Personalised number plates: our guide
22 April 2020
/ Andrew Burgess
Personalised number plates are not only reserved for the rich and famous. Millions of Pounds are spent each year on buying and transferring number plates, and anyone can buy one. A personalised number plate makes your vehicle stand out and look more unique, buying one can cost anything from £250 up to hundreds of thousands. The cost is dependent on how desirable the number plate is.
How to Buy A Personalised Number Plate
Buying a personalised number plate is very easy. Most purchases are made online, using either the DVLA directly or via a broker, such as regtransfers. The third option is to buy privately from someone that is selling theirs. In each case you are buying the entitlement to use the number plate on your car. The DVLA will send you a V750 certificate of entitlement. Which you must be taken to a DVLA registered number plate supplier, along with proof of ID. This is required to prevent cloning of number plates as that we discussed in our cloned vehicle blog.
The desirability of a number plate dictates how much it costs to buy. The most expensive number plate sold to date is ‘25 O’. It was bought by a Ferrari dealer and is believed to be on a Ferrari 250 once owned by Eric Clapton. The car is said to be worth around £10 million, so the owner wouldn’t have had any problem footing the cool £251,000 bill for the number plate.
Types of Number Plate
Number plates come in three varieties, all of which are available to put on any vehicle, as long as it doesn’t make the vehicle seem newer than it actually is, so you couldn’t put a 2018 number plate on a car from 2016.
Current - AB 11 ABC
The current version, which has been in circulation since 2001 identifies the year the plate was first registered in the middle of the number plate, the first two numbers indicate the place of registration, the final three letters are a random combination.
The current number plate MR 51NGH was first registered in Manchester in 2001
Prefix – A111 ABC
Prefix number plates were in use from 1983 to 2001. The year of registration was denoted by the single letter at the beginning, and the place of registration identified by the last two letters on the number plate. The three numbers in the middle of the number plate are random.
The prefix number plate K1NGS was registered in 1993 in Luton. It is believed to be owned by
Suffix – ABC 111A
Suffix number plates are the reverse of prefix number plates. They were used from 1963 to 1983 and have the single letter year identifier at the end of the number plate. The last one or two letters in the three-letter sequence identifies the area it was first registered.
The suffix number plate RAC3R was first registered in Coventry in 1976
No Year Identifier – ABC 1234
Prior to 1963 number plates were made up for any combination of up to four numbers and up to three letters. There is no way of telling which year the plates were registered, so they are very desirable and can be put on any vehicle. The location identifier is again the last one or two letters of the letter combination.
The number plate F1 was first registered in Essex, the year of registration is not identifiable from the number plate.
The UKs Most Expensive Number Plates
1. ’25 O’: £518,000
2. ‘F 1’: £440,000
3. ‘S 1’: £404,000
4. ‘1 D’: £352,000
5. ‘M 1’: £331,000
6. ‘VIP 1’: £285,000
7. ’51 NGH’: £254,000
8. ‘1 RH’: £247,000
9. ‘K1 NGS’: £231,000
10. ‘1 O’: £170,000
So, if you want a number plate as desirable as the ones above, you’ll need deep pockets. Otherwise you might have to go for something a little more obscure. Number plates that include your initials, or something similar, may be more affordable.