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Things to Consider Before You Invest in a Private Number Plate

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just rich and famous people who like to buy private number plates for their vehicles – in fact, they are becoming more and more popular with all kinds of drivers thanks to their wider accessibility. You might choose to buy a private number plate to increase the value of your car, hide it’s age, or just stand out from the crowd on the roads with a registration plate that displays your name, career, age, date of birth, children’s initials and so much more. When it comes to getting a private number plate for your car or van, the possibilities are endless and there’s something to suit everybody’s budget. Whether you’re thinking about buying a private registration plate as a statement of individuality or an investment, here are some things to consider before going ahead.

What are the best plates to invest in?

If you want to buy a private registration plate that will be a great investment, look for one that’s going to increase in value over time. Dateless number plates and popular words or names are both great examples of private number plates that make a good investment; once you no longer have any need for them, these plates often sell on for a decent price. And, they are great plates to have if you want to show your individual side, too – a dateless number plate can easily make your car’s age a mystery, whilst a popular word or name can be used on your car to express something about yourself.

However, bear in mind that buying a personalised number plate – even a dateless or popular one – can be a lot like a lucky dip, so you can never be sure whether the value will increase or decrease over time. But it’s likely that if you take the time to invest in the right one, there will be potential for huge monetary rewards. It’s important to be tactical – it’s always worth paying a little bit more for a plate that’s got the potential to be worth a lot in the future.

What kind of custom plates should I invest in?

When it comes to buying custom replacement number plates, there are some options that tend to be a better investment than others if you want to make money from them in the future. These include:

Common surnames: Popular surnames like Jones, Smith, Williams, Brown, etc. are always in demand, and if your surname is quite a popular one, then you’re in luck as it can be an investment but also used on your own car.

Common first names: Popular first names like Emma, James, Tom, Mike etc. are also great investments if you’re looking to buy replacement plates. If your first name isn’t rare, then you’re in luck.

Plates that closely resemble other words: Whether it’s a name, a career, or something else, plates that closely resemble words and names like ‘GO12DON’ for Gordon are hugely popular and will sell well.

Popular words: It doesn’t have to be a name or a surname; words like ‘Magic’ on a number plate are also pretty highly sought-after.

Plates containing the number one: Dateless plates including the number ‘1’, like ‘VIP 1’ tend to be considered highly exclusive and often fetch thousands of pounds.

What is the cost:

The cost of a personalised number plate can vary significantly, and it will usually all come down to the type of plate that you want, and the letters and numbers you plan to personalise it with. The best thing to do is visit a legitimate provider for legally accepted replacement plates. At Number1Plates for instance, you can conduct a few searches to find out what the plates you’re looking for are priced at. Bear in mind that the prices can also go up and down in line with market demand and other factors, such as the time of year or what’s popular right now.

Rules to consider:

Finally, when buying a private number plate, it’s important that you’re aware of any rules and guidelines that you’ll need to follow. First of all, bear in mind that unless you are buying a dateless number plate, you will not be allowed to display a registration plate on your car that makes it appear to be newer than it really is. For example, if your car was registered in 2014 and has a ‘14’ plate, you won’t be able to replace it with a private ‘19 number plate – you’ll have to get a ‘14 plate or older. Dateless number plates are an ideal option if you don’t want your car to appear older than it really is thanks to a private number plate, and there are many number and letter combinations that you can use. Generally, the less letters and numbers you use, the more your plate will cost.

Buying a private number plate can be a great way to personalise your car, but it’s also a good investment for the future if you get the right one.

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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