Personalised Number Plates - a Growing Trend

by : Adam Croft

Personalised number plates have been growing in popularity for many years now, but how many people are fully aware of just how much some of these plates have sold for?

The current world record for a personalised number plate is an astonishing ?331,500, which was the hammer price for M 1 at an auction in Goodwood on June 7th 2006. Numerous sources have reported that the plate was purchased by a Cheshire businessman for his six year old son.

Although M1 was expected to fetch between ?80,000 and ?120,000, the hammer price of ?331,500 eclipsed the previous world record of ?285,000, which was paid by Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich for VIP 1. This registration was initially issued on the Pope John Paul II's vehicle for his papal visit to Ireland in the 1970s.

Although there are literally millions of standard DVLA issue number plates available to the general public for as little as ?150, these big money number plates are constantly pushing for higher prices. One Dunstable-based personal number plates dealer has E 1 and X 1 available at a cool ?500,000. Even MS 1, JH 1 or MG 1 would eclipse the current world record, as they are on the company's books at ?350,000.

Many a switched-on entrepreneur has seen the number plates industry as a great investment for their money. With prices constantly rising in line with popularity, a personalised plate worth ?2,000 ten years ago could be worth ?20,000 today. As Quentin Wilson from BBC's Top Gear said, "If you buy your number wisely it will honestly be better than money in the bank."

Personalised number plates are becoming a hot topic in the UK, with television programmes and newspapers picking up on the public interest. The aforementioned dealer even issues a regular magazine dedicated entirely to number plates, containing exclusive interviews with British celebrities such as Chris Tarrant, Vinnie Jones, Nicky Clarke and Paul Daniels.

With news of the growth of the industry reaching the mainstream media, the public interest in personalised number plates has grown massively. The UK's personal number plates club,, was created with this public interest in mind, and offers a wealth of information surrounding the world of personal number plates.