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  • 13 Statistics About Personalised Number Plates

13 Statistics About Personalised Number Plates

Across the UK motoring scene, personalised number plates have become a symbol of individuality and personal expression.

This trend has seen a significant uptick in recent years, with more people looking to add a unique touch to their vehicles.

Whether it's a statement of identity, a clever play on words, or a display of affection for something or someone, personalised plates are the go-to option for car enthusiasts seeking distinction.

Here, we pick out some of the most interesting personalised number plate statistics surrounding this phenomenon, offering insight into the burgeoning market of custom vehicle registrations.

1. There are 45 million personalised number plates in the UK

This staggering number highlights the popularity and widespread acceptance of personalised number plates among UK drivers.

It's a testament to the desire for individuality in an age where personal branding can extend even to one's mode of transport.

The figure also suggests a rich variety of choices, from initials and names to words and numbers significant to the owner.

2. The UK's most expensive number plate was £518,000 in 2014 - “25 O”

The “25 O” number plate, fetching £518,000 at auction, showcases the premium end of the personalised plate market.

This plate, highly coveted due to its association with the iconic Ferrari 250 TR and Ferrari 250 GTO, represents the pinnacle of luxury and exclusivity in vehicle personalisation.

Such sales not only underscore the financial value of these plates but also their emotional and symbolic worth to enthusiasts and collectors.

3. You don't need to own a vehicle to purchase a number plate

Interestingly, the market for personalised number plates is accessible even to those without a vehicle.

This opens up opportunities for investment, collection, or gifting, allowing individuals to secure a unique plate for future use or as a means of expressing a personal connection or aspiration.

4. Some letter and number variations are band

Regulations ensure that all personalised plates adhere to standards that prevent offensive or inappropriate combinations.

This not only maintains public decorum but also adds a layer of challenge and creativity in choosing a custom plate that fits within the guidelines while still conveying a personal message.

5. 17,823 number plates were sold at DVLA auctions in 2023

The figure from 2023's DVLA auction sales highlights the thriving market for personalised plates, with thousands of individuals participating in the quest to find their perfect plate.

Auctions serve as a primary venue for acquiring rare or highly sought-after registrations, reflecting the competitive nature of the market.

6. £49 million was made in number plate auction sales in 2023

Generating £49 million in sales, the auction market for personalised plates is not only a cultural phenomenon but a significant economic one as well. This revenue underscores the high value placed on custom registrations and the willingness of buyers to invest substantial sums in obtaining them.

7. The most popular term for number plates in the UK is 'BOSS'

The popularity of 'BOSS' as a term on number plates illustrates a cultural trend towards asserting strength, leadership, or success through personal branding.

This choice reflects a desire among individuals to project an image of authority and confidence, resonating with many in the business and entrepreneurial communities.

8. 'GTA" is the most searched game to have on a personalised plate stemming from the game series “Grand Theft Auto”

The influence of popular culture on personalised plates is evident in the widespread appeal of 'GTA,' inspired by the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series.

This statistic highlights the crossover between digital entertainment and real-world personal expression, showcasing the impact of media on automotive personalisation trends.

9. Newcastle is the personalised plate capital - for every 100,000 cars on the road in Tyneside, there were 5,050 searches

This fascinating insight into regional preferences shows Newcastle as a hotspot for personalised plate enthusiasts.

The high search rate per capita indicates a strong cultural affinity for custom registrations in Tyneside, possibly reflecting local tastes, economic factors, or social influences.

10. Private plates with surnames increase in value by around £1,300

Plates featuring surnames hold particular appeal due to their significance, leading to an average increase in value.

This trend suggests that plates which directly resonate with an individual’s identity or heritage are seen as more valuable, both emotionally and financially.

11. By including the number '1' in a separate manner, increases a number plate value by £1,000

The inclusion of the number '1' in a plate is a coveted feature, symbolising uniqueness or being "number one" in a particular domain.

This specific addition can significantly enhance a plate's appeal and market value, reflecting the premium placed on exclusivity.

12. The shorter the number plate, the higher the price

Shorter number plates are prized for their simplicity and rarity, often commanding higher prices.

The brevity of a plate can signify prestige and desirability, making concise combinations highly sought after in the personalised plate market.

13. Number plates with the letter 'F', sell for £1,000 less on average

Curiously, plates that include the letter 'F' tend to fetch lower prices on average.

This anomaly could be attributed to aesthetic preferences, supply and demand dynamics, or specific associations with the letter that affect its desirability.

It is something of a strange anomaly that analysts cannot understand why this is the case, considering that the ‘F1’ plate was bought for £440,000 in 2008 and is estimated to be worth £15 million should it be put up for sale again in a 2024 market.

The world of personalised number plates in the UK is a fascinating blend of personal expression, cultural trends, and economic activity.

From the staggering number of custom plates in circulation to the high-value transactions at auctions, these number plate statistics offer a glimpse into a niche yet vibrant aspect of British car culture.

Whether motivated by the pursuit of individuality, investment potential, or simply the joy of owning a piece of personal branding, the market for personalised number plates continues to thrive, driven by the unique stories and aspirations of its participants.

If you're looking to make your mark with a custom plate, consider using Demon Plates' plate builder tool to build number plates that are truly unique to you and join the millions of Brits showcasing their individuality on the roads.