For some people a car registration plate means nothing more than a few numbers and letters that you occasionally need for filling forms out with regards to your car. But for others, it is a sign of status or wealth or a way of personalising your car or motorcycle.
The most expensive number plates in the UK
Back in September of last year, Britain’s most expensive registration plate, ‘X1’, was put up for sale with a staggering £1 million asking price. This incredible price tag sits at 43 times the value of the car it is ideally suited for, the BMW X1, and over half a million up on the figure that was forked out for the ‘F1’ registration plate back in 2008.
There were rumours two years later that the owner was offered £5 million for his registration plate, but turned it down, so the record fee in the UK remains at £440,625 for the time-being.
A sign of how quickly the prices of the most sought after registration plates is rising can be seen in the previous record, as it was way down at £331,000 in 2006, held by the owner of ‘M1’.
The most expensive number plates in the world
Moving further afield the numbers become truly mind-blowing, with the two registration plates sitting top of the world’s ‘most expensive’ list, costing their new owners well into the millions.
In second place, over £3 million ahead of ‘F1’, was the purchase of the solitary digit of ‘5’ by an Abu Dhabi based man in 2007. The final figure stood at 25 million Dirhams (£3.5 million), and when questioned about why he was willing to spend so much on the number 5, he responded by saying the number had ‘absolutely no significance whatsoever’ for him.
Head and shoulders above the rest, almost fittingly it seems, is the number ‘1’ registration plate and another Abu Dhabi based owner. A member of a very rich family from the Middle East, he had to pay £7 million at an auction to get his hands on it in 2008 – meaning that the previous record for the ‘5’ registration place had been blown out of the water and doubled in value. The reason given from the owner on why he was willing to pay such a high fee was that he ‘bought it because it’s the best number’.
One other notable figure who has paid big bucks is the owner of Chelsea Football Club, who purchased a much more ‘status’ related registration plate back in 2006. ‘VIP 1’ was purchased by the Russian in 2006 for a fee of £285,000, which would have made barely a dent in the billionaire oil tycoon’s fortune.
Quite how far people will go and how much they will pay for their chosen registration plate remains to be seen, but for now the UK remains way behind the biggest spenders in this market, but it might not be too long before we see the £1 million barrier broken.
Below is a full rundown of the Top 10 fees paid for registration plates across the UK:
This post was written by Alex, who is a freelance writer and motoring enthusiast based in Oxford, writing on behalf of MORE TH>N motor insurance.
Image by The Plate Market via Flickr