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The UK’s most expensive number plates

The values of top quality cherished registrations are growing, worldwide. It might be hard to believe, but eight of the ten most expensive UK number plates have been purchased since the onset of the 2007/2008 financial crisis. Despite uncertain times, people are confident that wisely selected private plates will hold or increase their value.

The competitive environment of a car registrations auction seems to be especially good at delivering spectacular sale prices. Sums paid in the UK have been amazing enough, with outstanding examples achieving prices in excess of half a million pounds, but in some parts of the world a single registration may sell for millions of pounds.

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.

The infographic, at a glance, show Britain's top 12 most expensive private numbers to date. Expand our table of numbers below to see more.

UKs most expensive number plates infographic

Highest prices paid for UK personal number plates

# Registration Price Date Value *
1 25 O More details £518,480 Nov 2014 £750,000
2 X 1 £502,676 Nov 2012 £1,000,000
3 G 1 £500,126 Sep 2011 £1,000,000
4 RR 1 £472,000 Sep 2018 £500,000
5 F 1 More details £440,625 Jan 2008 Asking £10,000,000
6 SH 1 £415,143 Apr 2019 £415,143
7 S 1 £404,063 Sep 2008 £1,000,000
8 RH 1 £390,176 Mar 2021 £400,000
9 1 D £352,411 Mar 2009 £500,000
10 1 S £340,240 Mar 2010 £600,000
11 M 1 £331,500 Jun 2006 £1,000,000
12 T 6 £330,176 Jan 2019 £330176
13 V 1 £330,105 Oct 2006 £330,105
14 DL 1 £330,096 Aug 2022 £330,096
15 GB 1 £325,106 Nov 2009 £500,000
16 X 7 £310,100 Aug 2021 £350,000
17 DEV 1L £308,253 Dec 2021 £308,253
18 SW 5 £300,100 Dec 2021 £300,100
19 SG 1 £300,100 Dec 2021 £300,100
20 D 2 £300,096 Oct 2015 £350,000
21 KB 1 £300,000 Feb 2019 £300,000
22 IG 1 £287,792 Jul 2019 £287,792
23 1 BM £285,209 Dec 2014 £300,000
24 FH 1 £278,543 Oct 2020 £278,543
25 MG 1 £270,370 Sep 2009 £270,370
26 S 5 £270,300 Mar 2016 £400,000
27 Y 1 £264,528 Apr 2006 £264,528
28 GN 1 £260,146 Oct 2016 £300,000
29 1 DS £260,000 Apr 2017 £260,000
30 GS 1 £258,775 Jul 2005 £500,000
31 PR 1 £255,196 Sep 2015 £255,196
32 51 NGH £254,000 Apr 2006 £500,000
33 1 AA £250,208 Apr 2021 £250,208
34 3 F £250,207 Aug 2019 £250,207
35 7 R £250,180 Dec 2020 £250,180
36 KO 1 £250,116 Jan 2021 £250,116
37 E 4 £250,100 Feb 2022 £250,100
38 D 5 £250,096 May 2018 £250,096
39 NS 1 £250,096 Nov 2018 £250,096
40 DS 1 £250,000 Jul 2019 £250,000
41 1 RH £247,952 Nov 2008 £300,000
42 AJ 1 £243,000 Jun 2019 £243,000
43 HH 1 £240,116 May 2022 £240116
44 GL 1 £240,096 Mar 2020 £240,096
45 MS 1 £235,176 Sep 2007 £500,000
46 KR15 HNA £233,360 May 2015 £250,000
47 K1 NGS £231,000 Dec 1993 £500,000
48 JH 1 £230,159 Jul 2009 £400,000
49 CA 1 £230,000 May 2017 £230,000
50 3 E £230,000 Jul 2021 £230,000
51 4 F £226,000 Sep 2019 £226,000
52 8 A £224,920 Jan 2018 £224,920
John Collins with 25 O

It is the ultimate plate for the ultimate car. I could have bought a really good Ferrari for the money but I decided I really wanted the plate and I wasn't going to stop bidding on it.

John Collins

Check out our feature on the world's most expensive number plates.

To find out more about the alternative investment potential of high-quality personal number plates, please visit our page on number plate investment.

Why do people buy private number plates?

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.

Did you know?

  • The top 15 most expensive were all over quarter of a million pounds
  • The top 3 most expensive were all over half a million pounds
  • 64% of the top 50 most expensive were £200,000 or over

A case of Business savvy

Business number plates at Pimloco Plumbers

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.

Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers

Are private number plates a good investment?

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.

Number plates for marketing

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.

James Caan with 28 JC

If you look back over the last ten years, the value of number plates has gone up a lot.

James Caan

Related articles

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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