It’s been a while since any records have been published on the back pages of the UK’s newspapers outlining the crazy figures that the wealthy are spending on their latest number plate (or collection of number plates1). And now we are left wondering if they are seen as quite the same investment as they once were, and are the most expensive plates of the past still holding their value?

Seen as a vanity product by many, but a personal touch by the owners, 1000’s of private registration plates are still be sold year on year in the UK. Whether as a gift for a loved one or a way to keep your vehicles year of registration to yourself, you are able to spend from £159 right up to the tens of thousands, with one report suggesting that in the last 25 years the private number plates industry has pulled in over £2bn for HM Treasury.

It is quite difficult to gauge whether or not a number plate is going to be a good investment. The more expensive number plates are, for the reason alone, likely to retain much of their value due to the nature of what is being displayed. They often show or mimic a persons name, with shorter registrations with less character costing more than regs that have current dated prefix styling.

Number plates like the famous ‘F 1’ registration that was bought by Bradford businessman Afzal Khan is likely to hold, and possibly forever increase in value due to the huge demand and love for the Formula One sport. Bought originally for £375,000, a huge bid of £5,000,000 has reportedly been rejected by Khan in the past, suggesting the shroud businessman expect the value to increase even more going into the future with him value it at a sale price of £14,700,405 late last year.

So if you buy smart, you could make a serious profit.