Private number plates are a new and innovative addition to the business portfolios of people looking to invest in commodities that are more diverse. Some of the most in demand plates have been sold for figures in the hundreds or even thousands of pounds in recent years, which has raised the question – what is the investment potential of number plates? In the current economic climate and with a worldwide recession looming, it would seem that private number plates are a burgeoning area of interest for investors looking for a safe place to put their money.
Why are people so interested in number plates? And why are some willing to pay large sums of money for personalized number plates? The key motivation is that they are a symbol of individuality that can also make what is already an impressive car look even better. They are also a bit of fun in an area of bureaucracy, lightening up life on the road.
Private number plates are by their very nature personal – this is part of the key to the hidden value of some of these plates, namely what they are worth to someone as a personal statement rather than just as an object of value. By definition, there can only be one plate that perfectly encapsulates someone’s name, gives out a message about themselves or incorporates a sense of fun. The chances are that there will always be someone who wants a plate that perfectly illustrates something about them.
Whilst plates such as ‘Big 1’ or ‘F 1’ have been sold for thousands, the key for the investor of more modest means is to try to pick number plates that are likely to be perennially popular, for example those that contain common names with number combinations. These types of plates are always likely to be sellable. The number ‘1’ with a name is always likely to be a good seller, as is creative usage of numbers with letters or in place of letters. The advent of text language may create new opportunities, particularly amongst younger people.
What may seem like an ordinary named number plate at the moment might be available at an affordable price. However, who is to know if in the future someone of that name might become a famous pop star, professional footballer or otherwise attain celebrity status and then decide that they want your plate? The chances are they will be willing to pay good money for it. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to get a celebrity interested in your plate, somebody who may be a fan will probably look for that plate at some point, either for themselves or as a birthday or wedding gift.
So considering that number plates are available from as little as £100 and that you do not even need a car to get one as long as you have the legal certification, it would seem that you cannot go too far wrong by investing in private number plates, particularly when some more traditional investments are less appealing and financially risky. You may even find some people are willing to cash in on a popular number plate because some of their other investments are not doing so well.
There are companies who will attend auctions for you to save you time and who will also support you through the ins and outs of the buying and selling process. So if you are considering where to put your money at the moment, consider private number plates. The numbers might just add up.