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Are Personalised Number Plates Worth the Money?

In the UK there is a healthy interest in personalised number plates and it is clear that prices are increasing despite economic uncertainty. It would seem that a trend has been developing for some time in the acquisition of personalised number plates for investment purposes rather than for vanity.

Recent sales at auctions and the increasing prices seen at auctions provide a measure of the increasing appetite for investing large sums of money in a cherished number plate. Cherished number plate is the term used to describe dateless registrations issued to vehicles between 1903 and 1963 and it is these items of UK history that are increasing in value the most.

Recent examples of cherished number plates and the prices reached at auctions bear testament to the value placed on these intangible assets:

  • #1. Number Plate: 25 O. Price: £518,480 — Year: 2014
  • #2. Number Plate: X 1. Price: £502,500 — Year: 2012
  • #3. Number Plate: G 1. Price: £500,000 — Year: 2011
  • #4. Number Plate: F 1. Price: £440,625 — Year: 2008
  • #5. Number Plate: S1. Price: £404,063 — Year: 2008
  • #6. Number Plate: 1 D. Price: £352,411 — Year: 2009
  • #7. Number Plate: 1 S. Price: £340,000 — Year: 2010
  • #8. Number Plate: M 1. Price: £331,500 — Year: 2006
  • #9. Number Plate: GB 1. Price: £325,000 — Year: 2009
  • #10Number Plate: D 1. Price: £300,096 — Year: 2015

Many of these cherished number plates are now worth multiples of the prices achieved at auctions with the most notable being ‘F 1’ — currently speculatively valued in excess of £20 million.

It would seem that the sums of money people are willing to exchange for entitlement to these prestigious numbers has no bounds and it is for this reason that they make an attractive investment for the future.

At a recent DVLA Auction there is further evidence of how much people are prepared to spend on cherished numbers. The auction did not present prestigious plates, in the league of those listed above, but they are nevertheless genuinely attractive numbers in the hands of new owners.

The Top 10 plates by hammer price are below with their reserve prices.

In light of the information presented here and in combination with the historical price trends for personalised number plates it would seem that there is a long term attraction from investors and enthusiasts alike.

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