Ahead of the World Cup the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has released a list of the most expensive football related personal registration plates it has ever sold.
UK registration plates follow a series of very specific strict formulas that are only added to when the DVLA runs out of new plates. However, with every new tranche of plates there are some that appear to spell interesting words. For the last 25 years the DVLA has kept these back and sold them specially, raising £2bn for the taxpayer.
Number plate Related To Price Date sold
WE57 HAM West Ham United £57,000 Oct 2007
AR53 NAL Arsenal Football Club £36,000 Oct 2004
HU11 CTY Hull City £36,000 Mar 2013
V1 LLA Aston Villa £35,000 Nov 2000
ALB 10N West Bromwich Albion £19,000 Mar 1990
DER 8Y Derby County FC £14,500 May 2003
EN61 AND England £12,000 July 2012
S41 NTS Southampton FC £11,500 Mar 2003
UTD 80Y Manchester United £10,000 May 2011
PRE 570N Preston North End FC £9,400 May 2003
Roads Minister, Stephen Hammond said: “Many football fans want to show their support for their team in all aspects of their life, and displaying a number plate that links them to their club is a fun way to do this. As a lifelong fan of Southampton I’ll be watching England’s games with pride.”
Whilst the sums paid out for these plates may seem high they have a long way to go before they get anywhere near the world record. In 2008 25-year-old Saeed Khouri bought the number plate “1” from the government of the United Arab Emirates for £7.1m. He took the world record off his cousin who bought the number plate “5” for £3.47million.
The UK’s most expensive number plate sold is “F1” which sold for £500,000 in 2008. It had been owned by Essex County Council since 1904, since it was issued to their surveyor. At the time they did not pay a premium for it because there were so few plates that it was not considered valuable.
The owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich chose not to buy a football related plate. Instead he spent £285,000 of his estimated £11billion fortune on the ‘VIP 1′ number plate.
But personal number plates are not for everyone. Earlier this year Shanwaz Khan was spotted driving an Audi RS4 with the number plate “S20LUN”, which police thought looked similar to the word Stolen. They discovered he was in convoy with a stolen car and therefore searched his property.
Mr Khan and five accomplices were eventually jailed for 20 years between them after they were found guilty of stealing 80 cars with a value of over £1m.
The DVLA sell unusual registration plates via their website.