AB1 Number Plate For Sale
But how much can a registration plate really sell for?
A select few of the UK’s most in-demand plates have fetched six-figure pay days for their owners – or the DVLA – and have finished off on even pricier cars.
Here are the top 10 most expensive licence plates ever sold in Britain.
10. D 1 – £300,096
Starting off our list is a plate currently fitted to a brilliant white Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The “D 1” plate just scraped into the top list after picking up just over £300,000 during an auction in October 2015.
9. GB 1- £325,000
Said to be the most patriotic number plate in the country, the “GB 1” picked up value post-Brexit.
Another plate housed on a Rolls-Royce, it was sold to a private buyer in 2009 for £325,000.
However if it was sold now, it is estimated the plate would fetch close to £500,000.
8. M 1 – £331,500
When this plate was purchased in 2006, the private buyer claimed it was for his 10-year-old son.
It sure would have been one expensive accessory for the back of his bicycle.
7. 1 S – £340,000
Yet another Rolls-Royce registration, the “1 S” was bought in 2010 and is fitted to a Phantom.
It is now estimated to have doubled in value.
6. 1 D – £352,411
This plate allegedly sits on a Bentley Bentayga, which starts at just £135,800.
That means that when the plate was purchased in 2009, it went for more than twice the price of the car it was for.
5. S 1 – £404,063
The “S 1” is thought to be the first ever legal registration plate in Scotland.
First sold in 2008, the plate now has an estimated value of closer to £1 million.
4. F 1 – £440,625
This unique registration has the potential to become the UK’s most valuable.
It was purchased for just under half a million pounds by car-tuning tycoon Afzal Kahn in 2006, but has since increased its valued significantly.
Kahn allegedly turned down a £6 million offer in 2014, and had the plate on the market for almost £10 million.
It is still registered to Kahn’s Bugatti Veyron.
3. G 1 – £500,000
Formerly the most expensive plate in the UK, it sold at auction for exactly half a million pounds in 2011.
The plate now sits on a 2015 model Aston Martin.
2. X 1 – £502,500
The “X1” was bought by a private buyer in 2012.
According to the DVLA, it is registered to a 2008 Mercedes.
1. 25 O – £518,480
The most expensive plate in the UK was purchased by classic car dealer John Collins.
Selling for just over half a million pounds in 2014, it was the perfect plate to be fitted to his Ferrari 250 GT SWB, worth a staggering £10 million.
The sale of the cherished number AB1 has been initiated by police and crime commissioner John Campion, who says the money would be better spent on frontline policing.
But the move has angered many retired officers, who have likened it to selling the Crown Jewels.
An online petition against the sale, lodged by retired police officer Alan Matthews, has so far attracted nearly 700 signatures.
The registration number has not been used by the police for around six years, with security being given as one of the reasons it has been mothballed. The plate has been used on a number of official police vehicles since before the 1930s.
Mr Campion said he had a responsibility to ensure that the force made the best use of its assets.
“The prospect of a chief constable or any public servant using a private number plate belongs in a time gone by, both for security reasons and public expectation,” he said.
However critics have pointed out that the number plate was donated to the former Worcestershire Constabulary in perpetuity, and that it is not Mr Campion’s place to sell it.
Mr Matthews’ petition calls for the Government to step in and prevent the sale.
He said: “Registration number AB1 was gifted to the chief constable of Worcestershire in perpetuity to be used on the chief constable’s car, and not to be disposed of. This is a recognised part of Worcestershire’s history and should not be disposed of. The county’s police and crime commissioner should be instructed to retain the number in perpetuity as originally gifted.
“As a retired police officer, AB1 is a strongly loved piece of history to me, other retired and current officers and people in our region.”
West Mercia has not disclosed a value for the number, only saying that it is expected to raise a six-figure sum. But an independent dealer has valued the plate in the region of £175,000.
Retired Pc Paul Yarrington, aged 69, from Stourport, likened the sale to selling the Crown Jewels.
“It’s a bit of police history,” said Mr Yarrington, who retired in 2003.
“A lot of police officers disagree. It was a car they all recognised and when they saw it come they would smarten themselves up as they knew it was the chief.
“Thousands of officers if you asked them what AB 1 was they could say it’s the chief’s car. I was disgusted when I saw it for sale.
“There’s at least 19 cars I know it’s been on. There’s no sense of history now. I get the feeling the force is alienating itself against the public.”
Fellow retired Pc, Andy Myers, added: “I am totally disgusted at this. AB1 was a plate we all automatically recognised on sight and adjusted our deportment appropriately, just in case it decided to stop.”
Mr Campion said that as commissioner, his priority was to ensure the most vulnerable were protected and that West Mercia was a safe place.
“The public expect that I effectively use the assets at my disposal to do this,” he said.
“Therefore a considered decision has been made to market AB1 and any sale proceeds will be reinvested towards frontline policing in West Mercia.
“I acknowledge that there is history associated with this registration number, however it is right that we utilise the assets we have to support policing in our area – particularly when they have not been used for around six years.”
The registration number was originally issued to Worcestershire’s Chief Constable Herbert Sutherland Walker and used on his cars until he retired in 1931.
It was then withheld for a number of years and reissued again in 1957 to Worcestershire’s Chief Constable JE Lloyd-Williams. Ironically, the initials of present chief constable Anthony Bangham coincide with the number plate.
It is believed AB 1 was first issued to the county in 1908, just five years after the introduction of registration marks.
The plate had been offered for sale through auctioneer Brightwells, but was later withdrawn from sale on the orders of the force.
It is now being offered for sale directly by the police.
A spokesman for Brightwells confirmed it was no longer handling the sale of the number.
More Britons are personalizing their car number plates than ever before, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In the past year, the Treasury made a record total of £102 million — £15 million more than 2014-2015 from an estimated 335,000 registration plates purchased by drivers in the U.K.
The DVLA started selling personalised number plates in 1990, with just 77,745 purchased between 1995-96 — four times less than today. At present, the DVLA boasts 47 million plates on offer to drivers across the country, which can be bought online or at auctions.
The DVLA says almost 335,000 registrations were sold in the last year – more than four times the figure in the mid-Nineties.
A spokesman for the AA welcomed the news, saying: “It puts a smile on people’s faces and raises money for the exchequer – what’s there to complain about?
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