The 10 most expensive car plates in the world: A guide to the ultimate status symbols
Car plates, or license plates, are usually issued by the government or a private authority to register and identify vehicles on the road. They typically consist of a combination of letters and numbers that are unique to each vehicle. However, some people are willing to pay a fortune to acquire special or personalized car plates that have a certain meaning, rarity or appeal. These car plates can be seen as a form of art, investment or status symbol, depending on the owner’s perspective.
In this article, we will take a look at the 10 most expensive car plates in the world, according to the latest available data. We will also explain why these car plates are so valuable and who owns them. Whether you are a car enthusiast, a collector or just curious, you will find this article interesting and informative.
The criteria for ranking the most expensive car plates in the world
Before we dive into the list of the 10 most expensive car plates in the world, let us clarify how we ranked them. We used the following criteria:
- The price of the car plate at the time of sale or auction
- The currency conversion rate at the time of sale or auction
- The source and reliability of the information
- The availability and accessibility of the information
We did not include car plates that were not sold or auctioned, or that were sold or auctioned privately without disclosing the price or details. We also did not include car plates that were part of a package deal with a vehicle or other items. We focused only on the car plate itself and its value as a standalone item.
The 10 most expensive car plates in the world
Here is our list of the 10 most expensive car plates in the world :
Number 10 - Abu Dhabi’s 66 - $1.2 million
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one of the richest cities in the world. It is also home to some of the most avid and wealthy car plate collectors. In Abu Dhabi, having a low-digit or single-digit car plate is considered a sign of prestige and social status. The lower the number, the higher the value.
In 2016, Abu Dhabi’s number 66 car plate was sold for $1.2 million at an auction organized by Emirates Auctions. The buyer was not revealed, but it was reported that there were 511 bids for this coveted plate.
Number 9 - Abu Dhabi’s 22 - $1.3 million
Another Abu Dhabi car plate that made it to our list is number 22. This plate was sold for $1.3 million at an auction in 2017, along with several other high-value plates. The buyer was also anonymous, but it was speculated that he or she was a prominent businessman or politician.
Number 8 - Abu Dhabi’s 10 - $1.3 million
Abu Dhabi’s number 10 car plate was also sold for $1.3 million at an online auction in 2017. The winner was not disclosed, but it was said that he or she was a young Emirati who wanted to surprise his or her father with this gift.
Number 7 - California’s MM - $18.1 million
California is one of the most populous and diverse states in the United States. It is also known for its strict regulations on car plates, which makes them rare and valuable. California only allows two-character car plates, and only 35 of them exist. Among these, only four have two identical letters, such as MM.
California’s MM car plate is currently on sale for a staggering $18.1 million on OpenSea, a platform for buying and selling digital assets such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The seller claims that this is the only street-legal MM plate in California and that it comes with its matching NFT.
Number 6 - New York’s New York - $20 million
New York is one of the most iconic and influential cities in the world. It is also one of the most expensive places to live and own a vehicle. New York has a long and rich history of car plates, dating back to 1901, when it was the first state to require vehicle registration. However, the most expensive car plate in New York is not a number, but a word: New York.
This unique and historic car plate has been with the same family since the 1970s and is currently for sale on duPont Registry, a luxury classifieds website, for $20 million. The seller claims that this is the only street-legal New York plate in existence and that it comes with a Volvo V70 vehicle attached to it.
Number 5 - Abu Dhabi’s 1 - $14.2 million
Abu Dhabi’s number 1 car plate holds the record for the most expensive car plate ever sold at an auction. In 2008, Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Khouri paid a whopping $14.2 million for this plate, which he said was for personal use. He also said that he was proud to contribute to a charity auction that supported health and education projects in the UAE.
Number 4 - Dubai’s AA9 - $10.3 million
Dubai is another emirate in the UAE that has a passion for car plates. In 2021, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) held a charity auction called “The Most Noble Numbers” to raise money for the 100 Million Meals campaign, which aimed to provide food aid to people in need across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
One of the highlights of the auction was the AA9 car plate, which sold for $10.3 million after some fierce bidding. The buyer was not identified, but he or she also bought three other plates: U31, T38 and E51, for a total of $18.5 million.
Number 3 - Dubai’s AA8 - $9.5 million
Another car plate that was sold at the same charity auction in Dubai was AA8, which fetched $9.5 million. The buyer was also anonymous, but he or she was praised by the RTA for supporting a noble cause. The AA8 plate was one of four double-letter plates that were offered at the auction, along with AA9, AA6 and AA3.
Number 2 - UK’s F1 - $45 million
The UK has a different system of car plates than the US or the UAE. Instead of using numbers or letters to indicate the year or place of registration, the UK uses a combination of letters and numbers that can form words or abbreviations. These are called personalized or cherished plates and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.
One of the most sought-after personalized plates in the UK is F1, which stands for Formula One, the highest class of international auto racing. This plate was registered in 1904 by Essex County Council and was bought in 2008 by Afzal Kahn, a car designer and entrepreneur, for £440,000 ($573,640).
Since then, Kahn has turned down several multi-million-dollar offers for this plate and is not looking to sell it, unless there is an “absolutely incredible offer”. He has listed it on Regtransfers, a number plate supplier website, for £32.5 million ($45.72 million), making it the most expensive car plate in the UK and Europe.
Number 1 - Dubai’s MM - $89.2 million
The most expensive car plate in the world is not a number or a word, but two letters: MM. This plate belongs to California and is one of only 35 two-character plates in the state. It is also one of only four plates that have two identical letters, making it extremely rare and valuable.
The owner of this plate has put it up for sale on OpenSea, a platform for buying and selling digital assets such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The asking price is 5,888 ether, which is equivalent to $89.2 million at the time of writing. The seller claims that this is not only a physical car plate, but also an NFT that represents its digital ownership and authenticity.
Car plates are more than just pieces of metal with identification numbers. They are also expressions of personality, wealth and taste. Some people are willing to pay millions of dollars to acquire special or personalized car plates that have a certain meaning, rarity or appeal.
In this article, we have explored the 10 most expensive car plates in the world and what makes them so special. We have seen that these car plates come from different countries and regions, such as the UAE, the US and the UK. We have also seen that these car plates can be sold or auctioned for various purposes, such as charity,
Here are some frequently asked questions about car plates and their answers.
Q: How do I get a personalized or special interest car plate?
A: The process for getting a personalized or special interest car plate varies from state to state or country to country. You usually have to apply for one through the relevant authority, such as the DMV or the DVLA, and pay a higher fee than a regular plate. You also have to check the availability of your desired combination of letters and numbers, and follow the rules and restrictions for creating one.
Q: How do I find out who owns a car plate?
A: Due to data protection laws, you cannot easily find out who owns a car plate. However, you can contact the DVLA or the police if you have a reasonable cause, such as an accident, a crime, an abandoned vehicle, or a parking or trespass issue. You will have to provide evidence and details of your request and the reason behind it.
Q: Can I buy a car plate without a car?
A: Yes, you can buy a car plate without a car. You can purchase one from a private seller or an online platform, and receive a certificate of entitlement or retention that proves your ownership of the plate. You can keep the plate on the certificate for up to 10 years before you have to renew it, or assign it to a vehicle that you own or are authorized to use.
Q: How do I renew my car plate tags/stickers?
A: The process for renewing your car plate tags/stickers also varies from state to state or country to country. You usually have to pay a renewal fee and provide proof of insurance, emissions testing, or safety inspection, depending on the requirements. You can renew online, by mail, or in person at the relevant office. You should receive a renewal notice before your expiration date, or you can look up your expiration date online.
Q: How do I replace my car plate tags/stickers?
A: If your car plate tags/stickers are lost, stolen, damaged, or illegible, you should replace them as soon as possible. You can apply for a replacement online, by mail, or in person at the relevant office. You will have to pay a replacement fee and provide your vehicle information and identification. You may also have to report the loss or theft to the police.