Rags To Riches Reg Plate Story
A rags-to-riches millionaire’s fetish for the digit 1 has led him splurge lakhs of rupees on fancy number plates for his luxury cars over the years.
All his cars have ‘0001’ in the registration plates. But it is not only cars where 37-year-old Rrahul Tanejaa’s fetish manifests itself. Even his mobile phone number has five 1s.
On Tuesday, Tanejaa who runs an event management company, spent Rs 16 lakh for a winning bid for a fancy number for his new luxury car: RJ 45 CG 0001. Transport department officials said this was the highest anyone ever bid for a premium number.
He bought the Jaguar for Rs 1.5 crore on March 25 and waited for a month and a half to get the special number ending with 0001.
Tanejaa bought his first luxury car - a BMW 5 series in 2011 - and paid Rs 10.31 lakh for a premium number plate of RJ 14 CP 0001. His next car was a second-hand Skoda Laura which he bought just because it had the number 1 (RJ 20 CB 0001) on the registration plate. Later, he sold the BMW 5 series car but retained the registration number for another BMW 7 series car.
His fetish for number 1 is not a new development.
“Even in 1996 when I bought a second hand scooter, I made sure its number added up to 1,” says Tanejaa. “The scooter’s number was RJ 14 23M 2323. 2+3+2+3 is 10, which in single digit comes to 1,” he explains.
“My life has been full of struggle – now when I have money, I want to enjoy it,” says the man who left home when he was 11.
His father ran a tyre repair shop in a village in Madhya Pradesh and shifted to Jaipur in 1984. For seven years, Tanejaa did odd jobs for a living and to fund his studies. As a student at Adarsh Vidya Mandir, Adarsh Nagar, he was topper of the class.
Until he was 18, he claims he sold different things at different times: kites during Makar Sankranti, rakhis during Raksha Bandhan, colours during Holi and crackers during Diwali. He even sold leather jackets from footpaths. He also claims that he drove an auto-rickshaw at night – from 9pm to midnight – because there was less chance of getting caught by police as he didn’t have a driving license.
At 18, on a neighbour’s suggestions, he tried his hand at modelling. He won title after title and began earning big money. “I was Mr Jaipur, Mr Rajasthan and Male of the Year,” he says.
Tanejaa’s event management company organizes premium weddings. He now has money and loves to flaunt it.
“I believe in being number one in whatever I do. I want my event management company to be number one in the country,” he said, explaining his fascination for the digit 1.
The government is offering up to £14m for a supplier to implement a new national database of information gained from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Although many police forces across the country use the technology, “existing ANPR systems are disparate and may offer limited capability”, the Home Office said. There are more than 40 different systems across the UK being used to run a nationwide estate of about 14,000 cameras.
To enable officers to search for information gathered by other agencies, data from all these systems is currently collated in a centralised hub called the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC).
But this platform “is reaching end of life”, and will be replaced by a new system – the National ANPR Service (NAS). This system will ultimately replace both the NADC and discrete systems being used locally.
“NAS will replace NADC and local ANPR systems – ensuring continuity of vital services – standardise use of ANPR, and provide many police forces and law-enforcement agencies with tools to better exploit ANPR,” the Home Office said.
NAS will ultimately be used by all 43 local police forces in England and Wales, as well as 17 other law-enforcement agencies. About 50,000 individual users will access the system each year.
“This in-flight programme will replace the existing estate with a single system…and will require detailed technical design, robust testing and in-depth engagement bespoke to every one of these organisations as well as the NAS primary suppliers.”
The Home Office is seeking a supplier to provide “programme management and associated supporting technology-delivery functions”. Bids are open until 1 June, after which the department will assess up to four suppliers, before awarding a two-year contract that is currently scheduled to start on Monday 23 July.
The Home Office is budgeting between £5m and £14m for the work.
So what are the top selling number plates in the UK? The DVLA has been selling private plates to UK motorists since 1989. During this time, there have been a number of records set, but most of the top 10 have been bought in the past 15 years. Here’s what currently makes the list:
- 25 0 – A Ferrari dealer bought this for £518k in 2014. It is now on a £10 million Ferrari 250 SWB.
- F 1 – A businessman, Afzal Khan, bought this for £440k in 2008 and put it on his McLaren-Mercedes SLR.
- S 1 – This was bought in 2008 for £404k by an anonymous buyer.
- 1 D – Businessman Nabil Bishara bought this plate in 2009 (before One Direction was formed, so it is not a reference to the band) for £352k.
- M 1 – Businessman Mike McCoomb bought this number plate in 2006 for £331k, apparently for his son, who was 10 at the time.
- VIP 1 – Chelsea owner and businessman Roman Abramovich bought this plate for £285k in 2006.
- 51 NGH – This number plate, which looks like the surname Singh, was sold in 2006 for £254k.
- 1 RH – Businessman Robert Haverson bought this in 2006 for £247k.
- K1 NGS – This reg plate, which looks like the word “kings”, was bought anonymously in 1993 for £231k.
- 1 0 – This very simple but striking number plate was bought anonymously in 2009 for £170k.
These are large amounts of money, but they are all small compared to the top-selling number plates found in other parts of the world. Abu Dhabi, in the UAE, has the record for the most expensive number plate ever sold. That number plate was a simple “1”. It was bought in 2008 by businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri for £7.25 million.
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