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DVLA Auction Results Reveal Most Expensive Private Number Plates

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Private number plate H1NDU was the most valuable registration auctioned off by the DVLA last year, with one eager driver forking out £112,010 plus fees to acquire it.

The plate was one of thousands sold across nine DVLA auctions during 2023, with British motorists spending millions to grab them.

Private plate experts from Absolute Reg scrutinised the DVLA’s auction results to reveal the agency received £43.3 million from the sales of personalised number plates for the financial year 2022/23.

Most of that cash is transferred to the treasury, making selling number plates a growing earner for the taxman.

Big money plate H1NDU was one of two registrations auctioned by the DVLA for over £100,000 each during 2023, along with 1 DEO, which had a final hammer price of £106,090.

The final sum paid for these plates is considerably higher, with fees factored in. On top of the hammer price, each plate attracts a seven per cent surcharge plus VAT and an additional £80 transfer fee.

DVLA data shows that the government is making increasing sums each year from the sale of private number plates online.

The amount of cash raised has increased yearly, almost doubling since 2016, when 12,419 plates were sold for a total of £22.8m.

By 2020, that sum had grown to just under £34m from the sale of 14,259 plates, and the upward trend shows no sign of slowing down, reaching £43m by last year.

Plates make solid investments with those spelling out religions, acronyms, initials, names or hobbies growing in value each year.

Many motorists also purchase plates to hide their car’s age or display prestige. Three figure plates sold for tens of thousands last year, including 42 O, with a final hammer price of £96,670 and 5 PS, which had a hammer price of £73,010.

The DVLA has run nine actions in the past year, each helping to reach a total sale cost of £43.3 million. This year will see another nine auctions take place, all online.

Jake Smith, Director of Absolute Reg, said: “Sales of personalised number plates in the UK are booming, and the DVLA auctions mean British motorists are contributing millions of pounds of additional revenue each year to the taxman.

“Unique and ultra-flashy plates come at a high cost, with many motorists willing to spend over the odds for the most sought-after mix of numbers and letters.

“The plate H1 NDU came at a very high cost to one keen motorist who paid over £100,000 to secure it.

“Plates with initials and one number always come at a high cost to motorists. Some of the most expensive for 2023 were 42 O and 5 PS.

“When it comes to personalising your car, there is no better way than to have your personalised registration. Many Brits also buy them as gifts for loved ones, some with funny acronyms and personal jokes.

“These super-elite registrations come with a level of prestige many drivers are willing to pay for. If you are willing to invest, you may get your hands on one of the top-selling plates of 2024.”

The DVLA’s Top Five Most Expensive Plates from 2023:
  1. H1 NDU – hammer price £112,010
  2. 1 DEO – hammer price £106,090
  3. 42 O – hammer price £96,670
  4. DEO 1S – hammer price £80,010
  5. 5 PS – hammer price £73,010
  6. 67 O – hammer price £72,910
  7. 82 O – hammer price £70,000
  8. 46 O – hammer price £58,500
  9. 51 O – hammer price £57,000
  10. BSK 1 – hammer price £53,010

Prices referenced throughout are hammer prices. The actual price of each plate is Hammer price + 7% + VAT + £80 transfer fee.

For more information on how to secure your personalised registration plate, visit https://absolutereg.co.uk/.

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