For thousands of car drivers personalised number plates are a prize possession; a proclamation of individuality not to mention a great investment.
The boom in personalised plates goes back to the late 80s. Such was the lively second-hand trade of cherished registrations, the DVLA decided to take charge of issuing and marketing the number plates instead. Today they stock an estimated 25 million number plates.
People can also ask for specific number and letter combinations, which are issued provided they have never been sold or allocated before. However, not every combination is allowed. Those with religious connotations are banned as are rude words. It's also illegal to play around with the spacing of the numbers and letters.
One of the most expensive number plates in the UK is F1, purchased for a cool £460,000 by Afzal Kahn in 2008. Such financial clout could hardly have been conceived when the first ever number plate to have been issued in the UK was released.
A1 was purchased by Earl Russell who is said to have camped outside the vehicle registration office in order to buy the plate.
However, it’s not only a lucrative business for the DVLA and off course, the Treasury. Hundreds of companies buy and sell the plates for big profits. And often viewed as a "total vanity" purchase, a personalised plate can be a shrewd investment "if bought wisely".
"They are unique, there will only ever be one," says a spokesman for the DVLA. "This means they retain their value and are a great investment. A much better investment than other things people don't turn their noses up at."
Some companies sell over 300 private registrations a month, with prices beginning from less than £200 with richer customers spending around £800, with some willing to pay over £250,000 because short plates are the most valuable. Furthermore, initials are popular and those with single numbers. People buy them for so many reasons – as marketing tools, even gifts.
Boy racers are the "least likely customer", with a surprise number of businessmen and women along with doctors and lawyers who part with their cash for these number plates.
Private number plates are seemingly an obscure type of investment, but the facts and figures show that they are a valid alternative to the traditional ways.
If you are looking for an investment, or interested in selling or advertising a personalised registration - contact our team to discuss your interest and requirements. There's no obligation and no fee to take your interest further.
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