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World's Most Expensive Number Plates

There’s something a little bit marmite about personalised numberplates – you either love them or you hate them. While the majority of us mere mortals will only ever consider getting a personalised numberplate when we come into some money, or want to pay tribute to someone, there are celebrities who buy them and heads of state who inherit them – and they are worth more than many cars themselves (and then some). 

While the choice of personalised plates that many celebrities choose to buy are crude and perhaps offensive, this post will focus purely on the values of the top ten most expensive personalised numberplates – and its writer will endeavour not to pass comment on matters of personal taste.


Roman Abramovich likes to keep out of the limelight, but when he drives around – or should I say is driven around - in a vehicle with the numberplate ‘VIP 1’, you have to question whether really he likes the attention. Abramovich paid £285k for the numberplate in 2006 – probably the same amount as the fifth choice Chelsea reserves goalkeeper get a week, I would wager.


Mike McCoomb may not be as much of a household name as Mr Abramovich, but he paid more for his plate then the Russian did. Mike McCoomb made his fortune by selling his mobile phone store to BT Cellnet in 2000, and promptly spent £330,000 on the ‘M1’ numberplate. It was the first plate to be issued in 1902, and was originally found on a rare 1900 Mercedes.


In 2008 Afzal Khan, a businessman from Bradford, set a record for the most expensive numberplate when he paid £440,000 for ‘F1’. Each to his own.


There’s a sizeable jump in the value, here. Talal Ali Mohammed Khoury paid an incredible £3.5m for a single digit. His ‘5’ numberplate was bought in Abu Dhabi in 2007 – and he also bought the ‘55’ plate for £800,000 the same day.


If there’s a numberplate more valuable than ‘5’, then it’s ‘1’ (and 2, 3 4…). Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, a member of a wealthy (clearly) family from Abu Dhabi, paid £7m for the ‘1’ numberplate at an auction in 2008. How many Ford Focus’ could that buy you?

There are of course many other highly valued numberplates in existence. In the UK alone, the DVLA raised £67m through their sale in 2012. Alan Sugar’s ‘AMS 1’ is one of the well known ones, but, surprisingly, David Cameron’s car only has a normal stock numberplate. But you can imagine the furore in the press if he had a private one paid for with taxpayers money!

It’s unknown how much the ‘Ju5t w3d’ numberplate that adorned the wedding car of Prince William and Kate Middleton was worth, though I dare say it was a fair amount. The Popemobile’s numberplates – SCV 1, 2 or 3, are also surely worth a fair amount of cash.

published: 13/06/2014 11:36:26

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