A private plate is the cherry on the icing of a very nice cake. It’s the perfect finishing touch. After all, if you’re going to buy a four-wheeled status symbol, you want your identity to shine through.
Perhaps, some identities are a lot more expensive than others and here in the UK the cost of personalised plates can vary from hundreds of pounds to hundreds of thousands.
The value of many private plates means that they also represent decent investment opportunities. The right plate purchased in the nineties for little more than £3,000 could fetch ten times as much today; but which plates would fetch more than the rest?
Here are some of our favourite expensive British plates, including the priciest of them all. Take a look below:
- 1 HRH
No, this pricey private plate does not belong to Queen Elizabeth II (her car features the simple A 7 plate). Instead it was snapped by a businessman from Berkshire for almost £114,000. The winning bidder explained he had been determined to keep the plate in British hands and in comparison to the cost of some other private UK plates he practically got a bargain.
- CEO 1
There are plenty of Chief Execs who’d like to get their hands on this desirable plate and the lucky winner managed it from the comfort of his armchair (or desk). That’s because CEO 1 set the record for the most expensive plate to be purchased on eBay. Driving around the city with this plate, he can really show who’s boss; and paid £154,000 for the privilege.
- 1 O
This smart and simple private plate is a Perfect 10 and it cost its owner more than £210,000. That might seem like a lot to pay for a plastic board with a line and a circle on it, but this is no ordinary plastic board. It is the first plate from the ‘O’ Series and was purchased by a private buyer at a DVLA auction in Northamptonshire.
- VIP 1
Perhaps the most ostentatious and head turning of all personalised plates, VIP 1 once belonged to a very important person indeed. It was once placed on the Pope-mobile for Pope John Paul II’s papal visit to Ireland. It has since been purchased by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. The cost: a measly £285,000. That might be small change for the Russian tycoon; but it makes VIP 1 the 5th most expensive personalised plate in the UK.
The most expensive of them all belongs to Bradford businessman Afzal Khan, who paid more than £440,000 for the Formula One themed plate in 2008. It currently resides on Khan’s Mercedes-Benz McLaren; a luxury car which costs over £200,000 less than the registration plate.
But where does Khan’s F 1 plate rank against the most expensive in the world? In truth, it doesn’t come close.
The world’s most expensive registration plate was purchased in the United Arab Emirates during February 2008 for a whopping £7.25 million. Fittingly, the plate simply reads ‘1’. You can’t get any more unique than that.