Private number plates have long been associated with the wealthy. Just about everyone in high society owns a personal licence plate. However, in recent years, the cost of private plates has dropped considerably – sometimes for just a few hundred pounds. This has allowed many from the middle class to register their own set of personalised plates. The surge in popularity have seen 374,968 private reg made in 2017 alone, which generated over £111 million for the treasury.
So the obvious question must be asked – what is the appeal of a personal plate?
Why do we get stylish haircuts? Why do we wear attires from designer brands? Why do we spend a thousand pounds buying a new iPhone X when our iPhone 7 is still in perfect working condition? It is because human nature compels us to be an individual, and create a unique personal identity to stand out from the crowd. Some might even do this for attention (hello, narcissists!). While some choose to express their individuality using fashionable accessories, expensive cars or philosophies, a growing number have gone for personalised plates.
A generic personalised plate purchased from DVLA’s auction site for £250 doesn’t really qualify as a status symbol. But a cherished plate purchased from a broker costing several thousand pounds carries just a big a statement as a Patek Philippe watch or membership at Queenwood Golf Club in Surrey. In fact, the fancy plate will be more prominent socially.
Back in the day of black and white movies, number plates do not have age identifiers. While you certainly won’t be able to deceive DVLA and potential car buyers into thinking your car is younger than it is (the log book exists), they can free you from the constant pressure of getting a new car every few years to keep up with the Joneses.
Using a private number plate as a gift is becoming quite popular these days. Unlike expensive clothes, dinner in fancy restaurants, or even holiday packages, personalised plates can literally last a lifetime, and serve as a daily reminder of the affection of the giver to the recipient.
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