Walk into a car showroom and buy a new car and, chances are, it will have number plates. So why pay thousands of pounds just for the privilege of choosing some different letters?
Number plates are free. Whether you buy a new or used car, it already has number plates attached, registered and paid for. So why go through the rigmarole of ditching these for new plates which may or may not spell your name?
‘Rude’ plates banned
The DVLA recently published a list of banned ‘14’ plates for cars sold from March 2014 onwards. These so-called ‘rude’ number plates include things like ‘BU14SHT’. Older plates for the chop have included ‘PU63RTY’ (not a rude word last time I checked) and ‘LU63FER’.
These childish plates got me thinking about the whole concept of private number plates. People normally pay for anonymity, so why spend more to emblazon an often gross misspelling of your name on your car or a supposedly witty statement?
It’s now easy enough to get personalised clothing and you don’t see people walking around with their name misspelt on a t-shirt. So I don’t understand why you would go out of your way to buy something that doesn’t correctly spell your name on your car. I’m sure there are a few very wealthy people who managed to bag properly spelled plates, but most have abominations like ‘CHR15’ and ‘ST3V’ – hardly impressive.
High price for exclusivity
What stumps me most though is the enormous amounts people are willing to pay. If you’re called Rob and have a predilection for the number 11 and letter E, just £24,999 could buy you the perfect plate – ‘ROB 11E’. And for a plate which apparently spells ‘OOOH ALEX!’ (it’s actually ‘0004 LEX) that’ll cost you £4,500… and a similar amount in subsequent opticians’ appointments and reading lessons.
Worry not, if you have less to spend; £850 is enough for ‘RYD 13Y’. Any guesses? Nope, that supposedly spells ‘RIDE BY’ and according to the advertiser, it ‘will suit coach operatives’. Standards of literacy in the UK may reportedly be dropping, but surely they haven’t dropped that far…
With the cost of fuel, car insurance, road tax and maintenance, owning a car is never cheap. So I find it baffling that people happily go to the hassle and expense of purchasing private plates. Are private plates worth the cost for you? Would you pay to have your initials, name or nickname stamped across your number plates?