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.

by
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

Could coronavirus lead to gender equality?

Opinion: Enforced home-working and home-schooling could change the lives of working women, and the business...

Mike Ashley: Does it matter if the public hates you right now?

The Sports Direct founder’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism, but in the...

4 films to keep you sane during the coronavirus lockdown

Cirrus CEO Simon Hayward shares some choices to put things in perspective.

Pandemic ends public love affair with Richard Branson et al

Opinion: The larger-than-life corporate mavericks who rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s suddenly...

The Squiggly Career: How to be a chief strengths spotter

When leading remotely, it's more important than ever to make sure your people spend their...

"Blind CVs don't improve your access to talent"

Opinion: If you want to hire socially mobile go-getters, you need to know the context...