With the exorbitant price tags on some of the world’s rarest private number plates, you may be wondering why someone would want to spend that much money on a combination of numbers and letters. Is it just for vanity’s sake, or are there underlying reasons why someone would send thousands sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds on a personalized plate or custom show plates? (see GB Show Plates for more info)

The reasons why people purchase personalized number plates are as varies as the people themselves. The most basic and classic of these reasons is that they have long been considered a great way to personalize a vehicle. These personalized number plates are also often bought as presents and partners for family members.

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Still not convinced that the personalized plates industry can be can great investment tool? Consider this; since the DVLA began making personalized number plates available for purchase, the agency has generated more than £3 billion pounds for the treasury just from the auction of these number plates. The current figure stands at a consistent £100 million a year. These numbers are in themselves proof of the staggering amounts of money to be made in the industry. If the government can do it, why can’t you?

Yet, even today, there still remains a bit of skepticism and stigma surrounding personalized number plates. In the 80s when they first came out, they were seen as another way for the rich and high class members of the society to advertise their vanity. This perception is however slowly changing as most people begin to see the potential in personalized number plates.

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The evidence that most people are now seeing the appeal of personalized number plates is in the increasing number of personalized number plates sold every year. The range of available number plates is also much larger today than at any other time in history.

The Increasing Value of Personalized Plates

And evidence is also rife that the price of the rarest number plates in history is only going to go up over time. This is the main reason why personalized number plates tend to make a great investment. You could by a certain combination of numbers and letters today at say £300. The same combination of numbers and letters could become highly valuable, especially if the plate has meaning to someone. The price will go up tenfold if the plate can appeal to a celebrity or a popular idea. The main takeaway is the shorter and more descriptive the number plate the more expensive it is going to be. Plates like CK 1 and E 1 can cost upwards of quarter of a million.

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One huge advantage of buying personalized number plates as investment is that there is very little cost in terms of expenses and maintenance cost. All you have to do is purchase the number plate and hold on to it until such a time as its value will increase significantly. And most of the time, you won’t have to wait too long. Take the SH13 KHS plate that was secured by an anonymous buyer for £399 and sold the following year for £12,500. The owner of this one-of-a-kind combination had to wait only a few months to make an incredible return.