According to a study in 2014, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency raised more than £60 million in personalised number plates sales in 2013. Last year, vehicle owners still spent millions on getting personalised plates for their cars and motorcycles.
Why are private plates so popular that people are willing to spend money on them? After digging deeper and speaking to private number plate owners, here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider getting a private plate for your vehicle.
1. It’s an Investment
One of the main reasons why private plates are so popular is the fact that they are limited. Once you own a private registration plate, it is yours for as long as you want to keep it. After a private plate is registered, it continues to grow in value. Yes, it is an investment.
Private plates that are unique and meaningful tend to be more expensive. In 2008 for instance, a personal car registration ‘F 1’ was valued at a whopping £440,000. It was acquired by Afzal Khan, a businessman from Bradford, and was then used on his McLaren-Mercedes SLR.
2. It’s Unique
Private plates are also very unique. As mentioned before, only you own the exact plate that you register for your car. That uniqueness is another popular reason why people are willing to pay for personalised car registrations.
3. It’s Meaningful
Aside from being very unique, private registrations can also be made meaningful. The ‘F 1’ private plate we mentioned can be tied to Formula 1. Other plates may have different meanings, including personal meanings that only the owner can understand.
It is easy to reserve a private registration plate that says your initial or an important date. Business owners and top executives usually use private registrations for branding purposes; the possibilities are endless.
4. It Draws Attention
Few things capture the attention of people on the road more than private number plates. The personalised plate you put on your car makes it recognisable. It turns heads too, even when you’re driving a regular Audi or a slightly older Mercedes.
Private plates are even more attractive when they spell out words that people recognise. The DVLA took an extra step to ensure that no rude plates are on the road, banning plates like “BU14SHT” from ever being used. Banned plates aside, you can still find funny plates to register even today.
5. It’s More Affordable Than You Think
Private plates are not only easier to get thanks to service providers like British Car Registrations offering easy registration but are also more affordable than you think. Some plates are expensive for their meanings and their uniqueness but invest enough time and you can find great plates at great prices too.
Private registration plates aren’t just for the rich and famous. You too can personalise your number plate to include your initial, your date of birth or a special word that is meaningful to you personally.
6. It Makes a Great Gift
This next reason is obvious: personalised registrations are great gifts for the motoring enthusiast in your life. They last much longer than chocolate or flowers. They are also easy to get thanks to the aforementioned services; you can pick one up online and have it ready for the special occasion.
You can search for a personalised plate using the online search tool on britishcarregistrations.co.uk and if your ideal plate is already taken, just keep trying and varying it up until you find an available registration. The rest of the purchase is easy to handle too, plus you can always order by phone or have a sales agent help you find a suitable private plate to buy for your loved one.
7. It Hides the Age of Your Car
This may be a slightly odd reason to get a personalised car registration, but a custom plate actually hides the age of your car. Ordinarily the prefix shows when the car is registered. This usually means it is easy to guess the age of the car just by looking at the registration.
Private plates don’t really have this problem. You can choose any prefix and combination you like, as long as the combination is still available. You don’t have the option to make your car appear younger or brand new with a custom plate, but it is still more difficult to gauge the age of the vehicle.
8. You’ll Never Forget Your Plate
Another advantage of using a private registration is how easy it is to remember the plate. We are often asked to enter our registration number, particularly when paying for parking or filling out insurance forms. Now that you can personalise your number plate, you no longer have to manually check the number plate when filling out these forms.
Private plates also make it easier to find your car in a parking space. When there are multiple cars of the same make and model in the parking lot, you know you can spot yours with a quick glance. Others can also recognise your car just as easily; picking up the kids from school is so much easier when they can spot your car from a long distance.
9. It Gives You Street Cred
Private plates let you score some brownie points as a motoring enthusiast. People in the street will recognise your car as being prestigious and exclusive. Fellow motoring enthusiasts will also appreciate your personalised plate.
In fact, private registrations go a step further in establishing your reputation. You can expect better recognition when attending parties or visiting exclusive restaurants. Valet service at restaurants and hotels regard cars with private plates highly too; you get the recognition you deserve even before entering the venue.
10. It Complements Your Car
While private registrations can be attached to any car you choose, some number plates suit specific, often unique cars even better. The ‘F 1’ plate we talked about earlier is just an example. The plate ‘25 O’ is currently the most expensive car number plate in the UK, and it matches the Ferrari 250SWB it is attached to perfectly.
If you own a sports car, a classic car, an old motorcycle, and other unique cars, getting a private registration for it is definitely worth considering. You’re not just adding a personal touch to the vehicle, but you are also boosting its value at the same time. In auctions, private registrations make vehicles more noticeable and favourable; the private plates actually increase the car prices by a substantial margin.
There are countless reasons why a private plate is a great idea. It can be a fantastic present for loved ones, a great way to add a unique touch to a car or a motorcycle, or just a way to show how much of a motoring enthusiast you really are. What makes private plates even more interesting is the fact that you can now register one – or several – easily and affordably; your own custom plate is just a couple of clicks away.
Now is a great time to consider getting a private plate for your car. Aside from the wealth of options currently available, the private plate you end up buying could turn into a great investment. Don’t be surprised if you see that the value of your personalised car registration – and the car itself in some situations – gets doubled or more in just a short period of time.