The new September ’67’ plate is here and with it, some outstanding opportunities to source a unique plate that is both lewd and crude. Well, there would be if it wasn’t for those hawk-eyed folk at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). As ever, they’ve been culling the worst offenders to ensure that the sensibilities of UK drivers aren’t offended while out on the road.
Cover your eyes now!
According to AutoExpress Magazine, some of the ‘highlights’ from the ’67’ plate batch include OR67 ASM, DO67 SHT, DO67 GER, NO67 HED, AR67 OLE and BA67 ARD. These are but a handful of those detailed in an epic, ten-page document that the DVLA gave to the publication.
The agency conducts the culling process twice a year. Its remit is not just to stop smutty plates making it out into the wild, but also to stop anything that could be deemed potentially offensive on racial, religious or political grounds. Examples include JE55 US and U16 OUT (the latter in relation to the then-impending Brexit referendum).
Despite the DVLA’s diligent work, out-of-order number plates have been known to slip through its net. Sassy drivers though shouldn’t rest on their laurels if they do manage to bag a rude plate – the agency has the power to recall them whenever it wants. Even those who try the personalised plate route can expect to be pulled up if they dream up something that crosses the line.
Why punters pay to personalise
The big question is why people want such plates on their cars in the first place. Unique and personalised number plates are big business. We’re buying more and more of them, with 335,000 of us buying personalised plates in 2015 alone. The trend generated a whopping £102 million for the government over the course of the year.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Angela Bahn of Regtransfers magazine revealed that such plates were seen as distinctly downmarket in the 80s and 90s. However, that snobbery all but vanished in the Noughties. Bahn cites several reasons for the increasing popularity of personalised plates, from the old tactic of trying to hide the age of your car, through to promoting your business. Of course, some personalised plates act as nothing more than a source of enjoyment for the driver.
How much would you pay for personalisation?
For some people, it’s not rude words that are the most offensive thing about unique or personalised plates, but how much people are prepared to pay for them! Here’s Autocar’s top ten list of the most expensive plates ever bought in the UK and what they cost their spend-happy owners:
10. D 1 – £300,096
9. GB 1 – £325,000
8. M 1 – £331,500
7. 1 S – £340,000
6. 1 D – £352,411
5. S 1 – £404,063
4. F 1 – £440,625
3. G 1 – £500,000
2. X 1 – £502,500
1. 25 O – £518,480.
According to Regtransfers Magazine, such illustrious plates also accrue value over time. ’25 O’ can currently found on a 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB and is now worth an eye-watering £750,000.
Even the runner-ups are doing well – the ‘F 1’ plate currently attached to the bumper of a Bugatti Veyron (after being rescued from a Volvo S80, no less!) can be bought for a cool £10 million according to its owner. If your budget can’t quite stretch to that, fret not, because the DVLA’s searchable database reveals that ‘WB67 KER’ is still available for a far more reasonable £399…
Are personalised plates the ultimate display of vanity? Or are they important for expressing a driver’s individuality? Let us know your opinions below.
I think that in the ‘States you can register any numberplate you like, so long as it doesn’t already exist. What’s the problem? Have the same system here, and charge owners accordingly – a nice little earner for the government. Wonder what 50 BER is worth now? Or OBO 110 X?
Yes, having gone to Boston to work in IT, I understood “SYSPROG” but was baffled by “PYLONS”. Good luck here to all those who get CAB, VEG, GAS, etc – my favourites are SEP 1 A for a photographer, driving down the A19 behind pickup with ginormous mower A19MOW, but best of all UG04TEA.
Personalised numbers are fine if they are legal, and also don’t try to be something that they’re not, making them look tacky. I have one with my 2 initials and birthday. It means nothing to anyone but me and just looks like an ordinary plate, but is easy to remember and didn’t cost much.
The worst ones are when people put screw covers over parts of a letter to make it look like something else, or use illegal spacing.
Agree, mine is some thing simple, I drive a Volvo S80, so had that and my initials
I agree peter, I’ve owned mine since 1976. Not to be flash, just something for me, today it’s just a joke, I laugh at some of the equation’s ,
Or German plates!
Totally agree with all of that. Mine means nothing to anyone but me and my family.
I’ve seen that 2BE or NOT 2B, number plates near Cheyne Walk, Westminster. One assumes they’re thespians.
Yes not bad but what about 69, cant wait for that one to come around
You mean like ME69 YOU!!
I share a name with an England footballer and own J 570NES and 570NES. A weeks wages for each would persuade me to part with them Ha Ha !! ( or maybe not…)
What they do in the privacy of their home is none of your business!!
I’m sorry, but the vast majority of those examples are a bloody stretch if you’re going to be offended by them. For starters, if you’re going to take what letters the numbers look like, 67 represents GT and that doesn’t really work that well and makes most of those examples look stupid.
They got closest with DO67 SHT, but it should have been DO67 URD. The last two examples are way too late, they worked best when they were AR53 OLE and BA57 ARD, there’s nothing truly offensive about them on a 67 plate unless you’re actively looking for a reason to be offended.
I once had KUT 94V, now if any of our readers are Dutch, they will know what that means, lol.
Up here in Aberdeen there are a lot of GTF plates, a well known phase and saying.
Good luck to anybody who wants to spend out on special plates, though it all seems a bit sad to me. However, as long as DVLA is accountable for what it does with all the money, the scheme presumably benefits us all in the long run. I hope so, anyway.
DVLA do not know how too be accountable its a bit like the goverment and the road tax Not ring fenced so spent on things other than the roads
F1 was sold by Essex County council and was on the mayor’s car – not sure of the model.
It was the Volvo mentioned in the article. They also had “1F”, both plates having been donated to them.
When I worked there many years ago, they were kept on the basis that selling them would barely make a dent in the annual budget of such a large council. It seems a few years of austerity changed their minds.
I have owned CJF1T for several years when I, Christopher John, was still fit!! No so much now…. Also I have XJV53 dating back to when I had a concours 5.3 ltr. Jaguar (XJ). I have kept them both on our current vehicles as they are indeed easy to remember and just a bit of fun.
The DVLA don’t always get it right. Two of my neighbours have BJ06 and BJ08. LOL.
Best I have seen was on a very flash Ferrari, it read EG0 2 BIG
I remember seeing a few years ago BOL1K – I think it was on a Mini in the Radcliffe area of Manchester
Recently followed a cattle truck on the A64 near York. The reg was M001N. Made me laugh.
Back in the fifties personalised numbers seemed to be all about initials and the number 1. I remember seeing AT 1 on an Austin Cambridge back then and realising that I could never own it, my father could never own his – James Ernest – but he could go and see it in the museum! Later when my brother and I owned a decorating shop we wanted P41NTS and P4PER for our cars but it never happened.
Personal Plates should be meaningful like spelling a first name, car type, business or humour etc or even small plates like F1 or XJ6 on a Jag etc. But where the last three letters are initials its like an office circulation file. All big companies have folk with their three initials in the car park..meaningless. For me what’s the point its, I have got one also, its taking the office home with you!!
I was ‘turned on’ to personalised number plates in about 1970 when I was overtaken by an E-Type Jaguar with the registration 2 HOT. I like registrations that say something about the vehicle rather than its owner so for 20 years now on a succession of campervans I have D7 VAN. My Alpha GTV had D7 GTV and now I have an orange Audi TT with D7 OTT
There used to be a Lamborghini Countach near me with TOO 510W
Personally, I am pleased with my wife’s – simply her three initials at the end of a regular plate, which I chose for free from the standard batch allocated at the dealership.
What price 69 1 DER on my old Mini ? Probably worth more than the car nowadays. Wish I had kept it.
My wife has P9 FUN on her car she got it when she bought a demonstrator Mazda MX5 from a dealer who had several cars with the word FUN as demonstrators I don’t think it cost us extra though. We have transferred it twice now and have had it now for 20 years
Is your wife good fun then? What’s her phone number
I have two cars both with personalised plates. My reason? It can be a very good investment as prices have rocketed in the last 20 years.
I have a personalised plate on my van – I work with dogs and my business is called Scallywags … having T321 WAG on the van gets me noticed even more. People have commented (positively) and even given me a thumbs up while driving on the motorway! A brilliant marketing tool and only cost £250!
I kept it simple too, initials/year of birth/home town which luckily only has three letters!
There are far more worst then happening in this world then falling out over some number plates, so what what it says my your own business and get on with your own life.
Doesn’t make sense!
Living in Bury we had EN as our registration numbers , so there was lots of BEN.LEN.KEN and even GENIE Numbers but the best even though I believe it was taken back by DVLC was PEN 1S. lol.
I was a young driver in Bolton at the time, and eagerly awaited the aforementioned Bury plate to appear on the streets, but alas . . . .
The Bolton equivalent of PBN1S didn’t have quite the same effect.
I was living in Bury at the time of issue for the S plates. The number you mention was the first I’d heard of not to be issued.
We are always hearing that people are hard up but they are prepared to spend money on a number plate that is not needed, I always consider any one with a personal number plate to be an idiot with money to burn.
Not all people are hard up. Those that have earned their money are entitled to spend it on whatever they chose.
A lot of possessions in life are not needed e.g. TVs, jewellery, alcohol, chocolate. However, they help some people feel happy or less stressed after a hard day at work.
People with personal number plates are not, by default, idiots. If they have the money to purchase said plates, they obviously have the intelligence it takes to be employed.
Sweeping statements, such as the ones you have made, say more about the person that makes them than the people they are targeted at…
And those of you without personalised plates are boring. I make journeys fun translating all plates – it breaks the boredom. We both have them. My wife’s first on was P7JCH – her three initials, our house number, and what she’d probably want to o if a policeman asked for her registration number
Two saucy numbers stick in my mind – both seen on expensive sports cars. The first was FU 2, and the other was G 5POT. Sounds like they wouldn’t be allowed these days!
Another great one seen recently on a very average car parked on Portabello Road was AWE50M. Certainly the plate worth a lot more than the car!
Wonder if anyone in Aldermaston has AWE 235 or AWE 238 (as in uranium 235 & 238). 🙂
In the 1970’s FU2 was on Fiona Richmond’s Rolls Royce. She was in Let’s Get Laid at the Windmill Theatre.
Pathetic vanity project
The concept is so peurile.
there used to be a rude number in south wales on a jag (4CUM) & a couple used to own APO110 & APO110G
i have a personalised number but it came on a car which i bought to dismantle & transfered the number to my car
Followed a very smelly agri contractors muck spreader once – – – P16 CAC. Thought that was a good one!
I’ve had my car since 2006, I’ve changed the engine to give more power for Track days, and added a full Brabus kit, changed the suspension, bigger racing brakes, roll cage, racing seats & harness. And to this day,
I have to look each time at my number plate just to be able know what it says…….
When P reg’s were out in 1997 The dvla would not issue any 155 numbers. No idea why. However I enjoyed seeing P150NET.
The flashiest number I’ve seen, but sadly not on my own vehicle was GOT 1 0K… Proudly displayed on a Rolls convertible
Good, I am so pleased that the DVLA is being careful NOT to offend. National Government offends at the drop a hat, it is nice to know that there at least one department who cares about certain things and the Public in general.
My wife has a personalised plate that she inherited from her late aunt. I cannot imagine it is worth anything much, (her wedding anniversary date and her initials) but it remind us of a particularly lovely lady.
It’s a bit crafty of the DVLA (& ultimately the Department of Transport!) to sell these plates knowing that there’s every chance of them being tweaked in terms of spacing, shape of letters etc & then cause a fixed penalty fine to be levied when the dopey driver gets stopped for having an illegal plate. Guess who is the winner??!!
What a load of P177LOKS!
I saw an Aston Martin pass me on the Motorway with the plate AV12 TOY. Now that was classy and true.
I followed a car in Birmingham with the plate UG02FAR I wonder who he means?
I run a chimney sweep business and bought S5 OOT when it was released as I couldn’t afford 5 OOT… Both are worth a lot more now. I own 6 personalised plates for business and personal vehicles, great fun and possibly a small investment.
What many don’t know is, despite paying a lot of money in some cases, you don’t own the number you are merely allowed to DISPLAY the number on a vehicle. If mis-represented or a major crime (motoring or otherwise) is committed the DVLA can take it back…
Best plate I ever saw was on a black jeep and was B44 BAA. Took me a while !
Best plate I’ve seen is my mates A11 PUF on a Clio
Somebody in my locality owns the plate H8LER.
I used to live in Stoke & often saw a car with BED 69 OK spaced like that, but I can’t remember the car model. I have a two digit number followed by my three initials which I purchased in 1985 on my car. last time I had it valued (about 5 years ago) it was worth 18 times what I paid for it, so not a bad investment.
Mitsubishi L200 driver, I got L200 and my 3 initials
I had 69 BYK on a frogeye sprite, anyone know where its at?
Number no longer listed, so in the bin!
“…Examples include JE55 US”
This is an example of what could be potentially offensive in our supposedly Christian country?
Bought my current car just over a year ago and didn’t realise at the time, It was a couple of months later when it twigged, PL57 EFU ( PLEASE TE FU) 😉
Let the people with more money than sense spend it. At least it goes to the taxpayers coffers
My wife and I have cherished numbers. Simple but own letters and short numbers cost little 2 odd years ago but easy to recall. It is minor pleasure to this that like this stuff and bring cash to the government so who can complain. I do not like the current numbering system with too many Z uses. In my day these were for teh Irish.
Three that come to mind that I’ve seen in Lincoln in the past. There used to be a white BMW with W4PPY and a young blonde lady driving it. Another one was H1 MUM and one I only saw once, on a van, and I always remember it, 717 SUP
Simple things for simple minds
The best I’ve seen is HOO100H, in Essex, upside down or back to front it reads the same. I wonder if there is a W4NKR or TO55ER around, I am sure there are, but it would take a brave man to own up to it so publicly.
If DVLA are panicking now what will they do in September 2019?
Guess that MY69 JOB won’t be released!
Wanted H1 SRA when ‘H’ released, BUT it had gone so had H15 SRA, split to HI 5 SRA not realising illegal until pulled. Still got it and happy with it. Best I ever saw was at a race meeting: PEN 15…never saw the owner, sounded derogatory but still funny.
The registration number PEN 15 belongs to former motorcycle and truck racer Steve Parrish. He says that his wife never borrows his car. You can probably guess why.
Thanx Andrew, wondered who owned it, now I know. Wife is obviously a woman of taste! Tee hee…
I saw PEN 15 in south London in the early 1970’s. It was on a bright red E-Type Jag. Wow!
Among the memorable numbers I’ve seen on cars over the years:
250 GTO on a Ferrari 250 GTO at Goodwood
A 911 on a Porsche 911
LOT 10 N on a Subaru Impreza
LOV 1 on another Porsche 911
MAG 1 C on magician Paul Daniels’ Rolls Royce
THE 928S on a Porsche 928S at Oulton Park
V 12 on a Jaguar E Type 5.3 litre V12
VWV 6 on a Volkswagen Golf VR6
They should issue 1 personalised Registration Plate for all the saddos that have them – PR 1CK. Oh, they can’t ‘cos that would be rude. Why does everyone wannabe a ceblerity?
I have just bought BR14NNZ couldn’t afford BR14ANS (15k) or BR14NNS (6.5K) but the one I bought was affordable