Need advice? Call now on 01639 888833


4.94 based on 14,164 reviews

Cherished Number Plates

Why do people buy expensive number plates?

People buy expensive number plates as a status symbol, investment opportunity, or personal touch to their vehicle.

Cherished number plates are unique and can hold sentimental value, making them desirable for those looking to stand out or personalise their car registration.

Until the early 1990’s, all dateless registrations that were sold in the UK were classed as Cherished registration numbers, also known as dateless registration marks, a term used by the motor trade. Car magazines such as The Exchange & Mart, Autotrader and weekend newspapers had “Cherished Number Plate” sections that were crammed with list after list of old registration marks for sale.

This only really changed when the DVLA ( Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency ) became actively involved in the sale of prefix car registrations in October 1990 with the release of “H” registrations for sale. Prefix marks had a letter at the front of the plate to signify when it was issued.

It was the prefix registrations that changed the entire personalised registration industry forever, expanding beyond just the motor trade. However, older number plates, also known as cherished number plates or private registration plates, still hold a special appeal and often come with higher prices due to their desirability.

Up until this point, cherished registration plates were not as abundant as they are today. When in Swansea first issued the “A” prefix reg plates in 1991, it opened up a huge opportunity for people with the more popular initials to now buy the personal reg marks 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 plates to be the dateless 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.

Are you considering investing in a cherished number plate?

The history behind these unique plates is fascinating, with the DVLA playing a significant role in shaping the industry of DVLA registrations. The allure of owning a piece of history or a personalised plate with sentimental value is what makes cherished number plates so special. Whether you are a collector or looking to add a personal touch to your vehicle, these cherished plates hold a timeless appeal that transcends trends and can even be held on a retention document for potential investment.

Have a look at the image of A 1, which is generally regarded as the first dateless 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 registrations, specifically those from Northern Ireland, which also have no year letter indicator and must conform to strict spacing regulations.

Vintage PhotoCherished Registrations for sale

Plates for sale such as AB 2367, MW 9 are classic examples of this type of cherished or dateless car 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 registrations that are commonplace on today’s busy roads.

The earliest cherished reg marks from 1903 started with just one letter and one digit such as G 1, H 1 and so on but A 1 , as most would expect, may not be the first registration issued. A great story exists where Lord Russell had a member of his household staff to queue at the local council office to be first in line for the first number plate, the fabulous “A 1”.

This event marked the beginning of the popularity of cherished plates in the UK. The most expensive private plates that have been sold over the last 10 years have virtually all been the cherished number plate style. Registrations such as F 1, M 1 and S 1 have made well over £300,000 and our company sold one of the most photographed car registrations in the UK which was B1 for over £200,000 back in 2006.

B 1 Registration from The Private Plate Company.png

With a free valuation and the potential for high valuations, cherished number plates are valuable investments for private buyers in the UK.

Below is a list of the council offices that issued some of the very first single digit dateless registrations.

A 1 - London

B 1 - Lancashire

C 1 - Yorkshire (West Riding)

D 1 - Kent

E 1 - Staffordshire

F 1 - Essex

G 1 - Glasgow

H 1 - Middlesex

J 1 - Durham

K 1 - Liverpool

L 1 - Glamorgan

M 1 - Cheshire

N 1 - Manchester

O 1 - Birmingham

P 1 - Surrey

R 1 - Derbyshire

S 1 - Edinburgh

T 1 - Devon

U 1 - Leeds

V 1 - Lanarkshire

W 1 - Sheffield

X 1 - Northumberland

Y 1 - Somerset

Do you find yourself intrigued by the history and allure of cherished number plates?

The practice of owning prestigious registration marks dates back to 1903, with stories like Lord Russell’s quest for the iconic “A 1” plate adding to their charm. The market for these plates has only grown in value over the years, with some fetching upwards of £300,000. Imagine owning a piece of history like the coveted B1 plate, sold for over £200,000 in 2006.

The fascination surrounding cherished number plates extends beyond mere ownership; it delves into a world where history, prestige, and investment converge. From the iconic “A 1” to the coveted B1 plate, these registrations carry tales of exclusivity and value, making them sought-after possessions for enthusiasts and investors alike. Explore this realm of personalised luxury and delve into the allure of cherished number plates.

Cherished registration marks have been exceptional investments over recent years. You can find many thousands of these dateless plates on our website in the DVLA auction results sections.

If you want to know how to sell a number plate just complete our online form and we will advertise it FREE of charge for you within 24 hours. We are a recognised reseller of DVLAregistrations.

Private Plate Co Social Channels:

Instagram: popular private plates
: private number plates

FAQ. ——————

How to transfer a dateless, cherished registration plate?

Transferring a cherished registration plate from one vehicle to another is a simple process. The first step is to obtain a V750 or V778 certificate from the DVLA, which proves that you are the legal owner of the registration number. This can be done through an online application or by mail, as long as you have the original registration for the plate. If the registration is currently on a vehicle, it must be transferred to a certificate of entitlement before it can be transferred to another vehicle. This can be done with a DVLA fee of £80, making the registration ‘transferable’.

Once you have the certificate, you can apply for a transfer by completing and sending in a V317 form to the DVLA. You will need to provide details about both vehicles involved in the transfer, as well as your personal information and payment for any applicable fees.

The DVLA will then issue new documents for both vehicles with their updated registration numbers. It is important to note that both vehicles must be registered in your name before you can complete the transfer.

What are the rules for purchasing a cherished number plate in the UK?

When purchasing a cherished number plate, there are a few rules and regulations that you must follow. These include:

  1. You must be the registered keeper of the vehicle that the cherished number plate will be assigned to.
  1. The vehicle must be registered with the DVLA in the UK, or in Northern Ireland with the DVA.
  1. The registration number cannot make your vehicle appear younger than it is. For example, you cannot put an 18 plate on a 2010 car.
  1. You cannot use a personalised registration to make your vehicle look newer than it actually is.
  1. The registration number must not contain any offensive or inappropriate words or phrases.
  1. If you are purchasing from a private seller, make sure they have proof of ownership of the cherished number plate, such as a V750 or V778 certificate. This will ensure that the transfer process can be completed smoothly without any issues.

When it comes to transferring a cherished number plate from one vehicle to another, the process may seem daunting at first, but with the right documentation and following the necessary steps, it can be a straightforward procedure.

It’s important to remember that owning a cherished number plate is not just about personalisation but also about responsibility. By adhering to the rules and regulations set by the DVLA, you can enjoy your unique registration number while staying compliant.

Why are cherished plates so expensive and how do they undergo valuation?

Cherished plates are often considered valuable and expensive due to their unique designs, limited availability, historical significance, and emotional or sentimental value attached to them. These plates are often seen as collector’s items or luxury goods, which can drive up their prices in the market.

Additionally, some cherished plates may have been produced in limited quantities or have special features that make them highly sought after by collectors or enthusiasts, further contributing to their high cost. Ultimately, the price of cherished plates is influenced by factors such as demand, rarity, condition, and the perceived value placed on them by buyers.

How can owning a cherished number plate impact the value of a vehicle?

Owning a cherished number plate can impact the value of a vehicle in several ways. Firstly, a unique or personalised number plate can make your vehicle stand out and give it a sense of individuality, which may appeal to potential buyers and increase its desirability.

Secondly, certain number plates may hold sentimental value or have special meaning to the owner, adding an emotional attachment that could translate into a higher perceived value. Additionally, rare or highly sought-after number plates can appreciate in monetary value over time, potentially offering a return on investment if you decide to sell the plate separately.

However, it’s important to note that the impact on the vehicle’s overall value can vary depending on factors such as market trends, buyer preferences, and the specific characteristics of the number plate.

Can I sell my cherished number plate?

Yes, you can sell your cherished number plate. Cherished number plates are unique and personalised, making them desirable to many buyers.

Before selling your cherished number plate, make sure to research its value and follow the necessary legal procedures for transferring ownership to the buyer.

If you should want to know how to sell a number plate just complete our online form and we will advertise it FREE of charge for you within 24 hours. We are a recognised reseller of DVLAregistrations.

Or Call Us Today On: 01639 8888333