What is the most expensive number plate in the world?
The answer is that the Dubai number plate P 7 is the world's most expensive confirmed sale of a car registration number to date.
The UK market continues to grow and there are signs that top British prices could soon approach the levels seen in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It is widely believed that the legendary number A 1 would command a price in excess of £1m should it come onto the market and businessman Afzal Kahn, owner of F 1, claims to have turned down an offer of £6m for that registration.
Highest prices paid for personal number plates worldwide
The top 50 highest priced private car registrations globally are shown in the table below.
Ranking sales that occurred in different currencies at different times is difficult, so we have ranked this table according to the converted price in UK pounds. In each case, conversion is at the exchange rate prevailing at the time the sale occurred.
|#||Registration||Price (GBP)||Local price||Location||Year|
|1||P 7||£12,000,000||AED 55m||Dubai||2023|
|2||AA 9||£7,620,140||AED 38m||Dubai||2021|
|3||AA 8||£7,497,781||AED 35m||Dubai||2022|
|4||D 5||£7,324,207||AED 33m||Dubai||2016|
|5||5 1||£7,250,000||AED 52.2m||Abu Dhabi||2008|
|6||2 2||£4,991,380||AED 23.3m||Abu Dhabi||2022|
|7||O 9||£4,363,000||AED 25m||Dubai||2015|
|8||8 5||£3,500,000||AED 25.2m||Abu Dhabi||2007|
|9||5 7||£3,000,000||AED 16.8m||Abu Dhabi||2010|
|10||50 7||£2,958,057||AED 13.4m||Abu Dhabi||2016|
|11||R||£2,694,349||HKD 25.5m||Hong Kong||2023|
|12||W||£2,421,016||HKD 26m||Hong Kong||2021|
|13||0 9||£2,379,706||AED 13.4m||Abu Dhabi||2015|
|14||6 9||£2,153,846||AED 15.4m||Abu Dhabi||2008|
|15||1 2||£2,061,850||AED 10m||Abu Dhabi||2017|
|16||AA 22||£1,828,418||AED 8.4m||Dubai||2023|
|17||6 9||£1,720,000||AED 10m||Abu Dhabi||2010|
|18||28||£1,616,000||HKD 18.1m||Hong Kong||2016|
|19||6 7||£1,583,333||AED 11.4m||Abu Dhabi||2008|
|20||18||£1,513,372||HKD 16.5m||Hong Kong||2008|
|21||NSW 4||£1,500,000||AUD 2.4m||Australia||2017|
|22||1 11||£1,346,578||AED 6.1m||Abu Dhabi||2016|
|23||VIC 14||£1,346,485||AUD 2.38m||Australia||2022|
|24||V||£1,341,589||HKD 13m||Hong Kong||2017|
|25||✱ 12||£1,240,000||AED 8.9m||Abu Dhabi||2010|
|26||✱ 19||£1,107,325||AED 6.5m||Abu Dhabi||2009|
|27||✱ 11||£1,098,901||AED 8m||Abu Dhabi||2007|
|28||AA 19||£1,066,577||AED 4.9m||Dubai||2023|
|29||2||£999,985||HKD 9.5m||Hong Kong||1993|
|30||✱ 10||£993,377||AED 4.5m||Abu Dhabi||2016|
|31||VV||£978,933||HKD 9.3m||Hong Kong||2018|
|32||✱ 22||£967,741||AED 4.65m||Abu Dhabi||2016|
|33||7 66||£946,236||AED 4.4m||Abu Dhabi||2016|
|34||7 99||£915,612||AED 1.5m||Abu Dhabi||2009|
|35||✱ 55||£892,857||AED 6.5m||Abu Dhabi||2007|
|36||F 55||£855,887||AED 4m||Dubai||2022|
|37||9||£832,258||HKD 13m||Hong Kong||1994|
|38||AA 70||£830,079||AED 3.82m||Dubai||2023|
|39||X 7777||£825,733||AED 3.8m||Dubai||2023|
|40||Y 66||£813,093||AED 3.8m||Dubai||2022|
|41||12||£747,357||HKD 7.1m||Hong Kong||2005|
|42||✱ 45||£686,813||AED 5m||Abu Dhabi||2007|
|43||16||£676,751||HKD 8.5m||Hong Kong||2011|
|44||AA 10||£630,080||AED 3.1m||Dubai||2017|
|45||13||£625,528||HKD 7.4m||Hong Kong||2010|
|46||Z 43||£618,575||AED 2.85m||Dubai||2023|
|47||26||£591,715||HKD 7m||Hong Kong||2010|
|48||29||£583,333||HKD 7m||Hong Kong||2008|
|49||Y 96||£577,326||AED 2.66m||Dubai||2023|
|50||✱ 88||£576,923||AED 4.2m||Abu Dhabi||2007|
|Asterisk (✱) denotes where the series is uncertain.|
Assessing the most-expensive rankings is a complicated process. Variations in currency exchange rates over time result in some apparent anomalies. This is why a registration that sold for AED 38 million may rank higher than one that sold for AED 52.2 million: we rank according to the price in British pounds as converted from the sale price in local currency at the rate that was current at the time of the sale.
I have collected 10 number plates so far and I am looking forward to having more. It's a passion.
World rank: 4
£7,324,207 (AED 33m)
The price is fair. After all, who among us does not want to be number one?
World rank: 5
£7,250,000 (AED 52.2m)
Abu Dhabi, 2008
Readers who have encountered other articles claiming to list the world's most expensive plates may notice two conspicuous omissions from the table on this page. Reports that the Qatar number 333355 was sold in 2014 for QR 200m (£35m) have turned out to be spurious. Abdulla Matar Al Mannaei of Emirates Auctions told Regtransfers that the 'sale' was in fact a system error, so that entry has been removed from the rankings.
Similarly, the reported sale, in November 2016, of an Abu Dhabi number (5) 1 registration for AED 31m (£6.84m) has been removed from the table. The would-be purchaser admitted to writing a cheque that he did not have the funds to cover and was subsequently convicted of fraud.
Full details of some sales are difficult to present clearly due to peculiarities of local licence plate systems and the rather vague nature of some news reports. For example, numbers such as Abu Dhabi's 7 and 11 appear more than once in the table. This is because the same number may be issued in more than one series or category. News reports generally omit reference to the category, announcing only the main number.
The situation is similar in Australia where different states may issue the same numbers. The sale reported internationally as NSW 4, was referred to in many Australian publications simply as registration number 4.
Sources: www.emlratesauction.com/en/, www.td.gov.uk/en/home, www.gulfnews.com, www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, www.arabianbusiness.com, www.middleeasteye.net, www.indianexpress.com, www.jewishbusinessnews.com, www.standard.co.uk, www.khaleejtimes.com, www.bbc.co.uk, www.news.com.au.
We are grateful to Emirates Auctions and the Hong Kong Transport Department for the information provided.