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The Britain’s most expensive private number plates

After the plate ‘250 C’ sells for a shockingly little price, here’s a look at Britain’s most expensive private number plates.

The world of private number plates is a puzzling place, with an assortment of characters on a reflective plastic strip imposing huge interest and, occasionally, eye-watering expenses too. While some might not see the charm, private number plates can have great meaning to many UK drivers who see them as an indispensable style accessory for their car.

The UK’s affection for private number plates has seen prices of principally interesting or valued plates go through the roof in recent years. The DVLA approximates that over £2billion in tax revenue has been received at its various plate auction sites in the UK over the last 25 years.

The DVLA pointed out that it only takes one or two individuals to pay particular attention to a specific UK licence plate for bids to blow up, with strongminded fanatics letting their hearts rule their heads at the auction. Many risk-takers and traders even make a living from exchanging valued number plates as the list of fought over private number plates below shows.

A guide to the UK’s most exclusive private number plates:

  1. ’25 O’: £518,000
    The dearest ever sold by the DVLA, bought by Ferrari dealer John Collins in 2014. The number plate is now believed to be adorning a Ferrari 250SWB once owned by Eric Clapton, worth around £10million.
  2. ‘F 1’: £440,000
    The previous record holder, the initials of Formula 1 were accepted by Bradford businessman Afzal Khan in 2008. The numbers were then allocated to his McLaren-Mercedes SLR.
  3. ‘S 1’: £404,000
    Maintained as Scotland’s first ever private number plate, it was purchased in 2008 by an nameless bidder who claimed the digits would be fixed his old Skoda.
  4. ‘1 D’: £352,000
    Despite the obvious reference to One Direction, this plate was purchased a year before their creation in Warwickshire by Lebanese businessman Nabil Bishara.
  5. ‘M 1’: £331,000
    Bought in 2006 by mobile phone businessman Mike McCoomb who claimed it was for his 10 year-old
  6. ‘VIP 1’: £285,000
    Kept by billionaire Chelsea FC boss Roman Abramovich, it was once placed on the Popemobile for the Popes’ visit to Ireland.
  7. ’51 NGH’: £254,000
    A prevalent name amongst Sikhs, ‘Singh’ was sold in the UK in 2006.
  8. ‘1 RH’: £247,000
    This plate sold in 2006 for 30 times its estimate to determined businessman Robert Harverson.
  9. ‘K1 NGS’: £231,000
    A royal plate believed to have been bought by an Arab Sultan in 1993.
  10. ‘1 O’: £170,000
    Just a binary number and the letter ‘O’, this minimalist plate was purchased in Northamptonshire in 2009.
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