Almost five years ago my car was stolen and I have trying ever since to get the registration S1X AH back.
Last week I trundled down to the local DVLA office, having finally gathered the various documents they needed, and paid some money to the helpful guy behand the screen to keep it on retention until I get a car I can put in on. It had been one of those jobs on my to-do list that had been transferred from diary to diary since 2004, always needing something from someone like insurance companies, finance companies and DVLA themselves but finally all was in place.
Then, today I get a letter saying that they're terribly sorry but I can't put the number on retention - I have to transfer it to a vehicle! They'll retain my money until then and waive some fee as they advised me incorrectly but that doesn't help much. My present car is about 2 months too old to take that registration so I've got to sell that and buy something else. This old BMW's been great and even with 140,000 miles on the clock seems to leave most other stuff standing on my travels (apart from Dunstable where we're all more or less stationary anyway!) and does nearly 40mpg even with my driving. It's not worth much and selling can take ages unless I find someone prepared to do a part exchange. Trouble is, garages add on a good £500 - £1000 which almost doubles the price of a cheap car and I'll probably get an effectively miniscule amount for mine. I may finish up having to park it in the paddock and having two cars until someone comes along with a reasonable offer.
I cannot see any logic in DVLA's insistence that the plate has to go on a vehicle. No chance of changing them though as there's bound to be rules and regulations so . . . if anyone wants a really good BMW 323iSE for a very modest price, let me know. I wonder how long DVLA will give me to find something else? Hmmm. Watch this space.