We all make our own assumptions about the private number plates we see out and about on the road. Some are clearly names and initials, while others are a playful attempt to spell out certain words, while others still are obviously tied back to business names and industry. One thing that all private number plates have in common is their high value, and the investment of time and money that is required to secure them.
In this article, we talk more about the value of a private number plate from different angles and why now is the time to invest in a private and personal number plate for your vehicle. But first, what is a private number plate?
What is a Private Number Plate?
A private number plate is, in essence, a way to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd, by giving the number plate its own unique spin. This could be a name, a set of initials, a chosen word, or something to do with your business – whatever it is, it uses numbers and letters to convey a certain message as chosen by yourself.
In terms of their status and symbolism, private number plates are considered by many to be elite and were once reserved for the rich and famous. While the price of personalised plates remains high (and ever-increasing), the popularity and value of these number plates have risen exponentially in recent years, making it a more viable luxury investment than ever before.
How do you Buy a Private Number Plate?
There are two ways that you can get your hands on a private number plate for your car. The first is to buy directly from the DVLA – typing your ideal number plate into the search bar of their website and browsing through the various options which boast a similar aesthetic and/or meaning. Some of these will be available to buy instantly, while others will go through to an auction.
The second option is to buy from a private seller, making sure that you complete and receive all the relevant paperwork which hands the rights to that number plate over to you and your vehicle (namely the V750 certificate).
Once you own the number plate, you need to assign it to your vehicle or car through an online portal on the UK government website – before changing your number plate details on any services or apps which link to your car. Some examples include car park apps, workplaces, and automatic payment services.
Why Should you Invest in a Private Number Plate?
For many buyers, the link between private number plates and the coveted luxurious lifestyle is enough to tempt them into seeking out a plate with their name or initials on it. But what are some of the other reasons why a private number plate is a good investment right now?
Prices are Booming
No matter what happens to your car, the price value of a private number plate will continue to rise. This was demonstrated in 2021 when the pandemic encouraged people to seek out new avenues for investment – and thus discover the high value of personalised plates. As news articles in 2021 explored, those plates which spell out forenames and professions rose heavily in value during the pandemic and have remained high ever since – with the most expensive private number plate ever being a simple ‘1’ and selling for £7.25 million.
We all have our own ideas around what is sentimental and what holds meaning for us, but you cannot argue that a private number plate that pays homage to your loved one or to your family name is a solid investment in terms of sentiment.
Following on from this, private number plates can also make for a highly memorable gift – even more so for the recipient when their number plates are sure to rise in value and take on a higher resale value in the future.
Ever find yourself losing your car in the supermarket car park? Having a personalised number plate will make your car stand out from the crowd – helping you to spot it in a line-up of similar vehicles and making your everyday driving duties more memorable.
One of the top reasons why investing in a private number plate now is such a good idea is that there is no limit to how many you can own. As a buyer, you can invest in an unlimited quantity of number plates, selecting those which you believe could increase in value over time – without worrying about hitting a cap on ownership.
Just remember, if you decide to use one of the number plates on your own vehicle or car, you will need to assign it to that vehicle before taking it out on the road.
They’re not all unaffordable…
We may default to finding links between private number plates and the rich and famous, but there are plenty of private and personalised options out there which sell for more affordable prices. The main thing to realise is that only the most highly sought after plates will garner huge auction and sale prices, and so for many getting a private number plate is a more affordable investment.
… But some have sold for a lot of money!
When it comes to understanding the value of an investment, most of us like to know about the top sale prices and the highest value investments ever made.
So, to tick that box and give interested investors exactly what it is they’re looking for, here are three of the highest ever sale and auction prices garnered by private number plates.
- ‘250’ – sold at auction for £518,000 to a Ferrari trader.
- ‘F1’ – undoubtedly one of the best number plates to place on a car, this plate was bought by a business entrepreneur for £440,000. It has been rumoured that since then, he has turned down a six million pound offer; instead choosing to keep hold of his plate.
- ‘S1’ – Scotland’s first ever number plate, and one which sold for a huge £397,000 in 2008.
If forking out for a private number plate is something that you’re interested in, not only does it make a stable investment option that will never lose value, but it also holds a great deal of personal value for those who manage to secure the plate they want. To find out more about how to secure a private number plate and give your car a luxury upgrade, our team of experts are here to help!