Until the early 1990's, all number plates that were sold in the UK were classed as Cherished number plates. Car magazines and newspapers had "Cherished Number Plate" sections that were crammed with list after list of car registrations for sale. This only really changed when the DVLA became actively involved in the sale of prefix car registrations in October 1990 with the release of "H" registrations for sale. Prefix registrations had a letter at the front of the plate to signify when it was issued. it was the prefix registrations changed the entire cherished number industry forever.
Until this point cherished number plates were not as abundant as they are today. When DVLA Number Plates in Swansea first issued the "A" prefix number plates in 1991, it opened up a huge opportunity for people with the more popular initials to now buy the personal number plates that were so difficult to find up to that point. Initials such as MJB and DJW were now widely available for sale however thousands of them were snapped up by knowledgeable dealers and investors who were quick to see the opportunity of a profit.
Nowadays we consider Cherished number plates to be the personalised registrations that were issued before 1963. That means the style that does not have a year character or indicator to show when the plate was issued by the then called DVLC. Have a look at the image of A 1, which is the first number plate ever issued, and you can see exactly what a cherished registration number looks like. They are often referred to as dateless registrations although they shouldn't be confused with Irish number plates which also have no year letter indicator.
Plates for sale such as AB 2367, MW 9 are classic examples of this type of registration. As they are significantly older (and some can be over 100 years old now), these car registrations have a much higher market value than the usual prefix, suffix or new style number plates that are common place on today's busy roads.
In fact, the most expensive private plates that have been sold over the last 10 years have virtually all been of the cherished number plates style. Number plates such as F 1, M 1 and S 1 have made well over £300,000 and The Private Plate Company themselves sold B1 for over £200,000 back in 2006. As you can see, cherished number plates have been exceptional investments over recent years. You can find many thousands of these dateless number plates on our website in the DVLA auction results sections.
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