The World’s 10 Most Expensive Number Plates

Expensive private plates

Have you ever been curious as to what the world’s 10 most expensive number plates are? Then we’ve got you covered.

But before we get into it, let’s lay out some rules for the list. Everything mentioned here has actually been sold at auction for the price mentioned.

That means no speculative pricing that has yet to be proven. This is why you’ll find famously expensive plates like ‘A1’ and ‘F1’ missing from this list.

We have also adjusted the rankings to be in line with inflation.

1) 1

Local Price:52m AED
Price in GBP:£7.2m (2008)
Date Sold:16/02/2008
Country:Abu Dhabi, UAE

Unsurprisingly, ‘1’ takes our number one spot as the most expensive number plate in the world.

This single-digit plate sold for the colossal amount of 52 million AED (£7.2m) in a 2008 auction organised by Emirates Auction Company. The man behind the plate is Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, the CEO of Abdul Khaleq Al Khouri & Bros Co and CEO of Milipol International Est.

2) AA 9

Local Price:38m AED
Price in GBP:£7.5m (2021)
Date Sold:01/05/2021
Country:Dubai, UAE

2021 saw the number 2 spot on this list go to the number plate ‘AA 9’ when it sold for 38 million AED as part of a charity auction.

The owner of this prestigious and pricey plate refused to disclose his name, upholding the value of philanthropy.

3) D 5

Local Price:33m AED
Price in GBP:£6.6m (2016)
Date Sold:08/10/2016
Country:Dubai, UAE

In 2016, Indian billionaire Balwinder Sahni dropped an eye-watering 33 million AED (roughly £6.6m at the time) for the Dubai number plate ‘D 5’.

When asked by the press “why?”, Sahni explained that his lucky number is 9. You see, D is the fourth letter of the alphabet, add that to 5 and you get 9.

4) O 9

Local Price:24.5m AED
Price in GBP:£4.4m (2015)
Date Sold:07/07/2015
Country:Dubai, UAE

Balwinder Sahni makes another appearance on this list, having secured the number plate “O 9” (his lucky number) in 2015 for 24.5 million AED (£4.4m).

5) 5

Local Price:25.2m AED
Price in GBP:£3.5m (2007)
Date Sold:07/07/2015
Country:Dubai, UAE

Talal Ali Mohammed Khouri (of the same Khouri family) originally broke the record for the world’s most expensive plate in 2007. The single-digit plate ‘5’ was sold for a hefty 25.2 million AED (£3.5m).

At the time, Khouri also spent £800,000 on a plate with the registration ‘55’. When asked why he wanted those particular numbers, he casually replied that the numbers had “absolutely no significance whatsoever” to him.

6) 7

Local Price:16.8m AED
Price in GBP:£3m (2010)
Date Sold:20/02/2010
Country:Abu Dhabi, UAE

7) 7

Local Price:13.4m AED
Price in GBP:£2.96m (2016)
Date Sold:19/11/2016
Country:Abu Dhabi, UAE

Number 7 appears twice?! This is due to the fact that the same registration number may be issued in more than one series or category. News reports tend to leave out references to the category, which can confuse things further.

8) 9

Local Price:15.4m AED
Price in GBP:£2.15m (2008)
Date Sold:10/05/2008
Country:Abu Dhabi, UAE

Similar to the previous ‘7’ number plate, the number ‘9’ registration was purchased twice for an extraordinary fee. Once in 2008 for 15.4 million AED and then again in 2010 for 10 million AED.

9) 28

Local Price:18.1m HKD
Price in GBP:£1.6m (2016)
Date Sold:21/02/2016
Country:Hong Kong, China

It may shock you to hear that this number plate was not sold in the UAE. In fact, this number plate was sold in Hong Kong for 18.1 million Hong Kong dollars in 2016, which is the equivalent of £1.6 million.

Personalised plates with lucky numbers are a very popular trend in Hong Kong. One of the reasons that ‘28’ is considered so lucky is that it sounds very similar to the Cantonese words for “easy” and “to prosper”, which are believed to bring good fortune to the owner.

10) NSW 4

Local Price:$2.45m AUD
Price in GBP:£1.5m (2017)
Date Sold:28/08/2017
Country:New South Wales, Australia

Chinese-Australian billionaire, Peter Tseng, broke records in Australia in 2017 when he purchased an ‘NSW 4’ number plate for $2.45 million Australian dollars (£1.5m in 2017).

Tseng is a big name in the rare plate collecting world. He is also a wine enthusiast and adult toy manufacturer.

So, What Was the World’s Most Expensive Number Plate?

At the time of this article, the number plate ‘1’ still holds the Guinness World Record of the most expensive plate.

Why Are So Many Plates on the List from UAE?

Not unlike other countries, number plates are used as status symbols in the UAE.

The fewer digits you have on your plate, the more desirable it is. This is why the list above features so many 1-digit plates.

Interested in buying your own plate? Or do you want to see what number plates are available at the next DVLA auction?