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Values of Personalised Number Plates Explained

Values of Personalised Registrations

The market is ever changing and the shape of it now is very different to that of 5 years ago.

Understanding the different formats is important, dateless (non age related) , then we have the age-related types of Suffix, Prefix and Current style formats. Generally speaking dateless registrations are those most desirable which fetch the highest prices, but like anything there are always exceptions to the rule, whereby a prefix or current style reg can spell a name like J1 MMY or JA11 MES for example.

Single Single Registrations (1x1 format) in the current market are minimum £250,000, with a number one single (C 1, H 1, X 1 ) being worth minimum of £500,000, with many estimates of value being more like £1million. The owner of F1 is widely reported to have declined 7 figure offers. In recent years P 2, O 6, K 5 ,V 6, 2 P have all being sold for significant 6 figure sums, however the specific sale prices cannot be disclosed.

3 Character Registrations
In the most recent DVLA Timed Auction Sale this month, it was registration 5 PS that topped the charts making £73010 hammer , which inclusive of 7% BCA Auctioneers fee and 20% VAT, was just shy of £94,000. Similarly registration 8 CH made £72000 including fees in the sale last October. Of course many short 3 character plates are changing hands privately and being sold via the secondary Cherished number market all the time, but examples in the DVLA Auction give the public and the trade the knowledge as the sale prices are in the public domain. This then provide everyone with a barometer of perceived value for a particular type or style of registration, with various precedents being set with lowest and highest prices.

Further to registrations with 1 digit and 2 letters, there are registrations with just a single letter, A-Y (excluding I,Q & Z) with 1,2,3,or 4 numbers. The 3 character plates such as these are equally as desirable with some values having more than doubled from the figures being achieved just 5 years ago.

Many buyers at auction seem to be investing speculatively and have no intent on using the registrations themselves, but merely buying to sell on. Some of those buyers may not really understand the difference between initials that are popular and those which are not. By that we have seen all 3 character plates make well over £20,000 at auction irrespective of the initials. Examples include : 8 XV, 5 XW, 4 XU. This in turn has seen short 3 character plates rise significantly across the whole market with numbers like 8 DH and 9 AG making over £80,000 in recent times.

4 character registrations (2x2 format) have also seen values strengthen and increase considerably in recent years. 28 AU made approx £19,600 in the recent DVLA Auction, despite there being around 40 more 2x2 format yet to be issued in the number range 11-99 with the AU , which maybe popular due to the chemical element for Gold being "Au") as initials go would be deemed uncommon. Other 2x2 format reg's seem to be fetching minimum £5000-5500 such as 80 HY, 44 XR, 33 LX, 99 UE, 22 XH, 29 MX ( with many others making between £7000 and £12000, 67 HL, 98 LE, 53 FD, 10 XM, 79 VM, 66 SX). Many 2x2 format with popular initials are now commanding £20,000 upwards, with some top examples AB, JC, MS achieving over £30k.

Number 1 plates were once considered to be the ultimate and in many cases that idea remains the case. 1 CR will always be of higher value than any other single digit. (by at least two or three times ). If for example 1 CR was worth £250,000 in the current market, then £85000 (approx 1/3) is probably a relatively fair estimate of the value 2 CR or 7 CR. The most expensive number 1 in the recent auction was 1 TKH at £23k inclusive of fees, with the cheapest 1 XCW making just under £9700 with a number of others making between £10000 and £20000. Ultimately the more popular the initials the more valuable the registration. MJB 1 (1956 Berkshire C.C original issue ) is currently on the market for £165,000. MJB would be considered by most in the trade to be amongst the very best (most popular) of 3 letter combinations. Statistically far far more common than TKH! Retail values typically are now between £12,000 and £40,000

Numeric Looking Number Plates - By this we mean a private registration that appears to be numbers only, although the alpha character is either O or OO. When made up on a UK registration both the letter O and numeric 0 are identical , therefore 25 O , appears as 25 0. With a smaller than legal space or even legally spaced the reg then looks just like a 3 digit number "250". CarReg once owned Birmingham C.B.C 1904 issue O 6, but sold back in 2022. Most recently 82 O sold in this months auction for £89,960 all-in. The record does go to 25 0 which sold for £400k hammer in November 2014, but was unusual for the time and only fetched the money due to the Ferrari classic 1963 model 250 GTO, which has claimed the crown as the most expensive car ever sold (£52million). Auction sale prices of 2 digit O plates have risen gradually from £15-20k back in 2013/2014, fast forward 10 years to 2023 and the same kind of numbers are now making around £70k hammer. Both 51 O and 67 O are scheduled for DVLA Auctions later on in 2023.

Suffix Number Plates can be effective for making names, words, be initials based or a combination of both. Values vary from a few hundred pounds for non descript plates YOB 123X to tens of thousands for a name like SAR 4H. Name plates can be popular with a 3 lettered name a numeric and a suffix year letter which can depict perhaps the surname initial. SAM 3G, JOE 7D, AMY 18X etc. RAJ 14N (name RAJAN ) fetched £17426 and URU 5P making £15488 (no doubt earmarked for a Lamborghini Urus) were two of the highest prices of last weeks auction. Another of note was BMT 216E which made £12,932 with the significance being that the registration is a close resemblance to BMT 216A used on the iconic Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond films , Goldfinger and several others. Interestingly, BON 7D sold last week for a slightly lesser price of £12393.

Typically suffix style registration plates retail for between £1500 to £10000, depending on the length of the registration and the demand of the name or initials but as shown with the example above, there are always exceptions.

Prefix Number Plates values vary enormously but some short prefix (5 character) registrations do make some high prices. Of course prestigious number such as N1 CKY, K1 NGS, S1 MON, J4 MES, S1 NGH, M1 LES are all worth 6 figure sums and rising. In recent years popular initials preceded by a single number and prefix year letter have also made good money and usually that is based on popularity of initials. SJM, RJS, DJB are a few examples of those in high demand. The highest grossing sale in the recent auction for a Prefix number plate was for E54 TOY £11,392 (maybe to to with Mercedes E54 AMG ?) and S8 UCK (S BUCK ?) £9209.

Generally values vary with thousands of options still available from as little as £250 up to retail options from £500-£5000, but as in all cherished number plates, there will always be exceptions to the rules.

Current Style number plates are different as they all carry the same number of characters being 7 in length. However some may appear to be ordinary /standard issue which can be purchased from DVLA Swansea upon their release for each respective year. Many particularly popular registrations which make names and words are withheld and sold through DVLA Auction. RU55 ELL once sold for a total of £78000 back in 2006 and just last week MR21 NGH (MR SINGH?) made a whopping £20,123 including fees, whilst GE22 ARD (GERRARD) made £10,377. If you think then sale price of MR21 NGH was high, then It's worth noting that MR51 NGH (MR SINGH) made over £101,000 back in 2006!

Here at CarReg, we value thousands of personalised number plates every single month and receive a high percentage of new instructions each and every week. Whilst the above information can help our valuers provide an accurate estimate , it is our years of experience that delivers the valuation, rather than a one size fits all approach. Each registration is carefully looked and our valuations are not computer generated. CarReg have been buying & selling for clients for over 30 years.

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