Classic Historic Personalised Reg Plates Values Increase
The humble number plate came squarely into frame again this week after a black and white numerical piece set a new Australian record.
The Shannon Melbourne Autumn Auction played host to the sale of Victorian plate ‘101’, which sold for a record $510,000. It beat the previous best sale of $268,000 for a three-numeral plate bearing ‘124’ earlier this year.
The outright record for a number plate was the sale of NSW plate ‘4’ last year for $2.54 million.
As with those sales, the auction this week saw number plates overshadow classic vehicle values in high-stakes bidding – including historic Holden Toranas and Monaros. But why?
Shannons national auction manager Christophe Boribon said heritage number plates have spiked heavily in value because they are viewed as a demonstration of status and wealth.
“Heritage plates are considered collectible and as a piece of art by some people,” Boribon explained.
“There is also a bit of status attached to a historic number plate; if you’re driving around in your $100,000 Mercedes-Benz, and your neighbour rolls up in his $100,000 ‘Benz, the difference might be that you have a $200,000 plate attached to the car.”
Victoria and NSW feature strongest in heritage number plate sales, particularly the earlier plates which denote the very first vehicles to be registered in either state – as far back as 1910.
“A lot of those earlier plates were owned by significant families in their day,” explained Boribon.
“If you go through the earlier versions of Redbook, there are some really influential families that owned those plates. For example, the Hordon family in Sydney owned about five number plates between the father and the son.”
The investment potential of heritage number plates has been realised most in recent years, including instances where family members lucky enough to have inherited a historically-significant piece have offloaded them for big money.
“Those family members might have inherited those plates 20 or 30 years ago, and today they’re selling them for half a million bucks,” Boribon said.
The investment appeal of a number plate makes sense for many, especially when compared with a historic car: no registration, no insurance, no upkeep fees.
According to Boribon, the market for number plates is higher than ever before. He said the plate this week was valued so highly because the numbers were aesthetically and numerically pleasing.
“Numbers mean something, different numbers might appeal to different nationalities. Different numbers have different appeals,” Boribon explained.
“What you’re buying is a contract, the right to display those plates. With a numberplate you’ve got no overheads and it costs you nothing to hold it.”
Motorcycle number plates attract approximately 1/20th of the value of car number plate, according to Boribon. He reckons that, as it stands, plate number ‘1’ for a car in NSW or Victoria could attract bids of up to $5 million.
Cape Coral Police Department thinks it’s worth it. It has been reported they believe the readers would stop criminals and perhaps prevent crime.
Now, we called the ACLU they see what they have to say about privacy issues. However, their local chapter in Collier County doesn’t have a working number or email address.
Some Cape Coral residents like Mike Hollow thinks it’s nice the city is doing something but maybe not the right thing.
“Yes, it’s great we’re being proactive as a city but I think that money needs to be used somewhere else so we can see an added benefit, you know? More cops on the street more cops to walk the beat, that’s going to have more an effect than anything else down there.” Explained, Mike Hollow.
This is how the readers work. The reader takes a picture of the back of a car. That picture is scanned by six algorithms to turn the picture into letters. Those letters are then sent to the Cape Coral Police Department.
To get a broader opinion I posted this facebook poll to Cape Coral Residents about the issue. As of this recording, 110 people don’t like them, 62 people do, 55 don’t care and, I swear this was added by someone else, two people say “They can’t find me with my tin foil hat on, they’re watching us, man.”
And the sales included an unknown Islander successfully bidding £50,000 for J001.
The amount is one of the highest paid for a three-digit plate, with J009 fetching £55,000 in 2016, J008 going for £50,000 during the same year and £45,000 being paid for J007 in 2015.
During Saturday’s event, held at Highlands College, one Islander also successfully bid £28,000 for J003. And it was not just three-digit plates that were in demand. JSY46 also received a significant level of interest, with bids reaching £12,100, while several four-digit plates sold for between £2,000 and £2,500.
Simon Drieu, principal of Simon Drieu & Co Ltd auctioneers, said that JSY number plates were becoming increasingly sought-after.
‘One observation that I did make during the auction was that we are seeing an increase in what JSY registration marks are achieving,’ he said.
‘Four-digit plates generally sold for the same sort of amount that we had achieved recently.
‘There were probably about 100 to 150 there, so it was really well attended. We had lots of good sales and there was very good interest.’
In 2013 an unnamed individual paid £65,000 for JSY1. And in Guernsey in 2015 an anonymous bidder paid £240,000 to secure the number 007. Money raised from Saturday’s auction – organised by the Infrastructure Department – will go towards funding a number of different initiatives, including the installation of bus shelters and improving pedestrian crossings and walkways.
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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