Under the Land Transport Authority (LTA) regulations, every vehicle in Singapore is required to have a car plate number or Vehicle Registration Number (VRN) showcased on the front and back sides of the vehicle’s plate.
With the growing number of vehicle owners, nice car plates are something that can set you apart from the mainstream.
For car owners, number plates are the ultimate symbol of luxury and sophistication. The car plates can elevate their most prized set of wheels to the next level as well as make their personality stand out.
But you might wonder, are they a good investment?
To help understand more about plate numbers before making your decision, this article will discuss a brief history of car numbering in Singapore, the value of different plate variations, what makes them a good investment, where to get them, and tips on buying your first car plate.
History of Car Plate Numbers
Singapore number plate consists of prefixes, numbers, and suffixes.
During the early 1900s, private car VRN began with a single prefix S, which indicates Singapore. After the running out of numbers, 2-letter prefixes starting with S were made available in 1913.
Later, the government introduced the single and 2-letter E series in 1972 before returning to S with a 3-letter prefix in 1984.
It is important to note that each series only runs until number 9999, which resulted in limited availability or exclusivity for every set of prefixes.
What Determines the Value of Car Plates?
There are a few reasons why certain plates are worth more than others. The length, number combination, and personal connection are some of the things that can influence the value of number plates.
Many people prefer car plates with fewer numbers because they look neater. Thus, single number plates (1-9) are high on demand and have the highest value considering they have limited availability in the market. After that, it is followed by two-digit numbers (10-99), three-digit numbers (100-999), and four-digit numbers (1000-9999).
Also, people are willing to pay more for classic or vintage car plates with shorter prefixes.
Next, the combination of numbers in the VRN is also an important point to consider. Mirror numbers, like 777, 8888, and 8989, are popular among people. Other combinations of numbers with auspicious meanings or “lucky” numbers usually sell at higher prices compared to regular numbers.
Moreover, numbers with sentimental or personal value (e.g., birth date, anniversary date) are more valuable only to certain people who find them relevant.
Why Car Plate Number Can be A Good Investment?
Do not depreciate in value
Unlike some other collectible items, car plates’ prices keep on increasing. If you buy a car plate with a good investment value, the chance is the price of that plate will continue to grow. You can decide to sell the plate to the open market once you reach your desirable return on investment or keep it to your family for generations.
Growing in popularity
The market for car plate numbers is getting bigger every year. More people care about the plate as much as the car. Trends of giving their friends and family vintage car plates or car plates with meaningful number combinations for presents have gained some traction as well.
Everyone can own the same supercars as you but not the same plate. Having a nice plate that matches a supercar or showcases your personality can set you apart from others, giving you the ultimate social status.
Ways to Obtain Car Plates
There are three ways to obtain valuable plate numbers.
1. Bid from LTA
LTA offers VRN or number plate bidding. You can check LTA official website to find the available plate and place your bid. The bid will start from $1,000.
If your preferred plate is the single-digit plate or other valuable combinations, make sure to place a higher bid to higher your chance of getting it.
2. Buying car plate number together with a car
You can purchase a plate together with a new or pre-owned car. Some car dealers advertise their supercars with nice car plates to attract customers, and you can buy them together.
3. Open market
Lastly, you can find a lot of car plates from individual sellers and car plate dealers in the open market. Car plate dealers offer a wide range of options for you to choose. However, it is important to buy from a trusted and reputable dealer to avoid unnecessary problems.
Tips on Buying Car Plate Numbers
If you want to generate a good return from your car plate investment, it is better to get numbers or combinations that hold value to other people as well. Having a car plate with your birthday is only valuable to you and people who share the same birthday as yours. Thus, choose something more general if you are planning to sell it again in the future.
Additionally, you can never go wrong with single-digit plates and other rare plates because their value will keep on increasing.
For a collectible item, a car plate number has a good investment value as the price continues to grow.
Car owners love a nice and neat-looking plate to match their cars. Thus, vintage number plates with one-letter prefixes and fewer digit numbers hold the most value as the demand is high and the availability is limited.
Although classic or vintage number plates are hard to get, you can get your hands on them through LTA’s number plate bidding, buying them together with cars, or from car plate dealers like us.