DVLA Personalised Number Plate Auctions – 25 Years Analysed

DVLA number plate auction results

If, like us, you’re fascinated by number plates, then you may be as excited as we are about the 150th DVLA auction, which is now well underway.

With this in mind, we’ve carried out extensive research on the sales of ALL number plates at DVLA auctions over the last 25 years and have even adjusted the prices paid to allow for inflation, giving an accurate comparison of which plates have fetched the most.

In all cases, the hammer price on the day is shown for an actual comparison, as well as adjusted value shows what it would now cost in 2014 after inflation. We’ve also included a personal interpretation next to most plates, which that may help to explain why that particular plate fetched so much. The numbers are listed in order of their adjusted current value, regardless of category.

Click here to view the spreadsheet on Google docs.

Special thanks have to go to Mike Oyston, a.k.a. @DesirableNumber again for his research. This man seriously knows his stuff!

You’ll see at the bottom of the spreadsheet that there are different tabs for different categories of plates. In case you were wondering, here is an explanation as to what some of the categories mean…


Number 1 Plates

There is a special uniqueness about the “Number 1” in any range that means it gets immediate attention from its very format. This increases where the letters are of special significance such as an abbreviated name, a title or company name. Others score on more than one point such as “1 RON”, which is not only a personal name but also reads “IRON” a popular sports nickname.

Such desirable numbers are becoming rarer. The highest this year does not even make the top 100.


Nickname plates

The Nicknames category is made up of names that are not quite exact, abbreviated or include an extra letter. They make up one of the larger categories as the various formats are pushed to the limit to accomodate variations and “soundalikes”.


Perfect name plates

The Perfect Names includes only those that are exact matches both in form and the closest “lookalike” numbers – 0, 5, 8 and 1. As such they are instantly recognisable without thinking. The list is understandably short!


Although 1 D topped the list of highest prices at DVLA auctions (until today, when 25 O sold for £518k after fees and taxes, but more on that in another post), fans of the band will be devastated to hear that it has nothing to do with the group One Direction, who formed in 2010.

In fact, a Lebanese property developer bought 1 D as a birthday present for his wife in 2009. The bid which held the DVLA auctions record price for five years, came to £352k after VAT and buyer’s premium, and would be £409k in today’s money when indexed by the CPI!

What do you think of the results? Did any surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!

November 28, 2014

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