New style number plates don't go up in value

How much is my number plate worth? A very common question. There is a general expectation that all personal number plates, once bought, will increase in value. Not true. And it applies especially to the new style registration numbers (sometimes referred to as current style). Why? It's simple - supply and demand. Most people, when they think of buying a personal number plate, will opt for either a 3-letter version of their name (like Sue or Gav). Or their initials. If the rest of the numbers / letters on the registration number have no general significance, there's nothing to increase its 'desirability'. Here's an example new style personal registration number: SB57 STU SB could be the owner's initials, Stuart being the forename. So what's wrong with it? Nothing. Nothing at all. The big plus is that they are relatively inexpensive to buy, making them accessible to a much wider range of budgets. But if the owner is hoping the registration number will increase significantly in value, he will be disappointed. It should increase...but not to any great degree. Why? Firstly, there's quite a small pool of potential buyers... men named Stuart, with the initials SB. Secondly, because the '57' has no special appeal. So this personal registration number will be competing against similar registration numbers that preceded it, i.e. SB07 STU, SB56 STU, SB06 STU, SB55 STU, SB05 STU, etc. etc. And will also compete with subsequent similar number plates, i.e. SB08 STU, SB58 STU, SB09 STU, etc. etc. New style number plates have been designed to last for a period of 50 years, and there are 2 new releases each year, supply is plentiful. My advice to our fictitious Stuart? If budget allows, buy a number plate that has more general appeal, such as: OK04 STU OO02 STU BO55 STU JU57 STU These will sell better if Stuart has an eye on recouping his investment. Just remember: OK04 STU and OK02 STU will have more appeal than OK03 STU. The best registration numbers do get snapped up fast, when they are released. So you have to be on your toes. In the title I've said that new style number plates don't increase in value. This is generally true. And I've suggested some ideas on how to dig out the gems. Of course, there are some exceptions. The new style number plates has opened up some new possibilities, such as private number plate BOSS TOY or JU57 CAR. There are some gems to be found amongst the new style registration numbers. Here's my pointers:

  1. Spend a little time playing with combinations.
  2. Think ahead - what's going to be released next?
  3. Don't worry if your car is too old for the registration number. You can keep it on a V750 certificate indefinitely (annual renewal - DVLA fee applies).

Happy number plate hunting!

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