It used to be a bit of a joke that only the very rich or the very egotistical purchased a personalised number plate. There was something unbearably flash at spending a small fortune on some combination of numbers and letters that vaguely related to your name. Perhaps it was envy but it still felt a bit garish?

But you’d be surprised at just how much value is attached to a number plate. Not just the personalised ones. Some drivers will even delay buying a new car a few months just to get the most recent number plate.

Personalised plates

The market for personalised plates has never been bigger. In 2022, the market is valued at over £2 billion! That’s a lot of number plates. But it’s not just the super rich searching for personalised number plates. In fact there’s been an 82% increase in web searches for personalised plates. So why the sudden popularity?


Cars are lasting longer

The quality of cars has never been this good. Even the most basic, cheapest models that arrive on the market are built to be reliable. Some manufacturers are even giving warranties that last six to seven years. That increase in quality means you are likely to change your car less often, so you won’t be able to show off with the new number plate.

It adds a timeless quality

A personalised number plate has a timeless quality. It means someone can’t look at your car and tell how old it is just by the first half of the registration. If you keep your car in good condition and well maintained, then it will be even harder for someone to guess the age.

There is also a way to potentially save money. It’s no secret that car dealers have targets to hit, especially main agents. So they often reduce prices on their new models in the months before a number plate change. In the past, people would wait for the plate to change, as this can help increase the car’s value in future. But with consumers more money-conscious, then they are more likely to go for the better value. A personalised number plate might be an option for those more image-conscious to hide your car’s age


Most expensive number plate ever

The average personalised number plate sells for between £200-£600 – this is the standard where you have three letters followed by three numbers. Obviously common names will be more expensive, but you are likely to find something that you can somehow relate to your, your loved ones or a hobby.

The most expensive number plate in the UK was sold at auction for £518,480 – “25 O”. But this is small change compared to the most expensive ever number plate ‘D 5’, which was sold for £7.3 million in Dubai. The most valuable number plate in the world is thought to be “F1”, with marketers believing it could break all records if it’s owner ever decides to sell.


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