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Brief History of Private Number Plates

Replacement Number Plates Are Used By the DVLA & Authorities to Identify Your Car

However because there are only so many ways to personalise your car without changing it or devaluing it, people use customised or personal number plates for many different reasons.

Number plates are being used to personalise cars on around 14% of UK vehicles! The way the UK authorities identify vehicles was started in 1903. Due to the reason that people love and have passion for their cars, cherished or private number plates make it a perfect way to express their individuality with their own special number plates. These can cost anything from £50 to £5,000,000 and they are believed to increase in value by around 10% each year, so they are also bought by many people purely as a hedge against other investments going down in value.

For many years, the famous and rich have used personalised plates to show off either their wealth or trade specialism on their expensive and usually posh cars. Earl Russell, for instance, began with A 1 on the month of December in 1903. Another music artist (Harold Tate) also bought his plate number, with T 8 that sounds like his own surname. His comic performances were part of the themes featured on his car. Many other respected entertainers of the time and current day use private plates to advertise themselves and their art.

In January 1963, the Ford times also reported that there was a surprisingly rapid growth in the use of personalised number plates. The phenomenon was also made popular in the swinging and better off sixties as a part of the population that could actually afford to buy a car started to look for ways to custmise and make their cars special or different.

In the UK there is also a relatively large sum of money (in the millions each year) bid on private registrations by car owners. They use them to either spell out their own initials or describe or name and advertise their own businesses. The registered and specialised number plates contained letters and numbers which can spell out different things that aren't always obvious from a casual look.

In January 1966, “The Competitor’s Journal and Money Matters” also identify the time of the year when most plates are bought and sold for a large amount of money. Until  1962, the cherished or personal number plate could be acquired for five pounds by applying on the nearest licensing authority.

In January 1966, the plates such as R1 and A1 were already selling for thousand of pounds. For instance, R1 is sold for one-thousand two-hundred fifty pounds and A1 was sold for about two-thousand five hundred pounds.

For the next forty years, people became more and more interested in their number plates. There are price tags that can certainly prove it. The UK market is massive, with the demands of people wanting their own special number plates. For example, A 1 is believed to have been bought for one million pounds while the slightly more unusual plates are Y 1, E 1 and X 1 could be traded at half a million pounds or more.

Number plates are bought for fun or jokes, one man bought the number plate NAG5 for his wife and she took it as a joke, laughing that I do probably nag him too much! They purchased number plates as a means of loving their closest family or members who have passed away. Some are also listing their plates as part of their will and testament. This is due to the reason that they want to pass them on to their relatives as parts of their legacies. Investors also sell their plates when the value has reached its peak, but you will have to declare any profits made to the tax man.

Depending on people's many different views on cherished number plates, they are an integral part of our current day lives, with thousands being bought every day.