For Benjamin Jacobs, Director of Stoneacre Properties, buying private number plates started out as a hobby. Benjamin’s first plate purchase was when he was just 15 years of age.
“I bought my first number plate with some money I earned from a Saturday job. The first one I bought was BEL 7S, which I bought in an auction. I thought it looked like ‘Ben’s’. I lost money on that one.
“When I was younger I used to see cars with [personal] plates on them. I always wanted to collect them as a hobby and to make a bit of money.”
When Benjamin was 19, he set up an estate agency. “I started a letting business from my dining room table. That business is now an established high street estate agency, based in Leeds, offering residential and commercial sales and lettings.
“Over the last three years I have invested in some property-related plates: L3 TBY (Let By), FOR 541E (For Sale), NOW 501D (Now Sold), R3 NTD (Rented),S3 LLS (Sells) and T10 LET (To Let).
“When I was 21, I saw J46 OBS (‘Jacobs’) which is my surname. I just had to have it. I made a low offer and stuck to my guns. Eventually my offer was accepted so I now have my surname as a plate. “I bought my first plate at 15 and now I have 24 different registrations. I am definitely an avid collector of plates!”
In your face
When dental surgeon Dr Stephen Cook first put his private registration, DEN 715T on his Mercedes he was a little apprehensive.
“I didn’t know what would happen. Would I get my car scratched or damaged by people who hate and fear dentists? Well, no; quite the opposite as it turned out. It was a fantastic advertising tool.
“People would stop and point as I drove past and my business boomed. It was the best advert I could have had to help build my business. I was even followed back to my surgery by a guy with toothache, and I took him on as a patient. What other number plate could do that?”
Stephen retired from dentistry in July 2009, due to ill health, and has been trying to sell DEN 715T ever since.
“I must admit that I am disappointed with the response from potential buyers. I don’t know if it’s just because of their lack of vision… Although the plate is very blatant and in-your-face, my experience of having it on my car was nothing but positive.”
So, if any of our dentist readers would like the perfect ‘dentist’ number plate, please let us know. Stephen is ready to sell for the right price.