Historical Records of High Prices for DVLA Personalised Registrations in the UK
The UK Government began selling personalised registrations in 1989 under the banner of “Sale of Marks” which later became “DVLA Personalised Registrations”.
The DVLA sold prefix registrations under “DVLA Select Registrations”, starting with the ‘A prefix’ range. Buyers would call the designated hotline buying the rights to use the registrations. The A prefix range were very popular indeed, of course so many popular combinations that were previously near impossible to obtain now released into the public domain.
Example registrations, prefix “A” then numbers 1 to 20 followed by 3 letters (excluding I,Q,Z), A1 MJB (£499), A11 PJC (£250), A5 RJS (£250), the prices in brackets are all inclusive of VAT and the DVLA £80 transfer fee! Other popular A prefix combinations were registrations like A11 OJS, A11 OMB. Buyers (illegally) moved the O next to the 11 making “A110 JB”. These were popular due to a “real” JB (like JB 1976) costing 10 times more.
Later, the DVLA’s website dvla-selectregistrations became the portal to buy and browse. DVLA released the B, C & D prefix (numbers 1 to 20), B’s were also very popular, especially B16 numbers looking like “BIG”. B16 BOY, B16 JON, B16 GUY. Also released in the same year 1990 were the prefix year letter at that time starting with “H”. DVLA released H numbers 1 to 20 then multiples of 10 and 100’s and trebles (22, 33, 44, 55, 30, 40, 50). Then year by year, J prefix, followed by K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, V, W, X, and Y were all released and issued in a similar fashion via the DVLA website.
Snippets of interesting history from the DVLA-SOM website from 1990:
“Some people are very proud of their name. Which might explain why personalised registrations are so popular. Because the most popular registrations are those which spell out names, for example N1 CKY or P1 ERS. In 1991, J1 MMY sold for £35,000, whilst BAS 1L went for £42,650. Which shows that, to some people, their name is almost priceless”
“Vehicle related registrations have always been popular with enthusiasts and car manufacturers a like.
F1 MAC (£21,000), F50 RED (£35,000), and 911 POR (£25,000) head the queue.”
“In 1993, the DVLA held a Classic Collection auction as part of the world famous Crufts Dog Show. Registrations such as K9 DOG, K9 PUP and K9 VET were eagerly snapped up by keen doggy types. And the fur really flew when K9 CAT went under the hammer.”
“Perhaps one of the cheekiest personalised registrations on the road is that belonging to air stewardess Debbie Brook, who payed £5,200 for the registration 36 C. The 26 year old said of the plate, which was a celebrationof her natural size, “My friends think it’s just a scream, and said ‘It’s typical of you’. I’m a bit like that anyway.” Although she didn’t have a car when she bought it, it apparently fit so well she just had to have it.”
“Among the quirkiest registrations the DVLA has sold are B1 MBO (£18,000), B10 PSY (£4,500), APH 1D (£1,600), BAD 1E (£12,000), BRA 1N (£16,000), CUT 1E (£3,200), E1 FEL and PAR 1S (£23,000), FRU 1T (£12,000), FRY 1N (£4,600), F1 SHY (£14,500), GOT 1M (£2,200), G1 ANT (£15,000), K1 LTS (£6,600), ORR 1D (£1,100), P1 GGY (£11,000), SON 1C (£7,500), TOX 1C (£5,200), WED 1N (£11,000), YOG 1E (£3,000).”
Now, some thirty years later, it seems that the best and most popular registrations have been sold off via the DVLA. Dealers and investors were first to purchase many popular combinations and they regularly become available within the second hand market. CarReg invested heavily and still remain active buyers, our own CarReg stock is stronger than ever!