licence, which lasts between 6 and 12 months.
When and how can Trade Plates be used?
It is vital that you understand the requirements when it comes to eligibility before using trade licence plates. However they can only be used in certain circumstances and using them improperly could either be illegal or invalidate your insurance, or both. Misuse can result in a maximum £5000 fine and even a prison term.
Plates can only be used while vehicles are provisionally in your possession and you are taking them on the road. Once your trade application is successful, you will be given a registration which should be displayed on the vehicle with red characters on a white background. Only one registration can be used on one vehicle at any particular time. In addition, plates can only be used for the purpose for which they were granted.
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Are they covered by Insurance?
The simple answer to this is yes. Unicom will cover you to use your plates at no extra charge on your motor trade insurance policy. This falls under the road risks section of your policy. Other insurers may charge extra for this inclusion.
Insurance cover extends as far as stipulated on the policy when it comes to eligible drivers and any restrictions. It is important to be aware that cover is only valid so long as you are operating within the limits of the trade licence issued. This means that you should make sure you understand the terms of both the trade licence and your insurance policy thoroughly before using the plates.