What is the appeal of private number plates?

For so long, personalised number plates have been associated with the excessively wealthy. In many social circles, there is even a stigma associated with owning a private reg. Perhaps this is just a holdover from the early 1990s, when private plates were beyond the means of most working class Britons.


Today, however, the prices of personalised number plates have dropped to relatively affordable levels. So much so, they have become ubiquitous among middle class vehicle owners. In 2017 alone, vehicle owners in the country spent £111 million on private registrations. Interestingly, the majority of people who purchased personalised number plates are in the 25 to 34 age range, while the most popular vehicle brand to be fitted with private plates is Mercedes Benz.



So what is the appeal of personalised number plates? Let’s check out the top four reasons.


1. A personal statement


Regardless of our age, gender, race, education and sexual orientation, each and every one of us yearns to stand from the crowd. Our sense of individualism compels us to go on tiptoes whenever there is an opportunity to stand out. Such is human nature. We use books, music, politics, fashionable accessories, cars and a great many other things to project our individuality – which makes number plates one of the most unique and effective self-promotion mediums out there. From name to employment and birthdate, the number of available permutations is vast.


2. Masking a vehicle’s age


The logbook never lies, so you can never dupe buyers or DVLA into thinking your car is younger than it actually is. However, to casual observers, number plates are the simplest way to determine the age of vehicles. Unless of course, if you are using dateless plates. Dateless plates, some which are a century old, have no age identifiers. By keeping your car in superb condition, no one in your social circle will be able to tell that you are driving a ten-year old Audi.


3. Status Symbol


Sure, personalised plates can be purchased from as little as £250. However, the more unique combinations (especially the pronounceable ones) and very short cherished plates can easily sell in the high five or six digit range. Using such exclusive plates on your vehicle will show people that you are a person of means, with a successful career and high disposable income. In other words, it’s a great status symbol, similar to designer watches and jewellery.


4. A gift to last a lifetime


Giving out personalised number plates as gifts is becoming quite trendy these days. Parents, sons, daughters and couples can show their appreciation for one another with private plates that carry deep personal meaning, usually in the form of dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). The great thing about using personalised number plates as gift is, the recipient will see the gift every time they use the vehicle – can a gift get more personal than that? Even some companies are now giving out number plates to employers alongside their bonuses or incentives – it inspires an emotional bond that hard cash could never hope to replicate.


Copyright © 2018

Bailey Carpenter