Why do personal number plates cost so much? Some of it is simply down to demand. How many Dave's would love a private number plate? There are only a few combinations of letters and numbers to make a DAVE number plate (or any other popular name you're aiming for). So, like anything else, price will be affected by how much demand there is. And there's only one of any particular number plate. So, that's the answer then. Or is it? Well, no. It's not so simple. Most personal number plates are sold through dealers. And dealers charge a commission fee for every number pate sold. And sometimes there may be more than one dealer between the seller and the buyer. So what happens? The seller gets a low price for their number plate, and the buyer pays an inflated price (with one or more dealer's commission fees built in). Ouch! The number plate market has operated like this for over 20 years. Commission fees can be avoided by selling a number plate privately. However, one insertion in a national magazine or newspaper can set the seller back up to £50. And there may be no response to the ad. On average, number plates take 9-12 months to sell. Another option is the online auction format. Online auctions don't work well for number plates as the search options are too general, forcing potential buyers to trawl through all number plates for sale. Advertising number plates privately is the best option. And no commission fees.