Customised Registration plates have been a part of our society for a long time. They are always in demand and as such there is always a lot of interest about how they came to be. This has led to a lot of myths, legends and often untruths about personalized number plates. We bring you 15 of the most surprising but truthful facts about number plats to help combat these myths.
1. There are more than 45 million private number plates in the country. This number should give you a clear indication of just how popular these private number plates have become. Some are bought to be used on cars while other are purchased purely for investment purposes.
2. The most expensive private plate in the country cost its owner £518,000. It belongs to John Collins, a Ferrari dealer who bought out the “25 O” plate beating out the “F 1” plate that held the record at £440,000. This plate is attached to Eric Clapton’s Ferrari 250SWB.
3. The number “1” is the most expensive plate in the UK. It was purchased in 2008 by a man from a very wealthy Dubai family. He paid £7.25million for it.
4. You’d be surprised to note that most people who buy personalized plates don’t own expensive cars. In fact, they are often used on regular everyday cars like Renault, VW, Peugeot and Ford.
5. Sales in the personalized number plate market continue to grow every year and it is estimated that it is a £2 billion market. They are perfect as an investment tool since they tend to hold on to the value better than other investment options.
6. The VIP 1 plate is one of the most popular. It was made especially for Pope John Paul II when he visited Ireland. But the current pope doesn’t own the plate. It belongs to Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich. The Russian billionaire paid £285,000 for it.
7. You don’t have to own a car to have a personalized number plate. They are for everyone even if you don’t have a car. All you have to do is renew the certificate of entitlement for the number plate and it is yours to use as you please.
8. The first celebrity to own a personalized number plate was Harry Tate. The number plate he purchased was a fun take on his name “T 8.” The plate is currently owned by Johnny Tate one of the owners of the Tate and Lyle Sugar Company.
9. When singer Robbie Williams angered his fans by buying a flashy new Ferrari, he said he was sorry in a rather unique way by purchasing the number plate S8 RRY.
10. There are 6 categories of private number plates. The earliest are often referred to as dateless and were released in the early 1900. The others include Reverse Dateless, Suffix, Prefix and the current New Style.
11. Beginning 2001, car owners can now transfer a number plate from a motorbike or moped to a car. It was illegal to do that before 2001.
12. The DVLA has 456 pages of banned or controversial number plate combinations. These are terms that could be considered offensive, obscene or politically and religiously insensitive.
13. The first UK number late was A1 and it was issued to Earl Russell.
14. The current number plate system changes the sequences twice a year.
15. You can be fined up to £1000 for flouting number plate rules and regulations.