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Number Plate Investment

Personalised car registrations are more popular than ever and, as with most things, the best private registrations command the highest prices - which is why so many people now see them as an investment. Some numbers (eg, number-ones, and good quality name plates) have built-in, persistent value, while others suddenly acquire desirability through twists of fashion and current affairs.

Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne

23 D

"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."

James Caan

James Caan

28 JC

"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. "

John Collins

John Collins

25 0

"It is the ultimate plate for the ultimate car. I could have bought a really good Ferrari for the money but I decided I really wanted the plate and I wasn't going to stop bidding on it."

John Collins

The UK's Most Expensive Number Plate?


25 O, bought at auction in 2014 by Ferrari dealer John Collins for his Ferrari 250, holds the record as the most expensive number sold at a UK public auction. John has stated in interviews that he would have paid £1 million for 25 O if it had been necessary. The Ferrari itself is worth many times that.

Recent Number Plate Sales

Sales of number plates in recent years have seen a new milestone with some plates reaching over the £200,000 mark in auction. These plates can make great investments as the demand for personalised number plates increases.

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Price: £518,480 - Date Sold: November 2014

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Price: £233,360 - Date Sold: May 2015

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Price: £90,800 - Date Sold: May 2015

Plates may also contain numbers and letters which are related to or even match the exact car make and model. For example the registration 250 L would be perfect for a lucky Ferrari enthusiast who owns a 250 GTO or even a Mercedes-Benz 250 owner. There are endless possibilities.

Number plates which contain names, surnames or nicknames are valuable. They are unique and very personal which means they can fetch thousands of pounds depending upon the buyer. A recent plate which spelt the name Krishna (KRI5 HNA) sold for £233,360 in auction.

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Price: £233,360 - Date Sold: May 2015

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Price: £98.576 - Date Sold: May 2015

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Price: £45,440 - Date Sold: February 2015

What Dictates Price?

The main factors affecting the price of cherished registration numbers are:

Competition (popularity/demand)

Let's use initials as our example. There is a larger potential market, and thus more demand, for registrations containing the initials JS than for those containing UY. There are many John and Jane Smiths competing for each JS number, but very few Ulysses Youngs looking for UY plates


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

Visual impact

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

Investing in Business Plates

Plates such as the one pictured on the classic Jaguar above can fetch considerable amounts in auction. These plates are much sought after and can make an attractive portfolio for keen investors.

Return On Investments

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.

  • Bought for £1,728 in November 2015
  • Sold for £5000 in February 2016

ROI - 189.35%

  • Bought for £600 in February 2016
  • Sold for £5696.20 in June 2016

ROI - 849.37%

  • Bought for £1,944 in July 2015
  •  Sold for £5,000 in  April 2016

ROI - 157.20%

111 MSM
  • Bought for £2,376 in July 2015
  •  Sold for £6,396 in December 2015

ROI - 169.19%

An article from the BBC
An article from the Independent

If you would like to discuss investing in personal registrations, please, in the first instance, contact us at