Personalised number plates have an international trend and South Africa has not been left out. These vanity plates are counted among prized possessions with growing social status and an investment value.
More than 500 000 personalised plates have been sold in South Africa, exceeding the most optimistic projections by the department of transport, which has generated more than R500 million in revenue from people who pay a premium to buy them.
The UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency estimates it has raised more than £2 billion (R31 billion) at its specialised number plate auctions over the past 25 years. The number plate KINGS alone was sold for £231 000 and RR1 for £75 000.
JHB 1 GP is expected to sell for up to R250 000 when it goes on auction by Stephan Welz & Co in Johannesburg on March 28 and 29. This follows a recent sale of number plates 1 GP through 8 GP, which together brought in R1 890 000. The number 9 GP, owned by Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen and bearing his playing jersey number, was sold on the same auction for R167 000 a few months before his death.
Classic car specialist Jack Rosewitz, quoting from a recent report on firstpost.com, noted that an Indian businessperson paid a staggering $9 million (R115 million) at an auction to buy the registration D5 in Dubai.
“I have collected 10 number plates so far and am looking forward to having more,” the buyer said. “It’s a passion. This number will go on one of my Rolls-Royces.”
Stephan Welz & Co is also auctioning classic cars such as a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC and a 2001 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible.
– Staff reporter