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The Appeal of Personalised Number Plates

BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den star and businessman, Theo Paphitis, is the proud owner of several private number plates. Owning registrations to personalise his vehicles, as well as for promotional purposes, he believes that “a decent plate on a good car…adds to its beauty and its look”. Many owners of personalised plates buy for this very reason – to enhance their cars. A well-chosen registration is truly exclusive, looks smart and is chosen, rather than issued. As well as aesthetic considerations, there are several other reasons why more and more people are being drawn to the world of personalised number plates.

Reasons Why People Buy

The common view, though fading as time goes by, is that people buy number plates for prestige. It is true that this is still a reason for buying, but below are some other positive effects:

  • One is able to disguise the age of one’s car with a personalised plate. It’s cheaper than buying a new car!
  • They have proven investment potential. Low number, dateless registrations are especially sought after, as well as particular name plates, such as PAU 1Y. This plate was purchased for £3000 in 1996, but is now worth £25,000 and would potentially fetch far more at auction.
  • They can produce great results for businesses wanting to promote their companies. Plumbing company, Pimlico Plumbers, have a fantastic collection of relevant registrations, including LAV 1, BOG 1 and DRA 1N. They have found that personalised number plates on their company vehicles have been their biggest form of advertisement.
  • They are completely unique. Unlike other car modifications, a personalised number plate cannot be copied and is entirely exclusive to the owner.
  • Perhaps the most popular reason is that a personalised number plate allows one to express his or her personality and have FUN.

Have Fun With Buying

One may choose to display a plate that depicts a name, a favourite hobby or a word that can be associated with one’s occupation. Professional boxer, Amir Khan, for example, displays BOX 111G on his BMW. Also increasing in appeal are registrations that are simply fun and cannot fail to raise a smile. Perhaps one of the registrations below would be a perfect addition to one’s car:


Another option is to choose a model-related registration. For Ford owners, there are numerous options, such as the following examples:


Or, how about C16 RSA for the owner of the popular Vauxhall model, or A5 TRA for a proud Astra driver?

For a car, such as the unique and charming Mini, there is the option of a model-related plate, such as H600 PER, or one could express the Mini personality with M11 DGT, D11 DDY or T31 TCH.

Stick To The Rules

It is very important to be aware of today’s regulations. It is now more crucial than ever that number plates are easily distinguishable for roadside cameras and witnesses of accidents or crime. To make visibility as clear as possible, all typefaces should use the standard font, ‘Charles Wright 2001’. Additionally, with the exceptions of an optional, coloured border and one national emblem, there should be no other decoration on plates. A Homer Simpson logo may look great, but it is illegal to display it on the registration plate. Altering of spacing or characters with, for example, carefully placed bolts is also not permitted as it may disguise the true registration number.

With lawbreakers facing a fine of £1000 and the permanent removal of the registration, it makes far more sense to allow one’s registration to receive all the admiration.

© Laura Murphy 2008

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