Reg Plates High Value Number Plates At Record Sales Levels
A surge in so-called 'auto vanity' has lead to record numbers of personalised registration plates being sold. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) sold a record 374,968 private registrations last year, up 12 per cent in 12 months.
The sale of personalised number plates made the treasury more than £110 million in 2016-17, a record amount for the DVLA.
Motoring groups suggested the rise in personalised registrations was a way for drivers to stand out. Private plates cost from £250 online, or can be bought at auction, and make a popular gift.
It's also suggested that the plates may be used in vanity, hiding the true age of a car with a non-year-related plate.
Around five million plates have changed hands since the DVLA began selling them in 1989. The latest figures show that 2016-17's £110 million figure represents massive growth in the last few years – up from £96.7m in 2015-16, £79.6m in 2014-15, and just £57m in 2012-13.
Sales of personalised number plates hit a record £110 million in the past financial year.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said it sold 374,968 plates in the 2016/17 year – 39,968 more than in 2015/16.
The rise coincides with an increase in the number of registrations made available by the DVLA, it says, combined with a sharp rise in the value of rare plates over the past two decades.
Since the DVLA started selling personalised number plates in 1989, it has generated almost £2.5 billion for the Treasury from five million registrations.
Edmund King, president of the AA, is one of those who purchased a £250 plate for his car. He said: "People seem to be holding on to cars for longer and by having a personalised plate the car doesn't age as much as it may otherwise. There is a bit of an auto-vanity about trying to hide the age of your car."
The most expensive plate sold last year was JSK 1. It reached £56,200 at an auction in Cheltenham. It now lives on a black Mercedes-Benz.
There are currently more than 51 million plates available on the DVLA’s website, starting at £250.
But many of the more ‘exclusive’ plates are sold at higher prices – a lot higher!
Available at special auctions, the top-selling registrations have included 25 O (£518,000), 1 D (£352,000), 51 NGH (£254,000), 1 RH (£247,000) and K1 NGS (£231,000).
Jody Davies, DVLA personalised registrations senior sales manager, said: “The 2016/17 financial year was another successful year for the sale of personalised registrations, which clearly shows that they continue to be popular with motorists.
“People enjoy displaying a personalised registration number for many reasons – it’s a fun and affordable way of personalising your car.
“Recent research has shown that many customers choose to display a personalised registration as a way of marketing their business or their job, while others want it to reflect their name.”
She added: “We find many of our customers are choosing to buy them as gifts for family members.”
Plates largely come from registration numbers that were never sold or placed on vehicles when originally issued.
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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