Millions Of Pounds Spent On Personalised Reg Plates
Business partners Adel Abdul Aziz Al Matrooshi and Khalid Salmeen spent around Dh4.5m to buy several fancy plates during the 95th Open Auction of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) at Grand Hyatt Hotel on Saturday. They were also happy to take home the second most expensive plate 'H33' which they bought for Dh2.82m.
Aside from the 'H33', the duo also won the bidding war to grab K8888 (bought for Dh670,000); O120 (Dh350,0000); R3030 (Dh130,000); P7700 (Dh116,000); K8800 (Dh84,000) and a few more special plates. As we go to press, the auction is still going on and the two are aiming to buy more plates with triple, quadruple and quintet numbers.
"We are going to sell these special plates, We have been trading fancy plates for 14 years and it's a good business," he added.
It was, however, "family legacy and heirloom" value that moved Emirati Rashid Ahmad to buy a special plate for Dh290,000.
He said he spent around Dh800,000 in the previous auction and although it was very tempting to re-sell a special plate he bought last year, he opted to keep it as a "family legacy."
"Special plates are not just fashionable, it's an investment like gold which will fetch you really good money," Ahmad explained.
"At the last auction, I bought a three-digit code for Dh325,000 and after a few months, someone offered me to buy it for Dh370,000 but I did not sell it. The money I spent is for charity and the special plate is a good bragging right," Ahmad underlined.
Meanwhile, the winner of the most expensive R13 which fetched a price of Dh2.92m declined to be interviewed. He carried the auction ID number 410.
Sultan Al-Marzooki, director of Vehicles Licensing at RTA's Licensing Agency, said, "The RTA's auction has witnessed a huge footfall from various community segments as they contribute immensely to realising our strategic goal of bringing happiness to people. The auction is part of RTA's third strategic goal which is "people happiness."
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
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