It seems our love affair with the private number plate is still very much alive because British motorists just forked out £2 million on them within a day.
Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reveal 3,576 registrations were sold within the first 24 hours of the ’16’ (referring to the year) plates going on sale. £1 million alone was spent in the first 20 minutes.
Pet and football lovers were among the early birds who wanted to snap up a slice of personal plate action, with highlights including BB16 DOG (£599), CB16 CAT (£699) for the former and CH16 SEA (Chelsea) and MA16 UTD (Manchester United) for the latter, both costing £399 each.
Meanwhile JA16 UAR was the first to be sold and fetched £1,299. Fingers crossed it ends up on an actual Jaguar and not a Ford Focus.
Before you start thinking about buying one of the ruder combinations the ’16’ section of the plate allows, the DVLA has beaten you to it. Dozens were banned back in November, including B16 COX, CR16 PLE, PR16 CK and BU16 ERY.
Usually plates that spell a common name bring in serious coinage, and experts believe the likes of KN16 GHT (perfect for Knight Rider fans), OL16 VER, RO16 ERT and AL16 SON will go for serious money.
Those who buy a new 16 plate will be able to display them on a brand new vehicle from the 1st of March 2016.
If you think £1,299 for JA16 UAR is expensive, the number plate ’25 O’ went for a record-breaking £518,000 at the DVLA auction in 2014 ─ bettering the original record by £100,000.
All proceeds from the auction of personalised registrations are passed to the treasury. The DVLA raised £87 million in the last financial year from private plate sales.