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Number one

A one-way sign

Everyone knows that A 1 was the very first number plate. Well, it wasn’t actually, but the myth serves to reinforce the alphanumeric combination as a byword for excellence.

Whether appearing in conjunction with one, two or three letters, a ‘number one’ plate represents the best you can get - the ultimate registration.

The single and double letter combinations are among the very earliest registrations and the three letter variations can date as far back as the early 1930s.

Quite apart from their prestige value, ownership of a ‘number one’ also represents enormous investment potential. This exclusivity is naturally reflected by the prices they command.

In this country, the number one has to be accompanied by at least one letter, but things are very different abroad. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example, single number registrations are permitted. Not surprisingly, then, the most sought after of them is [yes, you guessed it] ’1’ and Emirati Arif Ahmed al-Zarouni has just paid nearly£3,4m for it, his winning bid being 18 times the reserve price.

"My ambition is always to be number one," al-Zarouni said after the auction in the third-wealthiest emirate of Sharjah.

Of course, the UAE comprises seven separate emirates, of which Sharjah is the third-wealthiest. They each have their own vehicle registration system and, naturally, their own version of the  ‘1’ plate.  The prize for the highest price ever paid anywhere in the world for a registration remains in Abu Dhabi where, in 2008, their ‘1’ sold for an unsurpassed £7.25m.

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The role of DVLA

Car registrations and number plates, including personalised number plates, in the UK, are the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, usually known as the DVLA. It issues new registrations twice a year and also maintains the central database that records details of all vehicles licensed to drive on UK roads, along with their keeper and registration information.

Regtransfers works closely with DVLA to complete registration transfers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Regtransfers is a DVLA-registered supplier of personal car registrations and number plates and is listed on the DVLA Registrations website. All number plates supplied by Regtransfers comply with DVLA's prescribed standards and regulations.

DVLA administers all UK registration transfers and issues updated registration documents when the registration number of a car is changed, or when a registration is removed from a vehicle and placed on a retention document in accordance with the DVLA Retention Scheme.

DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Regtransfers is not affiliated with the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations. Regtransfers is a recognised reseller of unissued Government stock.

Number plate regulations

When a car is on the road, it is an offence to display number plates bearing any number other than the vehicle's officially recorded registration number. If you purchase a private registration, learn how to transfer private plates before displaying the new number.

All registration number plates displayed on UK vehicles must comply with the official number plate regulations. DVLA oversees enforcement of number plates display regulations and maintains a register of approved manufacturers and retailers of vehicle number plates.

Regtransfers is not part of, and is not formally affiliated with DVLA.

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