New record set for the most expensive registration plates ever purchased


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Here you can stay up to date with the latest developments in the private number plate industry, including updates on private registrations, reg transfers and developments relating to the DVLA. We will also provide news updates on private plates that have made their way into the media spotlight.

New record set for the most expensive registration plates ever purchased17-Mar-2015

Classic car dealer John Collins settled a bill for £518,000 late last year when the auctioneer’s hammer slammed down. He wasn’t clinching a deal on a Ferrari, but a set of personal number plates. 

These private number plates – for “25 O” – were the most expensive private registration plates for sale ever purchased at a DVLA auction. 

But the owner of classic Ferrari dealer Talacrest admitted he would have been happy to have paid even more for the plates, given that they match the 250 Ferrari model. As you can imagine, the vehicle itself is estimated to be worth millions.

Mr Collins said: “It was all about holding your nerve until the very end. I’m glad it stopped where it did. More than half a million pounds – clearly I could have bought a couple of nice cars with that!

“They could have been the first private registration plates for sale worth a million! They weren’t, but I hope that one day we will see that.” 

What’s more, it isn’t just Mr Collins buying personal number plates like these as an investment, brokers say. 

While they are sometimes seen as an unneeded accessory for the rich and famous, the value and popularity of some private number plates for sale has been on the rise. 

Previously, the most expensive plates were sold six years ago, when “1 D” went for over £350,000. 

The DVLA, which sold Mr Collins his plates, holds five land-based and four online auctions annually, while millions of registrations are also available to buy online. 

Of course, prices start far more modestly than half a million pounds! 

So popularity remains strong – but the reasons for buying private plates are as different as the widely varying sums paid for them. 

Some are buying a special gift, others promoting a business, and some want to disguise how old their vehicle is. Plates, unlike a car, do not go down in value, so they are an investment as well as enjoyable. 

Finally, if you have personal plates, you will need to tell your insurer - but it shouldn’t add to the cost of your premium.