Personalised number plates earn drivers six times more speeding tickets

By Adam Phillips
News entry dated 07th Sep 2017

The personalised plate market is booming. More and more people want to exhibit their ‘individuality’ on the front and back of their cars. However, new research by MoneySuperMarket has revealed that drivers with personalised plates might be getting more than they bargained for – including six times as many speeding tickets as drivers with regular number plates.

What’s in a name?

The MoneySuperMarket research found that a third of Brits consider those with personalised plates to be posers, but this hasn’t slowed demand for the so-called vanity plates. According to number plate dealer National Numbers’ search data, first names are some of the most sought after personalised number plates. The most popular are ‘BEN’ (5,318), ‘JOE’ (4,171), ‘MAC’ (3,261), ‘ALI’ (2,960) and ‘LOU’ (2,780).

It doesn’t even have to be your first name – it can be someone else’s; 93 people searched for the number plate ‘TRUMP’ over the past 12 months!

The average cost of a vanity plate is £512, though prices for particularly prized plates can rise much higher. As we revealed in our recent news item, the most expensive plate bought in the UK was ’25 O’ which came with the eye-watering price tag of £518,480.

Even that pales into insignificance compared with the latest number plate purchase by Chinese-Australian billionaire and avid number plate collector Peter Tseng. Tseng just splashed out a whopping £1.5 million (A$2.45 million) on a rare number 4 plate from New South Wales, following a bidding war with another collector. Tseng arrived sporting a number 2 plate on his red Ferrari and apparently calmly kept his hand in the air throughout the entire auction.

 

Can't park number plate

(Credit – PetrolPrices)

Car brands attract attention

With the DVLA’s September number plate auction approaching, fans of personalised plates will be on the hunt for the most exciting options available. A surprising number of drivers seek inspiration based on the car that they own. According to National Numbers, the most popular brand-based searches include ‘MERCEDES’ (1,328 searches), ‘JAG’ (2,719 searches) and ‘BMW’ (4,396 searches).

Meanwhile, MoneySuperMarket’s recent survey has found that it is BMW and Audi drivers who top the list of those who are most likely to own personalised plates.

Offensive number plates

According to National Numbers’ research, potty-mouthed plates are also popular in the UK. In fact, there were more searches over the past 12 months for offensive plates than for those relating to people we cherish. For instance, the word ‘F**K’ was searched for 40% more than ‘MUM.’ In fact, over 2,000 people looked up the popular swear word, compared to more than 1,400 for ‘MUM’ and 1,700 for ‘DAD.’

This penchant for profanity is seemingly endless, according to National Numbers, with the highlights/lowlights including:

’S**T’ – 687 searches

‘XXX’ – 1,077 searches

‘D*CK’ – 1,424 searches

‘F**K’ – 2,081 searches

The DVLA takes a very dim view of offensive plates. It has recently been on a culling tour of its number plate database, as the new 67 plate comes online. That said, it doesn’t always work. Successful outbreaks of expletives have included ‘U TO2SER’ on a Lambo and ‘M1LFS’ on a Transit.

It’s worth pointing out that the DVLA reserves the right to scrap your plate if a one-off should make it past quality control. For instance, poor Alan Clarke was gutted to have his number plate ‘BO11 LUX’ withdrawn by the DVLA (though he could bid for ‘TE51 CLE,’ which can currently be found dangling from the back of a UK Corvette).

Autonomy of a plate

For those of us who prefer to stick to what we are given by our car dealer, what do the numbers and letters actually stand for on a plate? The first two letters signify where the vehicle was registered. This is divided into two parts – the first letter is for the region such as B for Birmingham or S for Scotland (see the complete list here). The second represents the DLVA office within the region where the vehicle was registered.

The two numbers in the middle of the plate represent how old the car is, while the final three letters are typically a random selection. The system used for number plate creation offers enough combinations to keep the DVLA producing plates until 2051.

How much would you be willing to spend on a personalised plate? Or are such vanity plates just a waste of money? Let us know your views below.

Comments

57 Comments on "Personalised number plates earn drivers six times more speeding tickets"

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mgwell
mgwell

Clickbait. Article reads like content mill guff and has nothing to do with the speeding ticket tagline.

Andrew
Andrew

What the hell…….. waded all through the article to get to the point about speeding fines and the correlation to private number plates and NOTHING. If your going to headline an article please at least make it about the headline and not as an advertorial for the DVLA. what a waste of time. Angry.

Davis
Davis

I agree entirely

Robert
Robert

This article is ‘BO11 LUX’.

John
John

Clever comment!

Phil Arden
Phil Arden

My wife has had two speeding fines in the last two years in her MX5 with a personal plate on. Not because of the plate, but because she was……… Speeding !!!

Brian
Brian

I have a personalised number plate and I’ve developed a very effective way of avoiding speeding tickets. I stay within the prevailing limit.

Nigel Edward-Few
Nigel Edward-Few

Hear hear!!

ChrisO
ChrisO

The biggest problem is not official personalised number plates, but the illegal ones (like the one you’ve shown) that people adapt to read differently by changing the spacings, altering the shapes of letters and numbers, etc. This has the added risk of people not reading a number plate correctly in the event of an accident or incident, which could result in evidence not being accepted in court and the car driver avoiding prosecution. This is the area that should be clamped down on very strongly by DVLA and the police.

Radnorman
Radnorman

….. and the MOT testers who ‘turn a blind eye’ !?

pakl
pakl

Just put correct plates for MOT. Then change them afterwards. No problem, on the day of mot legal.

Andrew
Andrew

I quite agree and feel you should have some way of reporting them and where you saw them but having done this myself the Police have done nothing and 5 months later the illegal plate is still showing on a local high street for all to see.

Grahm
Grahm

The stuffers will only take action if THEY stop you…more browny points for them !

Nigel Edward-Few
Nigel Edward-Few

Agree completely.

DaveN
DaveN

Interesting statistic. What a shame the author ignored it completely in the article.

My wife and I both have similar personalised numbers – we can always remember them, no matter if we change cars. And no speeding fines since we got the numbers so we’re bucking the trend.

Radnorman
Radnorman

Seconded.

Harry
Harry

Sorry but what has having your own plate have to do with speeding!!!!!??

Mark
Mark

You are right. It has nothing to do with the personal plate, as the author obviously discovered when they gave up trying to defend the headline..

John
John

Its a biased sample – since the highest proportion of personal plate owners are BMW drivers, inevitably they will be driving like the aspirational muppets they typically are. It would be the same for a survey of tailgating – Audi & BMW drivers scoring top points for poor driving once again!

James
James

So relieved I have had a chance to read about number plates, completely taken my mind of trivialities such as North Korea and hurricanes.

EX08 ACK
EX08 ACK

I just changed my name

Nigel Edward-Few
Nigel Edward-Few

If this is true, then it is disgusting prejudice. So far after 48 years driving and probably 15 with personal plates, I have yet to get a ticket. Perhaps the personal plates just bring more attention to idiot driving!

John Chisholm
John Chisholm

Yes I agree with mgwell, this article is even worse than the normal from pp.com
So much so that I’m unsubscribing.

KLC
KLC

All nonsense … you get a speeding ticket because you were speeding … and this article was nonsense too!

Glenn Corrie
Glenn Corrie

What a rubbish story

Sue
Sue

I have had personalised number plates for over 20 years……no speeding tickets. What a load tosh

michel
michel

We have one car on a car appropriate plate, which to the ignorant makes the car appear 12 years older than it is, and the other on its original (ancient) plate, the latter being the one I have been nicked in. As Robert pointed out: “This article is ‘BO11 LUX’.”

Iain
Iain

I don’t really know what “content mill guff” is but I know everything on “Petrol Prices” is content mill guff

lewcol
lewcol
What a load of cr4p! I have a personalised number (3 digits & 3 letters, my initials) for over 40 years and have never been stopped, or pictured, for speeding. As a member of IAM Roadsmart for 27+ years, I take great care and pride in my driving. To repeat what has already been said, the only way to avoid a speeding ticket is to stay within the speed limit! I do have to agree with the comments regarding the spacing and altering the typeface on numberplates to read something different. One of my staff recentlyhad to report a vehicle… Read more »
Terry
Terry

I think BMW and Mercedes say it all

Patrick
Patrick

I wouldn’t have one but I did have a number plate years ago a few impterzer owners asked if they could buy off me. it started WRC just like all the world rally car number plates when there in the uk

Mark
Mark

All that and no information on the what the article headline was about!!! What a waste of time!!

Km
Km

Why don’t all you criticisers let people live their own lives and get on with yours. Especially those who feel that if you have a new car you are in debt, or if you have a personal plate you are stuck up etc etc.
Try looking at it that some of us work VERY HARD to have nice things and buy nice newer cars for our daughters so we know they are safer on the roads than driving an old rust bucket.
GET A LIFE

Albernie
Albernie

Maybe there`s a correlation between the egocentric and law breaking ? 🙂

Jon Barker
Jon Barker

That sums it up perfectly.

Edward P Harding
Edward P Harding

Hmmmm! Not the level of professionalism that one has come to expect from Petrol Prices.

Margaret
Margaret

Have had a personal number plate for about 20 years, never had a speeding ticket, I bought the plate from a DVL auction with some money I had been left, enjoyed the experience. The investment has increased 5 fold in the time I have owned it. Always remember my number can’t be bad.

Trevor Hawkes
Trevor Hawkes

I can’t see the fascination with vanity plates, Total waste of money. Why would I want to draw attention to myself. Better to be incognito.

Joy
Joy

I have a personalised number plate, due to the fact dear old Dad left me some money, he always lovingly teased me by calling me our Joy. So when I saw AR ×× JOY I got it, not for vanity and not so my neighbours don’t know the age of my car as the number makes my car 2 years older. I also try not to speed so I think this article a little bit silly and some killjoy comments cause they chose or do not want one sad sacks!

Alex
Alex

The reference is that people who have personal number plates tend to be people who break the speed limit more often than those that don’t. Personal plates also tend to be on cars that are high end cars. How often have you seen a 2CV with a personal plate or even a 2CV with a personal plate doing 100+ on the motorway.

James V
James V

prefer to pick a plate from the dealer list

J Wilson
J Wilson

This trend for number plates is solely a way of not letting the neighbours know you cant afford a new car, its all a matter of pride ,usually found on new estates where keeping up with the joneses is paramount, Until the repossession man calls

Nigel Edward-Few
Nigel Edward-Few

Rubbish. I have one just for fun. I couldn’t care less what my neighbours think.

michel
michel

Or they can be make , model and engine size appropriate, which usually means that the plate is worth more than the neighbours new Eurobox. People who buy new cars mostly do so because they have no money and need to buy them on dodgy finance plans.

Jeremy English
Jeremy English

I’ve always thought personalised number plates were only for idiots – they are far too easy for someone to remember if they’ve taken offence at you for some stupid reason!

Micky Mouse
Micky Mouse

Click bait articles and advertorials are rapidly leading me to the conclusion to remove myself from this email list

R L (AKA) Bob
R L (AKA) Bob

I’ve had my private plates with my 3 letter name and unique 3 numbers for 28 years and spent 25 years waiting for the same number for my wife with her 3 letter name. eg only!:-
123 PAM
123 BOB
They have never been on a car the same time, so it confuses the neighbors when we swap them around. I’m also thinking about getting them valued as a pair.
Oh by the way, the few speeding fines I’ve had is shared equally with DVL & private plates 🙂

Rod Wing
Rod Wing

Can you actually give some real facts – how do Porsche drivers with personalised plates do – in my world it seems to be 100%.

Allen
Allen

The answer is simple
Don’t break the law

Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell

Mine plate reads ‘matey F**k you’ had it for over 2 years.

I live in fear of the DVLA one day contacting me….

Also, I have 3 points for speeding, which were issued because I was speeding (87 in a 70)… not because of the number plate.

Tony
Tony

More speeding tickets show how vain these people are than the average, they are a lot more interested in themselves rather than other people and their safety – says it all.

Mark
Mark

Obviously you didn’t read the article. I’m surprised you managed to write the comment on your own..

Dennis West
Dennis West

Personalised number plates: pure snobbery, a vulgar expression of wealth!

Bill
Bill

The statistics could indicate that those with ‘personalized number plates’ think of themselves as ‘above the law’ and are therefor free to ignore traffic and other laws.

Jeremy English
Jeremy English

I’ve always thought personalised number plates were only for idiots – they are far too easy for someone to remember if they’ve taken offence at you for some stupid reason!

Jim
Jim

Jeremy– Told us twice, not up to technology!

Fred
Fred

These kind of articles(and others) bring out the petrolheads.Driving 2 and 4-wheeled things for about 65 years accident and speeding-fines free. No interest in fancy plates. So what!

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