10 of the most valuable number plates in the British Isles
The personalised number plate is one of the ultimate status symbols, allowing the mega-rich to flaunt their wealth by buying a reg number often worth more than the average family home.
In fact, the current world record for a number plate stands at $14m, paid for number “1” in Dubai in 2008.
The value placed on number plates makes them extremely attractive to investors.
Here are the 10 most valuable number plates ever auctioned in the British Isles.
10. "K1 NGS"
This number plate was among the first to go for a truly significant sum when it sold for £231,000 ($355,376) in 1993.
Rumours abound as to the identity of the buyer, who is believed to be an Arabian royal.
This plate sold for £240,000 ($369,150) at Martel Maides auction house in Guernsey in September 2015 - presumably to a James Bond fan.
It set a new record for a number plate sold on the island in the process.
Plates beginning with "0" and "00" were introduced to the island in 2011, to increase the number of variations available (number plates on Guernsey only use numbers).
8. “1 RH”
“1 RH” was sold by the DVLA to businessman Robert Harverson for £247,000 ($380,289) in a 2008 sale. This was significantly higher than the £8,200 ($12,622) reserve placed on it.
7. “51 NGH”
This number plate sold for £254,000 ($391,877) in a 2006 sale.
There have been a few variations of the name Singh sold, with “MR 51NGH” making £101,000 ($155,350). Curiously enough, the more accurate “S1NGH” sold for significantly less. It made £86,000 in 1998.
6. “VIP 1”
“VIP1” is a number plate with a VIP price tag. Chelsea boss and oligarch Roman Abramovich paid £285,000 ($438,350) for it in 2006.
It was originally registered for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979. It’s unclear whether the P stands for Pope.
5. “M 1”
Telecommunications mogul Mike McComb paid £331,500 ($509.890) for this number plate at Bonhams in 2006. He reportedly bought it as a present for his six year old son.
4. “1 D”
Lebanese property tycoon Nabil Bishara bought “1D” as a gift for his wife in a 2009 DVLA sale, paying the impressive sum of £352,000 ($542,463).
3. “S 1”
“S1” has a long and venerable history, dating back to 1903 when it was first issued in Edinburgh to Sir John H A MacDonald.
Macdonald was chief justice of Scotland at the time and a keen motorist. In 2008 “S1” was sold for £397,500 ($611,450) to an eccentric-sounding buyer who intended to put it on an elderly Skoda.
2. “F 1”
Number plate “F1” held the record for the most valuable number plate in the UK from 2008 until 2014.
Businessman Afzal Kahn paid £440,000 ($678,079) for it in a charity auction held by Essex County Council.
His investment appears to have been a wise one. In 2013 an anonymous prospective buyer offered him a staggering £6m for it. Kahn reportedly turned it down. He believes it’s worth much more.
1. “25 O”
“25 O” is the record holder for most valuable number plate in the British Isles, following a £518,000 ($797,530) sale at the DVLA in 2014.
John Collins, a Ferrari dealer, made the final bid.
He told the Telegraph at the time: "It is a lot of money, but I was calm as I have been in auction situations before where I have bid more than $20 million on a car.
"When the hammer went down I was really happy, it is a record for a DVLA registration plate. I am going to be putting it on a very special Ferrari 250 SWB which used to belong to Eric Clapton.”
JustCollecting's Tom Meyrick commented: "Clichéd and pretentious or the ultimate symbol of success and individuality? While personalised number plates divide opinion there's no doubting there remains a huge market for the most desirable examples, as this week's 007 sale has demonstrated."
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