Special Number Plates And Quotations
Waiting at the traffic signal, all we observe is the duration left for the signal to turn green or the vehicles standing in front of ours. But there are many times we end up sharing a laugh with our fellow commuters over the antics of those who decide to showcase their inner comic or poet on their vehicles.
Few are cringe worthy, some inspiring but the quirky ones are generally on point. From “God’s gift” to “If you are mad, then I’m your Dad”, there must have been umpteen captions or fancy numbers we must have seen while travelling on the roads.
Such is the craze for fancy or lucky numbers over regular registration numbers; that people often spend more than the regular price for their cars. Manjula Raghuwar Devulapally, director, Chitra Global Services Pvt Ltd says the demand of the vehicle also varies depending on the customer’s desired number. “There are times when people leave the best cars just for the sake of numbers and there are also those who buy cars just for the sake of numbers. People compromise with colour and accessories if they get the desired number. They even wait for a year for the preferred number. Compared to regular cars, the numbers have more value,” says Manjula.
Like others, Shravan Gattu too wanted a one digit number for his vehicle. So when he found one such car for sale, he immediately bought it without any delay. “Seven and nine are lucky numbers for any car and since it’s a one digit number I didn’t want to miss the chance. I’m planning to continue with the same number for my next car as well,” says Shravan who also owns cars with the registration number 5533 which adds up to the number seven.
On the other hand, software employee Abhishikth V has the same registration numbers for all his vehicles. “It started with a phone number actually. My dad had the same last digits in his first phone number. Since it is not a fancy number it didn’t cost much. It’s just a style statement. Our fourth car also has the same registration number,” says Abhishikth.
While funky captions are a common feature of many cars, according to the Motor Vehicles Act, using any word on the number plate, other than registration number, is not authorised and is illegal. But still enthusiasts seem to get around this hurdle by playing around with the numbers. Sample this, BOSS for 8055, BOYS-8045 and 214-Ram(in Hindi).
“For any fancy registration number, one has to pay Rs 2,000 for a two wheeler and Rs 5,000 for a four-wheeler. If more than one person requests the same number, then the number is auctioned. Sometimes the bids can beyond lakhs. The registration series keeps changing every three months, so one tends to see the same number being auctioned after a gap,” explains RTA agent Rajkumar.
While many go for funny bumper or sign stickers, Eimor customs go one step further and customise bikes to make them look unique. “Since every other person has a Royal Enfield or Harley Davidson these days, most of them design their bikes to make it look unique. There are many options for custom painting in the market. Besides the look, they also like to modify the seats.
If they are travellers or often go on long rides, they prefer comfortable seats, some want a smaller tank and others better headlamps. The paintings are mostly old school, dual tone, detailed, bold leaves or metal flakes,” says Joy, cofounder and artist, Eimor customs.
The UK in particular has a relationship with personalised number plates. According to estimates by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), the UK reported an excess of two billion pounds in tax revenue from tax auctions over the past 25 years. As they are keen to state, an expression of interest in a particular plate by three people or more is enough to push the price of that Reg plate through the roof. It has also been documented that the buyers let their hearts take control of their heads when they bid for these plates.
Personalised number plate auctions are constantly rewriting the record books with regard to the highest price paid for a plate. The record currently stands at £518,000 which is quite impressive. The prices of these Regplates does not seem to be slowing down either.
Of particular interest is the recent auction of the highly-hyped 250 C Reg plate which sold for £21,500. This is a clear indication that the expectations for the prices of personalised number plates will continue to increase.
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