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Personalised Number Plates Record High Prices In Australia

Australian Personalised Number Plate Sold for Record Price

A number plate from Victoria, Australia, has been sold at an online auction for a record price for a Victorian registration number. The Victorian heritage plates, simply bearing the digits ‘14’, went under the hammer at Shannons Auctions last month for AUD $2,270,500 (£1,294,934 at the time of writing). With a buyer’s premium of $113,000 added on, the winning bidder had to hand over a staggering $2,383,500.

Four or five buyers were bidding for the plate during the week the auction was running. The bidding started at $1.7m but, in the last hour of the auction, surged to over $2m, with two enthusiasts competing fiercely for the rare and much sought-after plates before the hammer came down.

Victorian heritage plates were officially assigned to vehicles until 1939, with 285,000 being issued, 90 of which had two digits. The previous highest price paid for a two-digit Victorian plate was $1.1m for ‘26’ in 2020. The sale of the ‘14’ plate came close to matching the record figure for any Australian registration number, which was $2.45m for the single-digit New South Wales plate ‘4’.

Personalised Number Plates as an Investment

The record prices being paid in Australia shows how much serious buyers are prepared to pay for rare personalised number plates. Christophe Boribon of Shannons Auctions says that classic number plates are continuously rising in value. He said, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and it keeps on surprising me.” He previously sold the ‘14’ Victorian heritage plate for $75,000 in 1998. That’s an impressive profit of $2,195,500 in 24 years.

He added, “You tell me what has appreciated like that in 24 years. Nothing has appreciated like that.” As a comparison, if you had bought a house in 1998 for $75,000 in one of Melbourne’s affluent areas, it would be valued at around $650,000 today. Investing the same sum in gold at that time would have given you a return of about $270,000.

Some buyers of rare personalised number plates keep them on retention as an investment, while others see them as status symbols and are proud to display them on their cars. Personalised plates make a good investment because, as well as climbing in value, there are no ongoing costs and they don’t need any maintenance. And, of course, they look great on your car compared to regular number plates.

UK Personalised Number Plates Also Rise in Value

The UK has for a long time led the way in the popularity of personalised number plates, and sales of plates are booming. The top price paid for a UK private number plate so far is £518,480, with many others also fetching six-figure sums. If the owner of the highly prized ‘F1’ puts it up for sale it would likely smash the record for a UK plate.

So, if you’ve been thinking about buying a personalised number plate for yourself or as a gift for somebody else, there’s never been a better time. Not only will you add a personal touch to your car, but you could also make a decent profit in the future.