The first two months of the year have flown by, and while Christmas feels like just a few weeks ago, we’re already in March. In the world of motoring, the 1st of March is a special time of year, it means it’s time for new number plates to be released.
Each year, in March and again in September, the DVLA releases new number plates. This usually causes a huge rise in new car sales as petrolheads look to get their hands on the most up to date plates.
But it’s not just the number of the plate that’s changing this year. As well as having the new ‘22’ registration tag, the new plates will have to meet new regulations as part of the new British Standard for Retroreflective Number Plates.
These new rules mean that the plates must be made from sturdier, more durable materials which makes them tougher and less likely to be damaged. They will also have to have solid black lettering and can no longer use different shades to create 3D or 4D effects.
This will make them more easily identifiable to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Finally, they will also have to include the supplier’s business name and postcode, along with the name of the number plate manufacturer.
But while new number plates cause thousands of drivers to pay out for a new car, it’s private number plates that cost the big bucks.
A private plate will usually set you back a few thousand pounds, but some on the market right now could cost you hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Here are the top five most expensive number plates in the UK
#5 F 1 – £440,625
A dream plate for any fan of motor racing and it was racing fan and entrepreneur Afzal Khan who snapped up the plate from Essex Council back in 2008 and has since received offers of tens of millions of pounds for the coveted plate. Despite these huge offers, Khan has said he would never sell.
#4 RR 1 – £472,000
One of the oldest plates in the UK, it held the record for most expensive number plate when it was sold back in the 1960s for just under £5,000.
First registered in 1925, the nearly hundred-year-old plate sold a few years ago at an auction at Goodwood for almost half a million pounds to, you’d assume, a Rolls Royce owner.
#3 G 1 – £500,000
Becoming the first half a million-pound plate back in 2011, not much is known about who bought the G 1 plate, it was, for a time registered to an Aston Martin, but according to government vehicle enquires, it’s currently assigned to a Land Rover.
#2 X 1 – £502,500
Taking the top spot a year later was the X 1. Another plate with a long history, it was first issued by Northumberland County Council in December 1903. 100 years later, the plate is, according to personalised plate specialists regtransfers.co.uk, now worth over a million pounds.
#1 25 0 – £512,480
The most expensive number plate ever sold was 25 0 and it was sold to Ferrari dealer and superfan John Collins. With a vast collection of Ferraris, Collins had plenty of choices when selecting which one to give the 25 0 plate to. In the end, he chose his beautiful classic Ferrari 250 GT SWB.
Unfortunately, when it comes to expensive plates, the UK just doesn’t cut it. No plates sold in the UK even make it into the top 30 most expensive personalised plates. The United Arab Emirates unsurprisingly is the place to go for eye-wateringly expensive plates.
Nine of the top ten pricey plates come from either Abu Dhabi or Dubai, with the world record currently belonging to the plate ‘1’ in Abu Dhabi.
The single-digit plate beat the former world record held by Indian businessman Balwinder Sahani for one of his fleet of Rolls Royces.
It was sold to Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri for £7.2 million.
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