Customised number plates all the rage in Victoria

VICTORIA is fast becoming Australia's GR8PL8 capital, with the sale of personalised number plates earning millions for the government.

Customised number plates have become big business in Victoria, with motorists ignoring the economic crisis and paying thousands of dollars for personalised plates.

Victorians paid $25.3 million to Brumby Government agencies for personalised number plates in the last financial year - almost $12 million more than VicRoads was paid for standard number plates.

About 150,000 custom plates - referring to subjects from football teams to star signs - were sold in Victoria last year.

More than 155,000 have already been sold this financial year, with motorists paying between $295 and $3995 for the on-road fashion accessory.

VicRoads spokesman Peter Williams said the popularity of custom number plates had risen since they were introduced in Victoria in 1985.

"They have grown enormously in popularity as they give people the opportunity to personalise their car" he said.

Figures reveal total number plate revenue accounted for more than $39 million of $75.6 million in fees and fines paid to Victoria's Department of Transport last financial year.

Many were then sold on auction websites.

The auction of 15 vintage number plates last year raised more than $343,000, including $77,000 for a Victorian number plates simply bearing the number 276.

On eBay last week, bids of $1540 were posted for Victorian plates SLO55, $500 for SLIKAS, $999 for IISEXY, $2500 for SEXYHEH and $500 for SHAGR.

Star Trek fans bid more than $2000 for STREK1 and motorbike enthusiasts were willing to pay $4500 for RIDIN.

Geelong supporter Jackie Greenough said she scored a slice of history when her husband bought CATS-07 number plates for her car two years before the team's premiership win.

Similar number plates bearing the letters CATZ-07 were auctioned for $10,000 after Geelong defeated Port Adelaide in the 2007 Grand Final, but Ms Greenough said her piece of memorabilia was priceless.

"They're not for sale. I wouldn't take $10,000 or $20,000 for them," she said.

Corio music fan Denis Gunaydin has been offered $5000 for his ACDC-74 number plates, which mark the year Bon Scott joined the Australian rock band.

But he also refuses to part with the number plates he bought for $400 about 10 years ago.

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