Personal number plates fans are not rare. That is quite evident from the increasing number of eye-catching registrations adorning Britain’s cars. What many people will not know is that the enthusiasm often runs through entire families. Let us take the Hume family as our example.
John Hume began collecting personal car registrations in the late 1970s. His first acquisition was 2322 JH, a good plate that he bought for £400. In those days, £400 was a tidy sum and no doubt a few eyebrows were raised at John’s seemingly reckless purchase. The outlay was justified when, some years later,
he sold the registration for £4,000. Also in the late ’70s, John bought JDH 222 for his son, John David Hume.
“John complained that he was always getting stopped by the police, when they saw this young chap driving with a fancy number plate,” says John Sr. “At least, that was his excuse.” JDH 222 was also sold later for a handsome profit.
Then, in 1981, John saw JMH 1 advertised in The Sunday Times. He tried to raise a loan for the purchase, but the bank would not consider it. The price at that time was £4,995. Clearly had the bank agreed the investment would have been sound, as John had to pay a lot more for that number when he finally did secure it in 2000.
Meanwhile, he managed to find a personal plate that was very nearly as good as the one that had temporarily got away. In 1991, John found 1 JMH, which meant that for some time he had that on one car and his 2322 JH plate on the other.
When his daughter, Lisa Anne, passed her driving test some 16 years ago,
John began looking for either 1 LAH or LAH 1. To his surprise and delight, both of the numbers he sought soon became available.
“When LAH 1 came on the market I bought it immediately. Then, just three months later, 1 LAH came on the market with Regtransfers. How lucky can you get?”
At that time, John’s wife, Sandra, had 1 JMH on her car and refused to part with it. John had bought a Bentley GT, so he found himself looking around for yet another registration. The next one he found was V121 JMH.
Eventually, John did manage to buy his perfect registration, the one that had eluded him years ago. V121 JMHwent onto retention, and John put JMH 1 on his Bentley.
“Sandra now has 1 LAH on her BMW, Lisa has LAH 1 on her Audi, which she says she will never part with, and I have the best of both worlds, JMH 1 on my day car and 1 JMH on the Bentley.”
So, it seems that everyone is happy.
Just one question nags at John’s mind: “No-one has ever been able to explain why I keep looking for new personal registrations, he says. “It’s just the habit of a lifetime, I suppose.”