Private number plates are fascinating in so many ways. You can be lucky enough to find a combination that describes exactly what you want. What we all know if that they tend to be expensive and very rare. But what most understand is that they are not necessarily reserved for the rich and famous. Anyone can purchase a personalized number plate. In fact, you don’t even have to own car to purchase a private plate; some people will purchase them as investment vehicles. The following are some of the lesser known facts about personalized number plates;

  1. The Most Expensive Number Plate in the World

The most expensive number plate ever sold is the number plate “1.” The plate cost its owner £7.5 million. This is a lot especially when you consider that the most expensive number plate in the UK cost £518,000. This number plate is owned by Abdul Ghaffer Khouri, a member of a very wealthy Abu Dhabi family. He is noted as saying that the reason he paid so much money for the number plate was because it is the “best number” to have on a car.

Khouri purchased the number plate at an auction in Abu Dhabi in 2008, beating the record held by the £5 million plate owned by Talal Ali Mohammad Khouri who had bought the number “5” plate the previous year.


  1. £8 Billion Worth of Personalized Number Plates Have Been Sold Since 1989

The sale of personalized number plates remained unaffected even by the global recession experienced in 2008. Sales are still growing as the demand for these treasured items continues to expand. The DVLA has reportedly generated £1.8 Billion in revenue from personalized number plates alone since 1989.

  1. VIP 1 Belonged to the Pope

It is probably the most popular number plate. But did you know that the plate VIP 1 was originally made for Pope John Paul II. It adorned his vehicle on his official visit to Ireland. But the current pope doesn’t own this prestigious plate. It was purchased by Chelsea owner and Russian Billionaire Roam Abramovic in 2006. He paid £285,000 for the plate.

  1. The First Celebrity to Own a Private Plate

The first celebrity to purchase a personalized number plate was Harry Tate. You may not know him but he was a successful British music hall artist. The plate number he purchased was a play on his name “T 8.” Today, the plat has found an appropriate new home in the possession of the well-known owner of the Tate and Lyle sugar company, Johnny Tate.

  1. You Don’t Need to Own Car to Have a Personalized Number Plate

Most people don’t know this, but it is not a legal requirement that you must have a car to own a personalized number plate. All you have to do to keep your number plate is renew the certificate of entitlement on the number plate to maintain ownership. As such you could purchase a personalized number plate for any reason including just to display at your home or even as an investment.