This photoblog is about the personalised car registrations I see on my daily travels - some good, some bad and some are truely outstanding. They are all unique and obviously mean something to their owners - although some are more obvious than others!
I have always been interested in them since childhood. I truely believe that a GOOD plate sets off a nice car, and a really good plate sets off an outstanding car, if you have invested in the likes of a quality Mercedes-Benz, Audi or Bentley, then in my mind you should buy a quality plate to go with it. Either a non index number or one that reads exactly what you are trying to convey - too many times I see a car that someone clearly takes pride in owning, only to be let down by a dodgy, convoluted or cheap plate.
In 1989, DVLA extended its traditional core business by offering for sale certain unreleased registration marks through its Sale of Marks scheme.
In 2009 the DVLA released sales figures for its personalised registrations from 2002, it now rakes in around £250,000 every day from drivers keen to stand out from the crowd.
For quite a time he most expensive UK plate was "F 1" which was sold at auction for Essex County Council who had it since its first issue. It was sold for a total of £440,625 to car designer Afzal Khan from Bradford, he runs the Project Khan business that creates bespoke supercars. Kahn put the plate on a Project Khan McLaren Mercedes SLR. The previous UK record for the most expensive plate was "M 1" which sold for £331,000 in 2006 to a Cheshire businessman who bought it for his sons 6th birthday!? Both have now been trumped by "G 1" which sold in September 2011 for an undisclosed sum (but was reported to have broken the UK record) & "X 1" which sold for a massive £650,000 in October 2012.
More recently in November 2014 the record highest price paid via a DVLA Auction was set at £518,480 for "25 O", it was sold to classic car dealer John Collins of Talacrest in Egham, he is a world renowned Ferrari specialist & he will put the plate on his £10m Ferrari 250 SWB which used to belong to Eric Clapton. Earlier in the day he spent a mere £130,000 on the plate "250 L" which he will put on his Ferrari 250 Lusso & then picked up a bargain "500 FER" for just £3,000! Collins has a reputation as a canny businessman with a client list which is the envy of every classic car dealer on the planet, he helped Radio & TV presenter Chris Evans put together his collection of the marque, the pair are now close friends, Evans even bought Collins house in Ascot, complete with glass fronted garage complex for his collection.
Others of note are "COM 1C" which is owned by Jimmy Tarbuck (don't know why?), "K1 NGS" for which the Sultan of Brunei reportedly paid £231,000. In April 2006 a Sikh businessman paid £254,000 for the number plate "51 NGH". Another driver paid £51,500 for "1 RAN" and another, a Welsh businessman living in Oxford, last year shelled out £27,200 at an auction for "WEL 5H". The Welsh businessman paid a grand total of £34,400 by the time VAT and other fees had been added on but afterwards he declared “it was worth it”.
All of the UK records pale into nothing when you consider that £3.5 million was paid last year at auction by Talal Ali Mohammad Khouri for single digit "5" plate in the UAE state of Abu Dhabi, or the US $14.3 Million paid by Said Abdul Ghafour Khouri on 16th February 2009 for the single digit "1" plate.
All of the photographs taken by me and published here have been taken on public property or the public highway. I, along with every other law abiding citizen have the right to photograph any vehicle I see fit to do so, it is my responsibility not to publish what may been seen as sensitive subjects such as Royal cars or vehicles protecting them (in reality the details of those vehicles in Royal ownership with private plates are well known and documented elsewhere, vehicles in convoy protecting the Royal family will probably not have anything other than standard registrations, so will not be of interest to me or anyone looking at this website) If you are the owner of a vehicle I have photographed and published here and you take issue with that, you can politely request that I remove the image, I will consider your request and I may comply. Unless you have taken legal steps to protect the image rights of yourself and\or your vehicle you do not have ANY legal position to force me to remove or destroy the images, as the photographer I hold the copyright to the images I capture. This is no different to plane spotting or the activities of a non-threatening, non-harassing Paparazzi (if such a thing exists?), what I do is not meant to cause harassment, alarm or distress to anyone.