It's been another great year for personal number plates. To our constant delight and relief, despite challenging times, demand for number plates remains as strong as ever. Whether it is businesses investing in branding and PR or individuals investing in quality cherished plates or amusing themselves with a quirky private registration, our fantastic customers have enabled Regtransfers to continue providing employment for 100+ local people at our Dunstable offices.
What makes a great plate
Analysing what drives sales of a product like ours has to involve a bit of educated guesswork. It is very hard to make generalisations about something that sells for such a wide range of prices and which appeals to all sectors and levels of society. Although a lot of our business seems to be much as usual, with good registrations sought by business people and celebrities, and great bargains sought by those on more modest budgets, we suspect that variables such as the supply problems in the motor industry must play a part. With new cars harder to find and used cars commanding extraordinary prices, it's not surprising that some people opt to keep their existing vehicle and give it a facelift instead - and what better way to spruce up a car than an eye-catching plate?
The last 12 months
When we take a look at our own top sales from the last 12 months, and at some of the great plates sold at DVLA auctions throughout the year, the resilience of the private registrations market is clearly evident. Between us and DVLA's auctions there were 26 registrations that commanded prices of over £100,000 and six registrations that achieved a quarter of a million pounds or more. Unsurprisingly, this has meant we've had to revise our chart of the most expensive plates sold in the UK.
There was quite a range of plates that made the big money, but some things are pretty much guaranteed to perform well. The majority of the top-ranked sales were of number 1 registrations, with other two-letter-single-digit combinations also proving popular. We've noticed a few substantial sales in the last 12 months that have contained probable references to cryptocurrencies, and one of these, 3 XRP, earns a place amongst this year's £100k+ achievers.
The top performers
One of the most notable in our top five was DEV 1L, a plate with wide potential appeal to some very different buyers. As well as its obvious reference to Lucifer himself, this is the registration that appeared on Cruella De Vil's iconic car in both the 2016 live-action movie 101 Dalmatians and its sequel, 102 Dalmatians. It's not every day we see a private plate that is coveted by both Disney fans and devil worshippers.
Anyway, here's our chart of the top numbers sold by Regtransfers and DVLA. Remember, some of the smaller dealers will also have made some excellent sales, so these may be the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.