Scottish Council Aims to Ease Budget Deficit by Selling Rare Personalised Number Plate
Like many local authorities, East Renfrewshire Council in Scotland is currently facing challenging financial issues. With a projected £30 million budget deficit over the next three years, politicians are looking for ways to help plug the shortfall in funds. One proposal is the sale of the council’s valuable private number plate, ‘HS 0’.
The rare plate, believed to have been gifted to the council decades ago, had been used on official vehicles carrying past provosts of the authority. It was last displayed on the council’s chauffeur driven BMW used for official engagements by the Provost, Deputy Provost and the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire. However, the plate has been in storage since the vehicle’s lease ended in 2022.
The ‘HS 0’ registration has now been identified as an asset that could raise a significant amount of money to help ease the council’s funding shortfall. The plate’s unique character could see it fetch a six-figure sum if it’s put up for auction. ‘HS 0’ is unusual in having just a single zero, which could make it particularly desirable to potential buyers.
When registration numbers were first introduced in 1903, number plates had one or two letters followed by up to four numerical digits, usually starting at ‘1’. The letters denoted the issuing authority, with HS being used by Renfrewshire. CarReg estimates the plate should sell for at least £150,000, and possibly as much as £250,000. Someone with the initials ‘HS’ and a healthy bank balance could be tempted to part with a lot of money to display this one-of-a-kind personalised number plate on their car.
A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said that the authority was exploring every avenue of means to generate income. "The sale of the council registration ‘HS 0’ presents the opportunity to generate a sizeable sum. In current circumstances it would be imprudent not to consider the sale of something which serves no real purpose and which, arguably, would be viewed by many as an unnecessary extravagance.”
The proposal to sell the number plate will be considered at a cabinet meeting on Thursday 26 January.
Glasgow City Council Sells Rolls-Royce but Retains ‘G 0’ Number Plate
A Rolls-Royce given to Glasgow City Council has been sold at auction after public criticism of the vehicle. Biscuit tycoon Sir Boyd Tunnock donated the car to the council in 2018 saying he just wanted to do a good thing for the city. The car proudly displayed the council’s unique ‘G 0’ personalised number plate.
Despite not having to pay for the car, the council was criticised for using the chauffeur-driven 12 mpg Rolls-Royce while local services are being cut. The luxury car was put up for auction and fetched £105,000 to ease the council’s financial burden. The Lord Provost is ferried around in other cars from the council’s fleet, most commonly a Nissan Leaf.
The council retained its rare ‘G 0’ number plate, even though it could potentially raise a huge sum of money if it were to be sold.