Number Plates News
Number Plate News Round-up - August 2011
25 August 2011
Fifth Time Lucky
It took five attempts but Thailand's most expensive plate has finally changed hands for £137k in a public auction.
The problem at past events has been that, whilst plenty of punters were prepared to place ambitious bids for the prized number '9999' they all got cold feet when it came to stumping up the cash.
'9999' was first offered for sale as long ago as 2006 and attracted a failed bid of £165k. At subsequent auctions, offers of £93k, £102k and £143 also fell through when it came to the crunch.
Defaulters are automatically blacklisted and can only enter future auctions upon payment of a significant penalty.
Heritage Plates Tempt Aussie Investors
In Australia, they're known as 'Heritage Plates' and, just like over here, they attract serious investors who have become wise to their unique potential.
The government has stockpiled large numbers of registrations, which were originally issued as far back as the beginning of the last century and handed back after falling into dis-use, and has been offering them back to the public at a premium since the mid 1980s in 'Great Plate' auctions.
Naturally, the lower numbers are the most sought after and those including a number 8 are of particular interest to Asian buyers to whom the digit has special significance.
The state of Victoria's number '1' plate was first sold for the equivalent of a mere £165k some years back. It is now reputed to be worth at least £1.28m.
Plate collector and internet seller, Scott Thompson, considers that, "at this point, plates are very cheap." In his opinion, "they have probably hit the bottom and, really, the only place they can go is upwards now."
Scott recently sold the Queensland registration 'Q23' for more than £64k, but reckons that it would have gone for considerably more just a few years ago. So, it seems to be a buyers' market at the moment for Aussie heritage plates, with canny speculators looking to make a killing in the future.
World-wide, smart investors increasingly view personal number plates as both a novel and safe addition to their portfolios. After all, who can argue with the prospect of an appreciable asset which requires no security, insurance or maintenance?