People of all ages and backgrounds are becoming aware of the joys and benefits of owning their own personalised number plate. However, private number plates have not always been so affordable and were once seen as a status symbol for the rich and famous. Here is a glance at some famous registrations over time and the proud owners of these number plates.
To start with we can look at our Royal Family, who are no strangers when it comes to personal number plates with some excellent examples owned in the family. Queen Elizabeth owns the registration A7, which is one of the most prestigious car registrations ever released, originally issued by London Council in 1903. A1 was the first registration number ever issued in London and was picked up by Earl Russell, who set up camp outside the registering offices in order to secure the ultimate number plate. Other Royal registration owners have included the late Queen Mother who owned NLT 2 and HRH Prince Philip who has OXR 1. Princess Margaret used to own the registration 3 GXM whilst YR 11 is the Duke of Kent’s personal number plate. Last but not least is Princess Ann who once owned 1 ANN; however she gave it up for security reasons.
Another Royal number plate that has graced the number plate market was sold at a DVLA auction in 1993. K1 NGS was bought by an anonymous bidder for the royal sum of 235,000 pounds. For over 13 years this held the title of the most expensive private number plate ever sold until it stripped of its title by 51 NGH (SINGH) for 254,000 pounds. Since then the record has been broken again and again.
The owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich recently increased the spending at Stamford Bridge, only this time it was on his very own personalised number plate! It is reported that Mr Abramovich paid 285,000 pounds for the registration VIP 1, which at the time equated to the most expensive personal number plate signing in the country! It was initially issued by the DVLNI (which is the Northern Ireland equivalent of the DVLA) for the forthcoming visit of Pope John Paul II. Since then it changed hands a few times before being signed up at Chelsea.
Currently the most expensive private number plate ever sold is the registration M1, bought for the eye-popping sum of 331 000 pounds! This was the first car registration to be issued by Cheshire Council over 100 years ago. It was sold on behalf of the National Trust who acquired the registration when Tatton Park was donated to them in the 1960’s. The money raised from the sale of the registration is being used by the National Trust for on-going work and projects.
These registrations all have fantastic stories to go with them. Understandably there are many famous people who choose to keep their registrations a secret. Next time you are out on the roads why not see what number plates you come across, and who knows, you may even get a glimpse of your favourite celebrity!