Thinking about shelling out on a private number plate? Why not join the exclusive club of drivers who like to stamp a little individuality on their vehicle? If you are tempted, read around the subject with some interesting factoids about this popular practice.
Private number plates are often considered a luxury and people will spend considerable sums on them. The most expensive private number plate in the world was purchased for £7.25 m in 2008 by a wealthy Abu Dhabi family. And the number? It simply read ‘1’. With private number plates less is more, the fewer characters the higher the exclusivity – the more you pay.
The DVLA sees no let up in the popularity of private or personalised number plates. Since 1989 it has raised £1.8 billion through sales of such plates. Despite a worldwide recession, the market in such plates holds strong and in fact many buyers view it as a safe place to invest money.
Fancy the number plate VIP 1? Well, I am afraid it’s already taken. This distinctive and very exclusive number has an interesting history. Originally used by none other than Pope Jean Paul II on his famous Pope-mobile during his memorable trip to Ireland in 1979. More recently the plate has been owned by Chelsea Football Cub owner Roman Abramovich who paid out a substantial £285,000 in 2006 for the highly prized registration.
Did you know that you can buy a registration plate without attaching it to a car? So if a plate comes up that would suit your child when they grow up, for example, purchasing it early could be a smart move. Take a look at the huge range of plates available at britishcarregistrations.co.uk to see if there are any that match your individual requirements. This is what Cherie Blair did for her son Leo. The barrister and former PM’s wife purchased the registration number LEO 10 for her son who had been given a Lamborghini themed bed frame. It is definitely the sort of gift that he will appreciate when he is old enough to drive his own car. What a lucky lad!
The DVLA have to trawl through all the new plates issued each year to make sure no naughty or offensive examples slip through the net. Unintentionally rude plates do still occasionally get missed, despite the extra care taken.
F1 was the most expensive number plate ever purchased in the United Kingdom. This prestigious plate was priced at £440,000 and bought by Afzal Khan in 2008. At the time Mr Khan had a Bugatti Veyron and a McLaren Mercedes SLR, both cars which could proudly sport such a coveted plate.
Ex Take That crooner and known lover of the fast lane, Robbie Williams purchased the number plate ‘S8RRY’ after spending big on a Ferrari. The down to earth Stoke boy displayed a fine sense of irony as he declared ‘sorry’ to his fans for indulging in such a pricey set of wheels.
You don’t own a car? Turns out you don’t need one to buy a personal number plate. It is perfectly legal to buy a plate and not affix it to any vehicle. As long as you renew your entitlement each year with a £25 certificate to maintain ownership, you can keep the plates as long as you like – or until you find the perfect car to fit the number. It is essential, however, that you remember to renew your entitlement each year or you’ll lose your claim on the plate and it will be released to general sale again.
Celebrities are big on private number plates. The first famous person to invest in a personalised plate was Harry Tate, a music hall artist. He put ‘T 8’ on his car and is thought to be the first in a long line of celebrity private plate fans. Today footballer Wayne Rooney has WAZ 8 on his Aston Martin and Radio DJ and serious petrol head Chris Evans has FAB 1 on one of his beautiful Ferraris. It’s good to know that this kind of seemingly elitist behaviour is not actually anything of the sort. Anyone is free to purchase a private number plate and can do so easily by going to britishcarregistrations.co.uk
So there you have nine nuggets of info about private number plates that you had no idea of a few minutes ago. Armed with your new knowledge of this fascinating world of cars, digits and the infinite lists of combinations, aren’t you just a little bit tempted to see if your numbers come up?