The most expensive number plates in the UK

The start of March has brought the usual bi-annual number plate change, even if the situation at car dealers around the country is a little unusual.

While some motorists clamour to get the first ‘21’ registration numbers others are more interested in the older and more unusual end of the number plate market.

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Opting for an older plate opens up the door to all sorts of letter and number combinations and allows for personalisation - from your initials to a nickname or something related to our specific car.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) holds regular auctions of registration numbers and there are plenty of brokers who also buy and sell private plates, with prices starting from less than £100.

(Photo: DVLA)(Photo: DVLA)
(Photo: DVLA)

However, they can go for an awful lot more than than, as recent research from Auto Trader has found. The price of the most desirable plates has soared in recent years, reaching more than half a million pounds in some cases.

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Other plates may be hidden away or haven’t changed hands in years but here are the 21 most expensive number plates sold in the UK in recent years.

  1. 25 0 (£518,480) - This was bought at auction by a Ferrari trader who put on his rare Ferrari 250 SWB that was previously owned by Eric Clapton. To date, this is the most expensive plate that has ever been sold by the DVLA
  2. X 1 (£502,500) - The original sale price for this was a staggering £1 million, however someone got a "steal", paying just half that amount in 2012.
  3. G 1 (£500,000) - Previously fitted to an Aston Martin, this number plate was sold in 2011, making it the most expensive plate in the UK at the time.
  4. RR 1 (£472,000) - Sold in 2018 to adorn a Rolls Royce, naturally, the plate 'RR1' was described as "one of the most special" registration plates in the world ahead of its sale at the Goodwood Revival.
  5. F 1 (£440,625) - With connections to the world's most popular motor sport  - Formula 1 - and the legendary McLaren F1 sportscar, this plate is unlikely to ever leave the top ten of most expensive plates.
  6. S 1 (£404,063) - This was the first ever number plate issued in Scotland. It was bought in 2008 and placed on a Skoda, making it 10 times more expensive than the car itself.
  7. 1 D (£352,411) - One Direction must be waiting with bated breath for this to go back on sale after it was snapped up in 2009 by a property developer.
  8. 1 S (£340,000) - In 2010 this private reg was bought and placed on a Rolls Royce Phantom. It's thought to have doubled in value since.
  9. M 1 (£331,500) - Multimillionaire Mike McComb snapped this up in 2006, purportedly for his son's sixth birthday.
  10. GB 1 (£325,000) - Sold in 2009, this plate sits on a Rolls Royce, embracing its British heritage.
  11. D 2 (£300,096)
  12. VIP 1 (£285,000)
  13. 1 BM (£285,000)
  14. V 1 (£275,000)
  15. S 5 (£270,300)
  16. GN 1 (£260,146)
  17. GS 1 (£258,775)
  18. 51 NGH (£254,000)
  19. 1 RH (£247,952)
  20. MS 1 (£235,000)
  21. MG 1 (£235,000)