Brain Food: It'll never fly - Personalised plates

A lesson for anyone wanting to make a quid or two: appeal to people's egos and they'll part with thousands.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Personalised plates may be completely PO1 NTL355, but that hasn't curbed their success as a status symbol. Nor has their tacky presence on the cars of D-list celebs such as Jimmy Tarbuck ('COM 1C') and Paul Daniels ('MAG 1C'). Princess Anne ('1 ANN'), Alan Sugar ('AMS 1') and Tate & Lyle's Johnny Tate ('T 8') are just some of the high rollers wanting to stand out from the average road-user. Popularity is growing, witness the number of websites trading plates. The DVLA, the issuing authority, has generated more than £950 million in 15 years of sales, and annual totals have hit £100 million. The new 55 range has been its most popular yet, with advance orders worth £5 million. MT wonders whether anyone put in a bid for 'TO55 ER'. The first obsessive was one Earl Russell, who camped out overnight in 1904 to get the UK's first registration, A1, now worth a million or so. The record spend stands at £231,000, for K1 NGS. Plates have become a serious investment, which may explain Postman Pat's PAT 1 buy - his massive ego alone couldn't justify blowing £25,000 of his civil service salary.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events


Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today