All personalised number plates have a value and the value is determined by a number of factors not least the likely demand from members of the public. Whether a personalized number has your initials or your name defined by the letters and numbers there is some combination of letters that are more popular than others and there are names that are more popular than others.
As an example, DVLA data from 2020 reveals the popularity of name searches conducted by members of the public when searching for their ideal personalized number.
Top 10 search terms for DVLA Personalised Registrations
1. SAM: 33,758
2. DAN: 30,986
3, BEN: 23,579
4. TOM: 23,251
5. AMY: 19,288
6. BOSS: 19,103
7. BMW: 19,076
8. LEE: 18,525
9. ASH: 18,087
10. JAY: 17,155
You can see that the most popular names and terms are going to have an influence on the demand for your number plate and this will influence its value accordingly.
Most people buy personalised number plates because they mean something to them whether it be their name, a hobby, a type of car or motorcycle. It doesn’t matter if the personalized number plates are un-issued registrations or issued registrations their value is increasing where they represent a popular name or popular initials.
It is because of this trend with increasing values that people are choosing to invest in personalized registrations although a return isn’t always guaranteed, and you need to understand the risks and rewards before making your investment.
Risks & Rewards Associated with this Investment Ideology
Investing in personalised number plates is similar to making an investment in stocks & shares. You are speculating on the value of a number plate and an increase in its value over an undefined period of time. In making your selection you need to be aware that an increase in price has a degree of uncertainty and it isn’t guaranteed, particularly in the short term.
You can buy several personalised numbers as an investment, but you need to make sure they are held on a current and valid retention certificate. You will receive the certificate from your country or state transportation authority. If you decide on investing in number plates, then you should keep in mind that it is not possible for you to calculate the exact variations in price as there is very little data available in the public domain and prices in the market can vary significantly.
In order to improve your probability of success you can identify a number that is known to be in high demand and short supply. You can use the search data available from DVLA to identify names that are in high demand and research the market for the current availability of combinations that match popular name searches. In doing this you need to be aware that the supply of registrations in the market place can increase at any time, particularly when the DVLA release new combinations.
The approach to take may be to invest in some of the more affordable registrations with the aim of making a small return in a reasonable timescale.
To achieve a bigger return, you will need to invest a large sum of money and possess a high value private number plate. Again, the timescales for making a return are undefined and you will need to be patient. You may want to consult with a trustworthy registration broker that has decades of experience in assessing the value of high value cherished numbers. As with all investments there is a risk and you need to minimize the risk by carrying out extensive research and by consulting with subject matter experts.
Be prepared for varying levels of interest and returns as you have to with other forms of investment!
The Plates that Hold the Maximum Value
To help you make an informed decision about an investment in personalised number plates, here are a few aspects that you need to consider and factor in to your decision making process:
● Look for good value number plates that represent popular first names
● Try to invest in short registrations with low numbers
● Try to invest in registrations where the name or popular letter combinations are first in the sequence
● If you are investing in cherished numbers of high value ensure you know the market value for similar registrations that have been sold in recent times.
● Always check the validity of documentation before purchasing a registration privately. Seek advice on what to look for on documents to ensure you are not placing your investment at risk by having invalid documentation.
● Try to invest in dateless registrations where these are affordable as these can have the highest returns over time due to their intrinsic value.
● Consider investing in surname and first name plates where the combination of letters and numbers spell the name exactly and the registration is an un-issued registration where the prices can be lower. Examples of this are TA22 ANT for the surname TARRANT or FE12 NES for the first name FERNE.
At the time when you intend to sell your personalised number plates, you can check their value against similar number plates available across 3rd party broker websites. However, you need to be careful, as many of these are priced to align with the personal requirements of the owner and they are not necessarily aligned with their true market value.
Conclusion: There are several aspects you need to consider when making an investment in personalised number plates. You always need to make an informed decision and not an emotionally driven decision when investing. You need to be aware that there are risks and you have to know how to best mitigate these risks before making your investment. Always consult with subject matter experts and don’t assume that you will always make a return.