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Private Number Plates as an Investment

Private Number Plates as an Investment

We’ve noticed a recent trend toward buying private number plates purely as an investment, and you’d have to say … it makes sense. Of course, we need to say that investments can go down as well as up, but on the whole, there’s a high chance of making money, and let’s be honest, with the Bank of England interest rates through the floor, you won’t be making any serious returns on your money there. Before heading out and just buying any old cherished plate, you should understand what makes a private plate valuable. 

Checkout our personlised number plate guide for a general overview on this industry 

Dateless Number Plates

Dateless refers to two things; the plate itself is dateless, and that it will always hold value – think of the very early plates with only one letter and one number – M 1, S 1 etc. These plates are undatable, have a striking visual impact and need no celebrity/fashion trend to make them work. 

Of course, it doesn’t need to be one letter/number combinations – the most expensive private plate sold in the UK was 25 O – which was fitted to a Ferrari 250 GTO SWB after the buyer paid £518,480 for it. He later admitted that even if it was in the £1m area, he wasn’t going to let it go. 

Technically speaking, the number would still say 25 O rather than 250, but we’re guessing that the buyer had enough money left over to get himself some ‘show’ plates made up!

Increased Value, Even With Use

So you find a bank account that gives you a high rate of interest on any savings, or tuck some money away into an investment scheme – whatever the rate of return, your money is still tucked away, unable to be used. Same with many investments – Gold, Jewels, Property and even to a degree, cars – using them (or even being able to use them) is impractical – whereas a cherished number plate … stick that on your car and drive a million miles, it won’t affect the value. 

This really is one of the very few investments that won’t be affected by use, meaning that you can get pleasure from it all-day, every day without worrying about impairing the value. 

What Makes an Investment? 

Truthfully, there are some rules of what shouldmake a good investment, but sometimes you get lucky with social trends, fashions or celebrities and you find your once mundane plate actually having some value. 

We’ve mentioned dateless plates – both in terms of the plate being dateless, and of course, hiding the age of your car (if that’s your thing), but generally speaking, the number plates with fewer characters are always worth more (although KR15 HNA sold for £233,360), and they have more visual impact on a vehicle, which in turn should add value. 

Names are a common theme, as are football clubs, car brands and nomenclature, and of course peoples initials with a single number; usually the number one is ranked highest, but if you’ve got a fleet of vehicles … or even if you want to appear as though you have a fleet … you can pick up pretty much anything you want. 

Whatever your reasoning or choice, a cherished registration will rarely lose money, and on the whole, will always gain, and you can always put the plate on retention if you don’t currently have the correct vehicle for it, it’s a simple process. 

Is there any reason that’s stopping you from getting that finishing touch or investment?  

Professional Investment

“Ahm oot” was something that you’d often hear Duncan Bannatyne mutter as a professional investor on the TV show ‘Dragons Den’, but along with multi-million pound businesses, Duncan Bannatyne also invests in number plates – “I’ve made a bit of money on them, and they’re the easiest things in the world to buy & sell”. His fellow Dragon agrees – James Caan looks back over the last decade and agrees that prices have (on the whole) been rising. For him, it’s about making a return on his investment, but more than that – the fact that they’re unique, the only one in the world is the ‘fun’ thing about it. 

We see all sorts of ‘celebrity’ buying private number plates, but let’s be honest, that’s more vanity than investment, so when some of the most well-known investors in the UK tell us that it’s possible to make some good money, we listen.  


We specialise in the supply of cherished registrations, if you can’t find anything suitable, get in touch with us and let us know what you want – our industry knowledge means that we usually know where to start looking. Equally, if you’re looking at a number plate purely as an investment, we can help there too – giving you the best advice as to what you should look for, the possible ROI and of course, we’ll handle all of the paperwork for you – the process is simple, quick and easy. 

Just have a browse through the site, or use the number plate finder – we have over 42 million numbers, starting from just £89.

If you would like to talk about investing in private number plates, call our speciailists today on 0207 205 2347