Guide to Investing in Number Plates

Guide to Investing in Number Plates

Investing can be quite complex, choosing between stocks, shares, bonds, gold and more. But have you considered investing in private number plates?

Investing in number plates is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. Not to mention, the return on investment can be high!

In this guide, we’ll help you navigate the world of investing and how best to go about investing in private plates.

When to Invest in Number Plates

Any private number plate has the opportunity to make you some money. This is dependent on the condition of the plate, the market during that time period and of course the plate itself. 

Plate Condition

Same as any other industry, the less damage the product holds, the better it will sell. Private number plates sell best when the writing is legible and there are no noticeable blemishes on the plate. 

It should be noted that some plates will sell regardless of their condition, however, they will sell for a much higher value should they be well looked after.

The Market

In recent years, non-traditional investments such as jewellery and wine have outperformed the more traditional stocks and bonds. When thinking of appreciation, top-quality private plates have, in recent years, outshone investments like classic cars and watches. 

Bearing all of this in mind, it is easy to see that the market is open. If your plate is in good condition, it should be an easy sell.

The Registration

It’s almost impossible to predict what specific plate will perform well on the market. One thing that you should bear in mind is that this is a market open to everyone, there is no right or wrong plate to sell.

Which Number Plates Make The Best Investment?

With so many types of plates to choose from, knowing the key differences can be difficult if you don't know what to look for. 

Let's discuss number plate types and which ones are inevitably more valuable for investors.

Short Number Plates

Short number plates are, as the name suggests, short. This makes them desirable, particularly to buyers with more luxury cars, as the plate will take up less room on the beloved car. These plates typically sell for a higher price.

Dateless Number Plates

Dateless number plates refer to plates that lack a numerical indicator of what year it was manufactured. By having this number plate type on your car, you can make it virtually impossible for onlookers to figure out how old the car is. These plates also typically sell for a higher price.

Popular Names/Words

As with any personalised product, more common names will be in higher demand. This means names such as Peter (P3 TER), Karen (K4 REN) and David (D4 VID) will be more sought after and thus more likely to sell.

Popular Initials

Initial plates are a perfect choice for anyone who wants to add a personal touch to their car without displaying their name. The value of the plates varies depending on whether it is a prefix or a dateless plate.

The Most Expensive Number Plates Sold in the UK

When it comes to the most expensive number plates, you’ll be looking at figures either in the thousands or millions. 

Notably, certain crude number plates are often highly sought after and can fetch a higher price. However, the DVLA is continually reviewing the different combinations of registrations with every release - and banning the ones they deem as inappropriate. 

If you’d like to find out more, we have compiled a list of all the number plates banned thus far- and watch to look out for.

Where to Buy Number Plates

Typically, there are a number of options for buying a private number plate. For instance, at a DVLA auction, from a private seller or through a third-party reseller, such as ourselves.

There aren’t any standout differences between each method, aside from the price and range of the plates available. 

Third-party resellers often have millions of number plate registrations available at competitive prices. These include dateless, name, initials, abbreviations and more which can be some of the high ticket investment plates.

Most sites, like Absolute Reg, will have a number plate search on their site to make finding your dream plate as easy as possible.

Where to Sell Number Plates

When selling your number plate, there are three options at your disposal. You can either sell your personalised number plate through a dealership or privately. While both have their pros and cons, the most notable difference between them is security. 

When selling your plate privately, if you give the wrong information over before the deal is seen through, then you give the buyer an opportunity to steal the ownership of the plate. 

This is much less likely to happen when you choose to sell through a dealership. If you’re looking for a third-party dealership, Absolute Reg can help you sell your number plate, securely and for the right price.

Learn more in our guide to the best place to sell your number plate

Do Number Plates Gain Value Over Time?

Number plates are the only part of your car that will gain appreciation over time, meaning they will increase in value over time. The rate at which the value will increase can differ between different plate types and the content on the plate itself. 

However, this doesn’t mean they can’t depreciate over time as well, so keep a close eye on the market to get the best prices back from your plates!

Tips For Buying Number Plates as Investments

Follow these tips to make the process of purchasing your plate as easy as possible.

  • Set a Budget: It’s easy to get carried away when investing, and though financing options are available, this isn't a suitable option for everyone. Know your budget and stick to it.

  • Know What You’re Buying: Knowing the demand for your plate will help you navigate the market when it comes to selling it. Keep in mind what the target market may be for your plate when trying to resell it. Selling your chosen plate in the right place could be key to getting a higher price.

  • Know the Trends: Knowing what sells is always beneficial when selling any product. A good example of a plate to invest in is one that spells a name or brand name. There is always something trending online, keep an eye on what's currently popular and use that to aid your decisions.

Investing in Number Plates: FAQs

Do Number Plates Rise in Value?

Generally, number plates will consistently rise in value, but there are some exceptions. To avoid buying a plate that won't rise in value, it’s key to watch the market and current trends.

Can You Make a Profit Selling Private Plates?

The same as any other investment, it’s definitely possible to make a profit from selling a private plate. The trick is to know the market. Keep an eye on the fluctuations in the market, and think carefully about when you buy or sell a plate.

How Long Can You Own a Private Plate?

Currently, number plate retention certificates are valid for 10 years per plate. However, these can be easily renewed, free of charge, after the 10 years is up.

Can You Keep a Private Plate Forever?

V778 documents, used to prove the ownership of a private plate, last ten years. With this in mind, if you want to keep your private plate for longer than that, then the V778 documents can be easily renewed.

Investing in Number Plates With Absolute Reg

No matter what your walk of life is, there is a chance for you to profit from buying and selling private number plates.

If you’d like to explore your options in buying, selling or financing a plate, we can help! Visit Absolute Reg’s website today or call our specialists on 0207 930 4686 to get help and advice with anything relating to investing in number plates.

Start your number plate search today. 


Read More

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How to Buy Private DVLA Number Plates

What are the Different UK Number Plate Styles?

The Best Place to Sell Your Private Number Plate Successfully

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How to Sell Your Private Number Plate for a Profit

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