There are some questions that we get asked again and again, and one in particular that is definitely the most frequently asked question from journalists...
Those are the very top performers but if you want more then see our expanded table below featuring the full top 50!
NB: Prices are totals inclusive of all fees and taxes.
To find out more about the investment potential of high-quality personal number plates, please visit this page: The Alternative Investment
Spending a few hundred pounds on a personalised number plate is something most people are quite comfortable with; the increasing number of private registrations sold in the UK each year demonstrates the fact. That shouldn’t surprise us; a good registration can do more to personalise a vehicle than any other change. A flashy spoiler or custom paint job may be eye-catching, but no one can guarantee it will be unique. With a private registration, that is exactly what is guaranteed: uniqueness, forever.
Personal number plates are now considered to be like fine wines, classic cars - an alternative investment. The values of top quality examples are growing, worldwide. You may find it hard to believe that eight of the ten most expensive UK number plates have been purchased since the onset of the 2007/2008 financial crisis and its subsequent ramifications. People are already paying millions of pounds for a single registration in some parts of the world. In the UK, outstanding examples command prices in excess of half a million pounds.
- Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers
- Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne OBE
- John Collins
- Entrepreneur James Caan CBE
Highest Prices Paid for UK Personal Number Plates
|Rank||Plate||Price||Date||Current Est. Price|
|1||25 O||£518,480||Nov 2014||£750,000|
|2||X 1||£502,500||Nov 2012||£1,000,000|
|3||G 1||£500,000||Sep 2011||£1,000,000|
|4||F 1||£440,625||Jan 2008||Asking £10,000,000|
|5||S 1||£404,063||Sep 2008||£1,000,000|
|6||1 D||£352,411||Mar 2009||£500,000|
|7||1 S||£340,000||Mar 2010||£600,000|
|8||M 1||£331,500||Jun 2006||£1,000,000|
|9||GB 1||£325,000||Nov 2009||£500,000|
|10||D 2||£300,096||Oct 2015||£350,000|
|11||VIP 1||£285,000||Jan 2006||£500,000|
|12||1 BM||£285,000||Dec 2014||£300,000|
|13||V 1||£275,000||Jan 2006||£1,000,000|
|14||S 5||£270,300||Mar 2016||£400,000|
|15||GN 1||£260,146||Oct 2016||£300,000|
|16||GS 1||£258,775||Jul 2005||£500,000|
|17||51 NGH||£254,000||Apr 2006||£500,000|
|18||1 RH||£247,952||Nov 2008||£300,000|
|19||MS 1||£235,000||Sep 2007||£500,000|
|20||MG 1||£235,000||Sep 2009||£350,000|
|21||KR15 HNA||£233,360||May 2015||£250,000|
|22||K1 NGS||£231,000||Dec 1993||£500,000|
|23||Y 1||£225,000||Apr 2006||£1,000,000|
|24||R 9||£220,000||Mar 2016||£250,000|
|25||1 O||£210,242||Jan 2009||£500,000|
|26||LD 1||£210,000||Nov 2013||£300,000|
|27||1 A||£202,480||Dec 1998||£500,000|
|28||JH 1||£200,000||Jul 2009||£400,000|
|29||SM 1||£200,000||Sep 2014||£300,000|
|30||FS 1||£200,000||Aug 2016||£300,000|
|31||BOB 1||£200,000||Jun 2016||£250,000|
|32||1 JL||£200,000||Jun 2016||£250,000|
|33||CH 1||£200,000||Jul 2016||£250,000|
|34||1 OO||£197,000||Apr 2006||£250,000|
|35||1 MB||£190,000||Nov 2015||£300,000|
|36||LT 1||£180,000||Jun 2007||£300,000|
|37||1 KF||£180,000||Oct 2015||£200,000|
|38||KB 1||£180,000||Mar 2011||£350,000|
|39||D 9||£175,000||Jun 2015||£250,000|
|40||SP 1||£175,000||Jun 2016||£300,000|
|41||LF 1||£175,000||Aug 2015||£250,000|
|42||MB 1||£170,000||Jun 2002||£500,000|
|43||L 2||£170,000||Nov 2011||£300,000|
|44||SR 1||£167,500||Sep 2007||£300,000|
|45||PN 1||£164,904||Jan 2011||£250,000|
|46||1 MS||£160,000||Mar 2015||£250,000|
|47||GB 2||£160,000||Jan 2010||£250,000|
|48||GP 1||£159,920||Aug 2011||£300,000|
|49||MP 1||£159,877||Jun 2005||£300,000|
|50||2 O||£142,249||Mar 2009||£200,000|
|51||250 L||£130,328||Nov 2014||£250,000|
Prices include estimated fees and taxes.
But what is it that makes someone willing to pay thousands of pounds for their ultimate personalised registration number? The factors that dictate the value of a registration number are many and varied. With initials, it is mostly the number of people who have those particular initials. If that number is large, then the potential demand is considerable and that can make some "initials" plates fairly valuable. With names and words, the value comes from a combination of potential demand and the quality of the number from a visual point of view. With "number 1" plates, the value is due to exclusivity and prestige.
“We’ve been dealing with Registration Transfers now for nearly 25 years, they’ve supplied a hell of a lot of number plates for us, and you can see the amount of publicity that we get. Celebrity customers that use us, in the paper, everybody seems to mention the vans, everybody mentions the number plates.
“It’s our biggest form of advertisement, and hopefully we can continue to work with Registration Transfers for years to come. They have offered us a great service which has certainly got us, the company, to the position we are in today as the most known plumbing company in the world. “
From Pimlico Plumbers - Charlie Mullins
Fun and sheer enjoyment drive the vast majority of number plates purchases, but increasing number of buyers purchase their private registrations speculatively, with the intention of selling later at a profit; and it really is a serious investment, as serious as investment in stocks and shares, or in art. Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson is famously quoted as saying that a good personal registration could be "better than money in the bank". The earliest numbers issued in Britain are now much more than 100 years old, thus meeting the widely applied age criterion that defines an antique.
Furthermore, there is an emerging market in private number plates for marketing, PR and branding in business. Sir Alan Sugar and Dragons' Den moguls Duncan Bannatyne, and Theo Paphitis all recognise the usefulness of private plates when it comes to building and reinforcing an image. Sir Alan's AMS 1 plate featured prominently in the opening sequence of The Apprentice.
See also The World's Most Expensive Number Plates.