As you may have read in our free magazine, the last few weeks and months have seen some very impressive number plate sales. Visitors to our website may have seen our video coverage of the auctions of 1 HRH and 1 O, which sold for £113,815 and £210,242 respectively. However, even those fine performers were upstaged by 1 RH, which hogged the limelight at £247,952.
Partly inspired by the growing number of spectacular prices that have hit the headlines in recent years, more and more purchasers seem to be selecting their car registration purchases with a speculative eye. For some buyers future profit is becoming as important, or more important, a consideration than immediate amusement or enjoyment.
Business people and entrepreneurs have joined the celebrity ranks thanks to TV programmes such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice, and it is striking how many of these successful and astute individuals are private plate owners.
None of these people are well known for wasting money or exercising poor judgment when it comes to investment. Sir Alan Sugar is another
famous and successful private registration owner. His AMS 1 plate
featured conspicuously in the opening credits of The Apprentice.
|Some examples of return on investment *|
|Registration||Date 1||Price||Date 2||Price||Increase|
|*Some prices may have been subject to fees and/or taxes|
"If you look back over the last ten years, the value of number plates has gone up quite a lot. You know, there’s only one of each plate, and I also think that’s the fun thing about it. If I wanted JC 1, I’d be the only person in the country who had got it."
"Cherished numbers are a great investment these days."
"I'd consider buying more, but the price would have to be right. I've made a bit of money on them."
"It's the easiest thing in the world to sell and buy a number plate through Regtransfers."
Regtransfers, established 1982, is the UK's leading independent private registrations dealer, employing almost 100 people at its Bedfordshire head office. Regtransfers is also the UK's most comprehensive single source of information on the subject of UK car registrations and number plates, and acts as regular consultant to the media.
The company's long history and the unrivalled experience of its professional staff means that Regtransfers has an understanding of the investment potential of high-quality car registrations that is second to none. Donna Allen, our Customer Relations Manager, has 7 years experience in the car registrations industry - specifically in assessing the value, and potential future investment performance, of private number plates. Customers wishing to explore the investment possibilities, or who may like to assemble a portfolio of high-potential registrations, should contact Donna who will give their requirements her personal attention.
When it comes to selling registrations, Regtransfers offers an unbeatable shop window with broad media exposure. Numbers are advertised in the country's top newspapers and magazines as well as on our own searchable website which receives over 3 million page views per month.
It takes knowledge of the marketplace to get the most out of buying and selling number plates. There are many factors that can influence the value of a registration number, including:
Popularity of names and initials
The potential demand for registrations suitable for John Smith is significantly larger than the potential demand for numbers suitable for Winston Aardvaark. Prices reflect the difference in scale of the potential market.
Scarcity, exclusivity and quality
The large sums paid for ‘number 1’ plates such as F 1, 1 RH, 1 HRH and 1 O reflect the relative scarcity of such registrations. Not only is the number of these plates limited, but owners are often reluctant to part with them.
The more closely a registration number resembles a name or word, the more desirable it is and, consequently, the more valuable. For many words and names there are several possible ways to represent them on a car registration. The best approximation will be the most valuable.
There are many more aspects to consider.
It can take a lot of time and study to get a good grasp of how number plates are valued.
While some people enjoy the exercise, in the same way as some study the stock markets and others follow racing form, for most the guidance of a specialist, professional company is preferable.
No number plates company can predict or guarantee the future performance of a car registration’s value, but Regtransfers.co.uk can provide information that may help the buyer to make an informed decision.
Venture capitalist Spencer Day was the successful bidder of 3 S in January 2009.
Mr Day said, "There's no better time than at present to invest money in personalised registrations."
"While I have no immediate plans to sell it, I am confident 3 S will give me a healthy return on my investment."
(3 S sold for £94,000)
"In my mind, there aren't many registrations that can better 1 HRH. While bought as an investment, it will be placed on one of my cars," says the new owner who purchased the plate at auction in January 2009.
(1 HRH sold for £113,815)
Better than money in the bank?
The new owner of S 1 obviously thinks so and says “I believe that number plates are a good investment, even at this price.”
This historic registration was sold on 19th September 2008 at Bonhams in Chichester for an auction record price of £404,000.
The registration number 1 D sold for £352,411.25 at auction on 25 March.
Lot 280, 1 D, was the star attraction at Ardencote Manor, Warwick with a reserve of £20,000 - the highest ever set at such an event.
With fees and taxes, 1 D's total cost will be £352,411.25, a sum that puts it at number 3 in the table of the UK's most expensive private number plates ever.
(1 D Sells for £352K)
Investing in Business Plates
“We've been dealing with Registration Transfers now for nearly 25 years, they've supplied a hell of a lot of number plates for us, and you can see the amount of publicity that we get.”
“Celebrity customers that use us, in the paper, everybody seems to mention the vans, everybody mentions the number plates.”
If you would like to start your own investment portfolio, please complete the following details. Our Customer Relations Manager, Donna Allen, will contact you within 24 working hours.
Alternatively, you can call Donna on 01582 470076, 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday or email her on