Car number plates information and general formats explained
Cherished Number Plate Market
The original "cherished" registrations marks (i.e. those without a year-letter at all) have all increased significantly in value over the years - some to an incredible extent.
Remember, the cherished market covers the years 1904 to 1963 so, by definition, even the last car registration marks issued are now approaching being 50 years old, with the earliest ones being over 100 years old. We liken this end of the number plate market to the antiques market.
Irish Number Plates Market
The Northern Ireland number plates, once considered the "poor relation," providing cheap cover number plates only, can no longer be regarded in this way.
The most sought after are probably cherished registration marks spelling names, for example the "_AZs" from Belfast, the "_ILs" issued by Enniskillen, not to mention the "_IBs" coming out of Armagh. The new "_EZ plates are also proving very popular.
So you can make BAZ (Barry), DAZ (Darren), GAZ (Gareth / Gary), JIL (Jill), GIL (Gillian), plus GIB (Gibson), all of which have increased considerably in value over the years.
DVLA Suffix Year-Letter Number Plates Market
If you want to start investing and you havent got thousands to spend, this is where you should start.
There has always been a reasonable interest in car registrations marks such as SUE 57W - in other words, anything spelling/containing a name, but there has been a marked surge in interest recently. These marks are becoming very collectible as people try to wrestle with the new format number plates, and so are likely to go up in value.
The aforementioned holds true for popular initials too, where people now regard these suffix year-letter number plates as the "new" cherished plates. In other words they are looking at the index at the front rather than the year letter, so initials such as "JAS," "JMW" and "MAW" appear first, followed by numbers and lastly the year letter.
The shorter the number plates, the better, as with the "proper" cherished marks. Obviously, such a mark on a new BMW/Mercedes etc.. is clearly a cherished number plate since suffix marks finished in 1983 so, even the later car number plates are over 20 years old.
DVLA Prefix Year-Letter Number Plates Market
Masses and masses of number plates have been bought and sold in this market. This is where the vast majority of people started "making their mark." As with any mass market, most of the examples will not increase in value and represent a bit of fun for their owners.
However, there are some exceptions, - top class A1's and A11's, not to mention M1s, H1s and M12s would all command massive profit margins. Furthermore, prefix number plates are worth investing in represent names, e.g. the most expensive prefix number plate ever sold was K1 NGS at over 230,000 some years ago.
DVLA New Style Number Plates Market
When the prefix car number plates ran out in 2000, a new type of car registration mark was invented with the two, area-identifier letters at the front plus two numbers (e.g. '51' representing Sept 2001), followed by 3 random letters.These have a limited following, with some clever plates like WE57 HAM, DE51 RES etc.. having become available, but are generally limited apart from their ability to allow two sets of initials on one plate e.g. RV54 RKV
Finally, you cant flash your building society book or your share certificates at people, but your special car number plate makes a public statement about you, while increasing at the same time. Number plates are a proven investment over time and to quote Quentin Wilson from BBC Top Gear to say "If you buy your number plates wisely it will honestly be better than money in the bank."
If you've got it, flaunt it!