There were 374,968 private registrations in 2017, which accounts for 14.76% of all vehicles sold during the year (2,540,617). Further, DVLA recorded revenues of £111 for 2017, which is 8.8% higher than 2016 (£102 million). These two figures tell us that one in seven vehicle purchases will be accompanied by personalised plates and that these plates will grow almost a tenth in value annually.
Further, considering that DVLA’s present number plate format will be used until 2051, the risk of a bubble forming in the medium term is very minimal. These data points suggest that private plate speculation will be one of the most profitable mediums of investment in years to come.
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If you are a novice speculator looking to get his beak wet in the sector, here are a few tips to get you started.
The beauty of investing in personalised number plates is, you can set your own budget. Since you have that freedom, start small, ideally from DVLA’s auction site. For just £250, you will be able to familiarise yourself with the whole purchasing process, including documentary requirements. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can gradually build your portfolio.
It’s easy to find a £50,000 plate, but how long do you need to hold it before making a sufficient level of profit? Wouldn’t it make sense instead to may low four figure license plates which can be disposed of faster at large profit margins? Create a varied inventory so you won’t be stuck with exclusively high value plates. You may need additional liquidity to invest in future opportunities, so lower value plates make a lot of sense.
Nevertheless, if you are prepared to invest a significant amount of funds into your project, then by all means, target the high value plates.
Digest monthly or annual sales records that are made public by DVLA and brokers, and learn to spot popular patterns revolving around dates, names, careers, or locations. Then start paying attention to popular music, film or sporting events, and try to ride that train. Ideally, plan ahead of time and buy available plates in advance. Remember, personalised plates do not necessarily need to be pronounceable – but they do need to carry symbolic meanings.
After spending a couple of years in the market, you will eventually be able to develop your own strategy. In the meantime, use our tested and proven ones!