For most of us, a number plate is just a piece of stamped metal with an identification number. However, those plates represent a doorway to prestige and swagger for the fan.
They’re prepared to pay for it as well. The top 20 most expensive license plates in the world, some of which sell for more than a million dollars, are represented by this list.
For some collectors, acquiring the greatest of the best is simply a matter of sheer luxury. Why not reward yourself with a distinctive number plate if you already have a fantastic collection of historic automobiles or perhaps a stable of top-tier speed machines?
Some people view an uncommon license plate as a sign of social standing. A single-digit license plate in the United Arab Emirates might reveal more about your social status than a garage full of pricey vehicles.
Naturally, there is also the cool factor. Who among automobile collectors wouldn’t want to brag about owning the priciest license plate in New York? or the fact that a prominent rock star once possessed their license plate?
Many people who enjoy cars will be able to name a couple of the priciest vehicles on the planet. But with the help of this list, you have the opportunity to edge over the competition and wow the people who are looking at your car with your extensive knowledge of license plates.
Table of Contents
The 10 most expensive license plates in the world
10. 2 – Abu Dhabi: $2.7 million
Plate No. 2 was given a rock-star entrance with rock music, a light display, and smoke when it was launched during its auction in November 2017 because single-digit plates are so highly valued in the United Arab Emirates.
The number 2 is also symbolic of December 2, 1971, the day the United Arab Emirates was founded, giving the No. 2 plate additional historical significance. Ahmed Al Mazroui, a 23-year-old businessman from the Emirati nation, outbid 20 enthusiastic bidders for the item, paying $2.7 million.
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9. 9 – Dubai: $2.8 Million
9 was our first entry from the United Arab Emirates and it really sold twice for astounding sums. The initial transaction took place in 2008 for $2.8 million, then in 2010, the price dropped slightly to the pitiful figure of $2.7 million.
Balwinder Sahni, the proud owner and property developer, claims that the large purchase is a method for him to give to charity and to improve the city’s infrastructure and points out that Dubai has no income tax.
8. 7 – Abu Dhabi: $3.9 Million
Not once, not twice, but three times, Abu Dhabi No. 7 has sold for a remarkable sum!
On February 2, 2010, the No. 7 sale that generated the most revenue occurred for a modest $3.9 million.
The well-traveled No. 7 has the distinction of being a single-digit license plate, of course, but like No. 2, it has an additional significance tied to its number because there are 7 emirates in the United Arab Emirates.
7. 5 – Abu Dhabi: $4.6 Million
Balwinder Sahni, a real estate entrepreneur from Dubai, purchased plate No. 5 at a government auction in October 2016 for a cool $4.6 million. Sahni expressed his optimism that the funds will be used to upgrade the city’s infrastructure because they would be going to the government.
It makes sense why Sahni would want smoother roads. He had eight Rolls Royces, one of which was the happy new owner of license plate No. 5, and he wouldn’t want to harm any of them.
6. 09 – Dubai: $5.7 Million
There isn’t much information available about plate 09, which was sold in Dubai on July 7th, 2015, for $5.7 million. The same number may be issued more than once in the UAE due to the multiple categories that plates may fall under. The consensus is that this plate is not the same as plate No. 9, which we previously discussed.
5. 1 – Abu Dhabi: $9.5 Million
Property tycoon Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri responded, “I got it because it’s the best number,” when questioned about why he paid $9.5 million at the 2008 auction for plate No. 1.
Your automobile and its decorations serve as a declaration of status and power in the automotive-centric city of Abu Dhabi. Khouri proudly declared to the world that he was a guy of pride and confidence by hanging 1 from his fenders.
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4. D5 – Dubai: $9.6 Million
Balwinder Sahni, a real estate developer, is once more active, purchasing the D5 license plate for one of his aforementioned Rolls-Royces in October 2016 for $9.6 million. Why D5? Considering that D is the fourth letter in the English alphabet, 4 + 5 = 9, which is the same as his previous position on this list.
3. New York – USA: $20 Million
It’s very obvious what this one is. You guessed it, the word “New York” appears on the most expensive license plate in New York.
In the latter part of the 1970s, the state of New York began distributing vanity plates, and one unnamed family was fortunate enough to acquire the only street-legal “New York” plate ever made.
Keep in mind that the family is including the decades-old Volvo that is now bearing the plates if you think the $20 million price tag is a bit excessive.
2. F1 – England: $20 Million
The plate F1 is on the market for $20 million in an attempt to unseat 25 O’s (see below) current position as the top plate in the UK. Afzal Kahn, an entrepreneur, and car designer is the current owner and the plate is shown on his Bugatti Veyron.
The Essex County Council was the source of Khan’s initial purchase of the license plate in 2008. Khan paid $619,771 for it, with the proceeds going to charity. Previously, a councilman owned it and had it on his Volvo.
1. MM – USA: $24.3 Million
Not only is it the priciest license plate in California, but it is also. The most costly license plate in the US is not the only thing about it. The most expensive license plate in the world, valued at $24.3 million, belongs to California and is designated MM.
The hardest license plates to locate in the US are those with two characters, and even more difficult to locate are plates with the same letter used for both letters. Only 35 of these are actually known to exist. Furthermore served with an NFT, this unique plate increases in value.
You ought to presumably make sure you have a stylish vehicle fit for someone with a $24 Million license plate. It might be OK to use a high-end electric vehicle or a luxury SUV. Another option is to think about a cutting-edge motorcycle if two wheels are more your style.
Other Noteworthy License Plates
25 O – England: $730k – The most expensive number plate in the UK
Although there are many collectors of pricey license plates around the world, the UAE is undoubtedly one of the hotspots.
The most costly license plate in the UK, for instance, is 25 O, and it was really purchased rather than only listed for sale.
2014 saw devoted Ferrari fan and owner of a Ferrari shop John Collins spend a cool $730k on 25 O. Where is the most expensive license plate in the UK right now? leaning against a vintage Ferrari 250 SWB.
However, things get better. The SWB is a classic in and of itself, but it has the added benefit of having once belonged to none other than Eric Clapton, the father of rock and roll.
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Delaware 11 – USA: $675k – The most expensive number plate in the US
We are traveling to the lovely state of Delaware to pick up plate number 11. Low-digit plates are highly prized here, much like in the UAE. (The number one spot is set out for the governor of the state; number two goes to the lieutenant governor, and number three goes to the secretary of state.)
The Fuscos (a family of commercial real estate brokers) purchased number plate No. 11 in 2008 for $675,000, making it the most expensive number plate ever actually sold in the US. This was another victory in an auction (as opposed to just put up for sale).
Since its vehicle-registration regulations permit license plate numbers to be passed down as an inheritance, Delaware has a unique place in the hearts of American plate collectors. Collectors technically bid on the plate’s number rather than the actual plate when they place a bid.
12THMAN – USA: $115k – The most expensive license plate in Texas
Texas A&M (Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University) plate 12THMAN, the most expensive license plate in Texas, sold for a respectable $115,000 at an online auction in September 2013. During a football game against the University of Alabama, the plate was given to a decorated war veteran named Dan Moran by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who had won it.
So who is the “twelfth man” exactly? The field is populated by 11 players in American football. The spectators in the stands that support Texas A&M’s squad are referred to as the “twelfth man.”
How NFTs are altering the game of license plates
In addition to its rarity, the most expensive license plate in the world, California MM, has an extra feature: an NFT laser-inscribed QR code on the reverse of the plate.
If you’re not familiar with NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), the short version is that they are distinct digital objects (the word “non-fungible” is essentially a synonym for “one of a kind”).
For instance, even though a piece of digital art can be duplicated endlessly on the internet, there will only ever be one NFT associated with it. (Or if a series of NFTs are made for that piece of art, only one #1 NFT, one #2 NFT, and so on.)
The NFT that is connected to California MM is the first in a series. So if you’re prepared to spend $24.3 million, you’ll get a one-of-a-kind NFT in addition to being the happy owner of an extremely unusual license plate.
Which license plate is the most costly in the world?
The California MM, which sells for $24.3 million, is the most expensive license plate in the world according to the listed value. The laser-etched NFT on the plate’s back is included in the sale price.
A plate that was actually sold for the highest price was plate D5 in Dubai, which sold for $9.5 million. In 2016, it was acquired at an auction, with the proceeds going to charity.
Why are F1 license plates so pricey?
The F1 plate’s worth comes from the fact that it is an acronym for the well-known Formula 1 racing competitions. It is unique in the UK because of this. The UK government stipulated that no further letters or digits could be added to the designation for this specific plate.
Who is the owner of license plate number one?
Property developer Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri purchased Plate No. 1 at an auction in Abu Dhabi in 2008. To view the complete list, read our ranking of the most costly license plates in the world.
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Which license plate is the rarest?
Depending on one’s definition of rarity, the UK 25 O plate may or may not be the rarest plate in the world, according to various number plate enthusiasts. It is so highly valued because it is comparable to the 250 GTO produced by Ferrari. Currently, it is attached to a Ferrari 250 GTO that rock star Eric Clapton formerly owned.