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The 10 Most Expensive Private Number Plates Ever Sold In The UK
Expensive private number plates may not be accessible to all of us, but for the super-rich, large companies or celebrities, owning expensive number plates can be a status piece. Just because we can’t personally afford these expensive number plates, doesn’t mean that we can’t admire them.
Take a look at the top 10 most expensive number plates in the UK below. Which plates make it into your wishlist?
Top 10 most expensive private plates in the UK
1. 25 O
Price paid: £518,480 Date sold: November 2014 Current asking price: £750,000
The 25 O tops the list as the most expensive private plate ever sold in the UK. Purchased in 2014 by a classic car dealer and collector, John Collins, for £518,000. If you’re wondering the significance that makes this the UK’s most expensive number plate, it’s because it makes reference to the most valuable classic cars ever built - the Ferrari 250 TR and Ferrari 250 GTO. Collins made use of his pricey plate by putting in on his £10 million 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB.
2. X 1
Price paid: £502,500 Date sold: November 2012 Current asking price: £1 million
Up next, the oldest plate on our list. Originally created in December 1903, the X1 number plate has been described as ‘exceptional and historic’. Sold in 2012 to an unknown bidder, the asking price has now almost doubled, owing to the plate’s age and rarity. Maybe the new owner of the X1 plate has visions of attaching it to McLaren’s one-off X-1 which holds an estimated value of $5 million.
3. G 1
Price paid: £500,000 Date sold: September 2011 Current asking price: £1 million
Sold in 2011, this plate held the top spot for most expensive number plate in the UK for almost a year. This plate currently adorns the Aston Martin of an unknown buyer. This plate is not to be confused with the G 1 licence plate in Gibraltar which is on a Government vehicle.
4. RR 1
Price paid: £472,000 Date sold: September 2018 Current asking price: £500,000
The RR 1 licence plate dates back to 1925. It was sold in 2018 for £472,000. The last time the plate changed hands was back in the late 1960s where it sold for just under £5,000. The plate was sold in ‘18 at an auction in Goodwood to unknown bidders - however most suspect they were representatives of Bentley cars.
5. F 1
Price paid: £440,625 Date sold: January 2008 Current asking price: £10 million
We expected this iconic plate to top the list as the most expensive reg plate, owing to the amount of attention and publicity it gets. While it was last purchased in 2008 by a tycoon in the car industry, it’s estimated that the owner, Afzal Kahn, has received offers up to £10 million, which he’s refused. The plates currently sit on Kahn’s Bugatti Veyron.
6. S 1
Price paid: £404,063 Date sold: September 2008 Current asking price: £1 million
Believed to be the first ever legal number plate produced in Scotland, this licence plate marks the start of an era on the Scottish roads. Sold at auction for just over £400,000 in 2008, estimates now put this plate as valuing at around £1 million.
7. 1 D
Price paid: £352,411 Date sold: March 2009 Current asking price: £500,000
The ID licence plate was sold at a DVLA auction at Ardencote Manor Hotel and Country Club in Claverdon by a business tycoon for his wife’s birthday. The plates had no relation to famous pop boy band One Direction at the time, and we can’t work out if the connection to the X Factor group is a help or hindrance as the other plates on our list have increased in value much more than this.
8. 1 S
Price paid: £340,000 Date sold: March 2010 Current asking price: £600,000
Not much is known about the mysterious 1 S Licence plate. It was sold in 2010 to a private buyer and it is believed that the plate now sits on a Rolls Royce Phantom. The significance behind the purchase is unknown, but the savvy buyer has nearly doubled their investment since their original purchase.
9. M 1
Price paid: £331,500 Date sold: June 2006 Current asking price: £1 million
The M1 licence plate was bought by mobile store founder Mike McCoomb in 2006 as a gift for his six year old son. McCoomb didn’t use the plate while waiting for his son to come of legal driving age, but we’re sure it made for a great present on his son’s 17th birthday!
10. GB 1
Price paid: £325,000 Date sold: Nov 2009 Current asking price: £500,000
The final private number plate to make our list is the GB 1. Sold in 2009 and making its home on a Rolls Royce, the owner of this plate (and car!) is clearly a patriotic and proud Brit!
Reasons to buy expensive private number plates
So, with expensive licence plates continuing to grow in popularity (and price!), what are the motivations behind buying a pricey private plate?
1. Business needs
A private licence plate makes a splash in the news and can be fantastic publicity. If you can get your hands on a private plate relating to your profession - for example, football players with plates relating to their team or position, the famous Chanel Number 5 plate, or boxer Amir Khan who proudly displays his boxing plates - then you can cash in on some ongoing publicity. Furthermore, a private plate is a real status symbol indicating wealth and success.
2. For fun
Car lovers can express their personality and add a fun talking point to their vehicles with a private plate. After all, driving is a fun hobby for most of us, so why not make the most of it?
3. It’s an investment
As our list of the most expensive licence plates has shown, rare and old number plates become more valuable over time, particularly those with significant wordplay or meaning. If you can invest in a statement piece now, you’ll reap the rewards in a few years.