Owning and Collecting Private Number Plates

by : Ross O'donnell

The popularity of personalised private number plates has risen vastly over the last decade and private car registrations are now a must have motoring accessory. People from all walks of life are discovering the joys and benefits of having their own personal number plate and the number of owners continues to rise.

The reasons why people chose to buy personal number plates are endless. To some people they represent the ultimate personal gift for a loved one, while other people are simply indulging themselves and adding a personal touch to their car. Many companies buy private number plates as a unique form of advertising their and number plate collectors buy registrations as a hobby or investment. Number plate enthusiasts and collectors often own large collections of private plates which they have built up over time. The age of some of the registrations in such collections date back to 1903 when number plates we made compulsory in the UK.

Many collectors attend the DVLA auctions in the hope of adding a classic car registration to their collections. These auctions are held every few months throughout the year at exclusive hotels and stately homes and provide number plate collectors and enthusiasts a place to meet up and bid on previously unreleased registrations. Name plates, dateless car registrations and humorous private plates are all offer at the auctions, which are a perfect place to network and socialise with other number plate fans.

Recently there has been an increasing trend to invest in private number plates and many people are now purchasing car registrations to diversify their financial portfolio. Often these investors see excellent returns on their investment due to the unique nature of each number plate. Number plates with fewer letters and low numbers are typically the most expensive number plates on the market, with the exception of certain "name plates" (a personal number plate which reads a name).

Many number plate collectors and fans choose to become members of the Registration Numbers Club (RNC), which is the only UK based club for number plate enthusiasts. It was founded in 1977 and the number of members has grown considerably since. The RNC publishes a quarterly newsletter called "RNC News" which provides details of upcoming events and interesting number plate stories from its members. The RNC is run by volunteers, with Steve Waldenberg acting as Honorary Organising Secretary from the head office in Leeds. For more information on the RNC you contact them at RNC Office, PO BOX MT12, Leeds, LS17 7UD.

This years Registration Numbers Club annual rally was held in June at the picturesque Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. The event saw members turning up en mass with their cars and motorbikes to display their own private number plates and cherished registrations. People of all ages and backgrounds attend these events for the opportunity to meet other number plate enthusiasts and collectors. The RNC hold competitions for members number plates, including such categories are best name plate, best prefix number plate, and the best "Number 1" registration.

Every number plate is totally unique and can mean so many different things to so many people. Car registrations provide an increasing number of individuals with a fun hobby as they strive to build their collection and find ever scarcer car registration numbers. To others they represent a great present from a family member that will last their lifetime and an asset which can be passed down to younger generations. To others they are simply an investment, adding a prestigious touch to their vehicle, as they grow in value over time. Whatever the reason for owning and collecting personal number plates, there is a number plate out there that is perfect for you. Now is the time to find your personal number...before someone else does!