there is no shortage of car owners who are prepared to pay hefty sums for a cool number plate. But why do private number plates cost so much?

When you are shopping for a private number plate, you will find that they are quite expensive- they can run up hundreds and even thousands of pounds. So popular are these vehicle accessories, that in the last 30 years, DVLA has sold 6 million personalised registrations to motorists, generating a staggering £2 billion for the Treasury.

As you can see, there is no shortage of car owners who are prepared to pay hefty sums for a cool number plate.

But why do private number plates cost so much?

In this article, we will explain why custom plates often come with a high price tag.

What was the most expensive private number plate ever bought?

One of the most expensive private plates ever recorded in Britain is ‘25O’, which was purchased for £518,480 by classic car collector John Collins for his £10 million Ferrari!

The luxury car enthusiast bought the private plate to put on his Ferrari 250 Lusso, which once belonged to musician Eric Clapton.

Meanwhile, the most expensive number plate in the world belongs to Emirati businessman Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri. The Arab entrepreneur purchased the number plate ‘1’ for a whopping 52 million dirhams (around £7.2 million).

Why do private number plates cost so much?

So, why do private number plates cost so much?

Well, the reason is, that each private plate is completely unique. No two personalised number plates are ever the same.

Every time a custom plate is manufactured, it has a new, original registration number, with a new letter and number combination.

This creates exclusivity and scarcity when it comes to custom plates, meaning there is a huge demand for popular names, numbers, phrases and slogans.

This hikes the prices up because the original owner has many customers who are willing to buy the plate off them. That is why private number plates are a highly lucrative investment opportunity.

When you don’t want your private plate anymore, you can sell it on and make a profit. Other people might see the value in your plate, as it may reflect their personality or align with traits of their life. So, there will always be buyers who are eager to get their hands on it!

How to Replace Registration Plates

Do private number plates go up in value?

If you take excellent care of your number plate and keep it in good condition, then it may rise in value.

Your personalised number plate is a valuable asset, and you could see a significant return on your investment if you decide to sell it for a profit to an enthusiastic customer. In this case, your plate would have added value.

4D plates are extremely durable, more so than standard and 3D plates. This makes them especially unique and special, which undoubtedly adds more value to them.

What are the legal requirements for private number plates in the UK?

The UK has strict laws about what your number plate should look like on your vehicle.

Firstly, private plates must have either a V750 certificate or a V778 retention document to prove you have the legal ownership and the right to use the bespoke design.

The V750 is the document that assigns the actual registration mark to the new owner. This document will be needed for assigning a plate and for selling in the future.

The V778 is the retention document needed to keep ownership of a private plate and to be able to use it legally on the roads. Valid for ten years, it only needs to be renewed if the plate is not currently assigned to a vehicle.

Also, your number plate must meet the following conditions:

  • must be made from a reflective material – for the purpose of road safety.
  • must have black display characters on a white background (front plate).
  • must have black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate).
  • must not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate.
  • must be marked to show who supplied the number plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries.
  • must be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021.
  • The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

Your personalised number plates can also:

Further recommendations also state the British standard number should be permanently marked, non-retroreflecting, a single colour, and be no less than 3mm x 10mm in size.

If you have incorrectly displayed number plates, you could be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle may fail its MOT test.

Where can I buy a personalised number plate?

Here at Bespoke Plates, we are a trusted supplier of number plates, offering options for your car, van, motorbike, or lorry. We also sell number plates for electric cars.

From 3D plates4D platesstandard number plates, and gel plates, our products are durable, weather-resistant, and eye-catching.

Customers are increasingly going for our 3D and 3D number plates, as these offer a sleek, three-dimensional appearance, which gives any vehicle an instantly contemporary finish.

If you need a number plate which is road-safety compliant, then there’s no need to worry: at Bespoke Plates, all of our custom number plates are 100% legal for use on the road.

Are you looking for a decorative, promotional number plate instead? Well, our number plates are available in show form, so this option is for you!

How do I decide between a 3D plate and a 4D plate?

Are you considering buying a 3D or 4D number plate for your vehicle? Both are attractive options, thanks to the eye-catching way in which the lettering and numbers stand out.

To decide which one is more appealing to you, let’s take a look at the difference between 3D and 4D plates:

3D number plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
  • Rounded, raised characters with a wet, gel-like look

4D number plates

  • Characters placed by hand.
  • Characters are thicker and more rectangular.
  • Acrylic plate – acrylic letters are laser cut and made from acrylic sheets.
  • Rectangular and deep raised characters.
  • You can also get 4D plates which have a ‘wet’ look, which are made in the same way as 3D letters, but with a thicker profile.
  • 4D number plates are more expensive than 3D plates.
Make Reg Plates Online in the UK

How to buy a Custom Number Plate from Bespoke Plates

At Bespoke Plates, our process is very straightforward:

  • Head to our website, and choose between 3D or 4D plates under the ‘build your plate’ tab.
  • Enter your registration for a preview of the plate.
  • Specify whether this will be a legal plate or a show plate.
  • Choose your style.
  • Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car or just one of them.
  • Select your size.
  • Select additional customizable options.
  • Have it delivered to your home.

How do you install a private number plate?

If you have purchased a road-legal number plate, you can stick on your number plate yourself, using our fixing accessories here at Bespoke Plates.

Alternatively, our expert technicians can also install your plates for you, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. Get in contact with us and see how we can help you today.

As a legally recognised supplier and installer of private plates, we can guarantee your plates will abide by the specifications of the law.

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To learn more about choosing a private number plate, click here to read our blog articles and helpful pages on:

About Bespoke Plates

As one of the established number plate makers in the UK, we at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for. From 3D plates4D platesstandard number platesgel plates, and electric plates, we offer outstanding craftsmanship with every plate we produce.

We are an approved license vendor, so we can guarantee that your modification abides by the DVLA rules, whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our options to get the plate that speaks to you, and speaks for you, with Bespoke Plates.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of our friendly team members by:

  • Email –
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store –36A Broughton Street, Manchester, England, M8 8NN.

We hope you now have the answer to the question ‘why do private number plates cost so much?’

Want to read more about all things custom number plates? Check out our blog here.

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