Why are people still buying personalised number plates? Our advice for those considering an investment in number plates

At the DVLA’s auction, price company personalised number plates are known as marmite products – you either love them or you hate them. Some see them as an expression of individuality, others consider them an expensive method of seeking attention. But with the average selling price at a DVLA auction of £2000, it’s far easier to see them as a smart and lucrative investment.

Personalised number plates, once thought to be a fad, are still growing in popularity, and the DVLA have sold over 4.2 million of them since 1989. However it’s important to remember that the DVLA does not have the monopoly on popular number plate combinations, and you don’t need to wait for one of their 9 yearly auctions to make a smart investment.

Go through private dealerships

The DVLA only ever sells number plates that have never been used before at their auctions, but private dealerships sell some of the most sought after combinations of letters and numbers. Number plates, are less likely to depreciate in value than cars. An investment in a number plates is likely to result in a good return if you buy wisely.

Private dealerships make it easy to search for particular combinations or plates that incorporate specific letters and numbers. They also tend to have a wide range of number plate combinations available for perusal and purchase, for example Click4Reg offers its buyers a selection of over 40,000,000 number plates. o with 000,00040,000,000

Consider pop-culture plates

As with most investments, the best way to get the most out of your money is to invest in things likely to appreciate in value. In terms of number plates, getting your hands on the most desirable plates before anyone else can mean a good resale value.

By paying attention to pop-culture trends you can buy plates relating to the most current trends with potential for good returns. They could display popular acronyms, internet slang, or text talk, in a fun and trend aware way.

Invest in these trends whilst they’re in their early stages and you could potentially make a profit by selling them as their popularity and relevance increases.

Visually pleasing plates are classics

If you consider the pop culture inspired number plates to be a little tacky, maybe a more classic combination is more your style. Simple and subtle number plates can look aesthetically pleasing, particularly if they’re accompanied by a vehicle that suits the combination well.

Motoring journalist Quentin Willson claims that these plates can “look really quite good, hide the age of your car and can look really quite classic.” He goes on to say that number plates really should be “about being visually pleasing” as they are “great fun but much abused”.

Classic plates are mostly short, simple, and subtle. They can reference your name or initials, your birthday, or even the make and model of the car in particular. The number plate ‘25 0’ was bought for £518,480 by classic car dealer John Collins in 2014. It now adorns his classic Ferrari 250, but is also ideal for some of the other most valuable models of classic cars ever built, making it one of the most sought after number plates ever to exist.