Pimp your ride with a personalised number plate

South African motorists have spent66 million Rand on personalised number plates.

Celebrities, such as soccer icon Lucas Radebe, cricketer Jacques Kallis and radio host James Smalling are reportedly among those who have personalised their car number plates.

Former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizenís number plate is 9JW, his jersey number when he played for the national team and the Brown Cows. The number plates are thought to have cost as much as R75,000.

The department of transport has cashed in on the more than 60,000 personalised number plates that have been sold in the past 10 years.

Barry Herman, CEO of Merkaish Plates, which has the marketing rights for personalised number plates in Gauteng, said: "These plates are tradeable and command huge prices. Plates such as SLK380 GP and 3 GP are available for sale. We call these investment plates."

If you donít mind forking out for them, Merkaish has numbers plates such as the ultimate, 1GP, which he says would cost at least R1-million.

The cost of a number plate with four to seven characters is R2750, whereas one- to three-character plates cost R5950. Anyone can apply for a personalised plate through a provincial department of transport.

The South African market is minuscule compared to those overseas. The motoring section of the London Sunday Telegraph carries many more pages of number plates for sale. In Hong Kong, a motorist paid $3 million for a personalised number plate bearing the number 18, considered a lucky number in the territory.

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