So you have it, your pride and joy. It sits on your driveway, glistening in the sun, looking like a dream made into reality. You have your super car, the pinnacle of your dreams. Yet something doesn’t seem quite right, the job doesn’t seem quite finished. Then you realise – you have put a normal number plate on a dream car! Adding a personalised number plate not only finishes the look of your car but can even significantly increase the value of it, should the time come to sell up and move to another dream.
The world of personalised plates
At one time, the idea of having a personalised plate was something that only the very wealthiest in society even considered. But in the last twenty-five years, the market in personalised plates has seen a huge boom and the DVLA estimate that selling them has raised some £2 billion in tax revenue in that period.
Then there are the really high demand registrations, and these are not cheap private number plates. These are the ones that people will pay crazy amounts of money for, here and around the world. Getting that perfect plate can also add to the value of your car if you sell the vehicle with it still in place. Even if you don’t, if you can get a plate for a good price, you can make a real profit. The famous ‘250 C’ came up for auction recently and was expected to sell for around £500,000. But a lucky bidder picked it up for £21,500, meaning they could potentially sell it again at a later date for a real profit. Just like other luxuries, such as wine and watches, some people are even making a living from investing and selling private number plates.
Most expensive plates
The most expensive private number plate ever sold was ’25 O’ sold by Ferrari dealer John Collins in 2014. It is now believed to be on a Ferrari 250SWB that was formerly owned by Eric Clapton and is said to be worth some £10 million.
Next on the list is ‘F 1’, said to be the first ever private plate issued in Scotland. It sold back in 2008 to an anonymous bidder and rumour had it that it was being put on an old Skoda – surely not! Third place goes to ‘1 D’, bought by a Lebanese businessman Nabil Bishara with no connection whatsoever to that well known boy band.
Fourth on the list is ‘M 1’ bought by Mike McCoomb following the sale of his mobile phone business to BT for £40 million. The plate cost £331,500 and was said to be for his son. ‘VIP 1’ is 5th on the list and is owned by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.
Around the world
Nor is the UK the only place to go a bit bonkers over the right number plate. The current record for a price paid for a number plate was the plate ‘1’ that sold for £7.25 million in Dubai. The previous record had been for plate ‘5’ which sold for £3.5 million in May 2007, making it ten times the value of the car it was placed on. Both sold at a special auction in Dubai which last year made £12 million in profit from some 90 plates, the proceeds of which went to building a national rehabilitation centre in the country for victims of traffic accidents.