Ultimate Guide for Car Plate Bidding

Having the car of your dreams will be more special with a great number plate. In Singapore, car plate bidding is one of the few popular ways to obtain the VRN that you wish for. Another option includes buying from the open market.

However, to some people who are new to number plate bidding, making a successful bid over the vehicle registration numbers (VRN) that you want requires at least a basic understanding of the process, procedures, and other details.

Given that, this article serves as your ultimate guide to car plate number bidding. It provides a comprehensive explanation of the most common questions regarding the LTA VRN bidding practices.  

From the reasons why bidding is preferred by some people, what are the steps to plate bidding, bidding requirements, bidding schedule, a reasonable bid amount, pros and cons of bidding, to other alternatives of bidding.


Why is car plate bidding popular?

When purchasing a new vehicle, you will have the options to go with the random VRN assigned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), transfer the VRN from your old vehicle to a new one, or get your preferred VRN through LTA car plate bidding, or buy it from the open market. 

There are various reasons why people choose to bid to get the plate number they want. Here are some of them. 

Firstly, you want to have a car plate with the latest prefix. Every certain period, the LTA will release new car plate series that people can bid to get ownership of. 

Since 1984, Singapore number plates have started with a 3-letter prefix beginning with the letter S. It begins with SBA, then continues to SBB, SBC, and so on. By October 2022, we were on the SNJ prefix. 

Thus, if you are interested in having a number plate with the newest prefix or when the upcoming prefix means something to you. For example, in May 2022, the SNG prefix was released and as it shares a connection to your surname ‘Sng’ You may want to get it through bidding first before trying other ways.

Secondly, you can get the number plate you want starting from $1,000 because that is the minimum bid set by the LTA. In a case when the plate’s number combination you’re looking for is selling way more in the open market, you can try to bid for the exact number with as little as $1,000. 

However, it is important to consider the current market price to ensure you win the bid. Because if you bid too low, then your bidding might be unsuccessful. Thus, you have to bid for the same numbers again in the next prefix series, which leads us to the next reason. 

Thirdly, you can always try to get the number you want every time a new prefix is released. For example, if you are aiming to have a plate with your birthday, you can keep bidding for that VRN in every new prefix until you win.

This reason is for people who do not require the car plate immediately. But, if you just purchase a car, you will have a limited time to decide on which number plate you want to register for that vehicle. Therefore, you probably do not have the time to keep bidding until you get the number plate you aimed for.


How to bid for a car plate number?

This is it – you are finally making the move to bid on your very first plate. But do you know what goes into submitting a bid from start to finish?

In this part, we are going to break down all the steps of bidding number plates from the LTA. Alternatively, you can watch this video that walks you through the process step-by-step.

Step 1: Go to OneMotoring official website

OneMotoring is a Singapore Government Agency Website under the LTA. It is a one-stop hub for motoring information and digital services provided by the LTA.

OneMotoring website for car plate bidding

Step 2: Log in to your account

To access your dashboard, you will be required to log in using either an individual or business account, depending on your purpose. 

You log in by scanning the provided QR code using your Singpass app or entering your username and password to your account. 

Step 3: Submit EBid

Once you login go to  → Vehicle Hub 

one motooring vehicle hub for car plate bidding

Once in the  Vehicle Hub , In the menu bar, click ownership → vehicle no. → submit EBid.

On this page, you will find a text explaining the terms for bidding. Please read it carefully and make sure you understand it before participating in the bidding.

Step 4: Fill in the bidding information

You will ask to choose the bidding types. There are two options available, in which are the main bidding exercise and weekly bidding. 

The main bidding exercise is where you can bid for the new VRN series that just launched. Meanwhile, weekly bidding is to bid for the remaining VRNs left from the main bidding exercise. 

Then put your bid amount. Please note that the minimum bid amount is $1,000. More about how much you should bid is discussed below.

Next, select “car” as the vehicle type. LTA provides car plate bidding for several types of vehicles. Ranging from cars to very heavy goods vehicles.

After that, enter your choice of VRN. You can enter up to 3 choices.

How to submit a car plate bidding

Step 5: Put the bidder’s information

Fill the information in this part with the details of the intended owner of the VRN. You will need to provide a name, ID, contact, and email address. 

Step 6: Enter your refund details

Refund details are required to return the bid amount charged when submitting a bid in the first place if your bidding is unsuccessful or someone outbid you.  

car plate bidding payment and refund section

Once you complete this part, tick the terms and conditions checkbox then click “next” to move to the next section.

Step 7: Go to the next section and review your bid details

In this part, make sure to check your bid details and that all the information you provided is correct.

Step 8: Make the payment

This is the final step. To complete your bidding submission, you must fulfill the payment via eNets internet banking. They accept payment from 4 major banks. Select your choice of bank, login via online banking and the bid amount will be debited from your account. 

Available payment method for car plate bidding


What are car plate bidding requirements?

Before participating in LTA VRN bidding, you will need the following information ready to ensure a smooth bidding process. 

Information you will need to prepare includes:

  • VRN that you wish to bid for (in order of preference).
  • NRIC No. / FIN / Company / Business / Association Registration Cert. No. of vehicle’s registered owner.
  • Email address for notification of results.
  • Contact Number.
  • Refund Bank Account Details for a refund of unsuccessful bids paid by eNETS Debit.
  • Mailing Address or Name and NRIC No. of proxy for return of Cashier’s Order (s) for unsuccessful bids.


Bidding schedule

For the main bidding exercise, LTA will announce the launching of the new VRN series on their website https://onemotoring.lta.gov.sg/ . The car plate bidding exercise starts on Friday and ends the next Wednesday at the following hours:

Friday, 1.00 AM to Wednesday, 4.30 PM

You access the bidding submission page to submit your bid during that time, except every 12.00 AM – 1.00 AM. Furthermore, the main bidding exercise schedule is also subject to public holidays.

The weekly bidding exercise starts on Friday and ends the next Monday. You can place your bid within the following period:

Friday 1.00 AM to Monday, 4.30 PM

Just like the main bidding exercise, the bidding page will not be available for submission every day from 12.00 AM – 1.00 AM. 

Additionally, public holidays may affect the bidding schedule. Thus, please refer to the OneMotoring website to know the latest update for the schedule. 

It is important to note that the numbers available for every bidding exercise will be made available to the public at least 1 working day before the exercise starts.

Moreover, the frequency of LTA launching new plate series depends on several factors, including the number of cars being registered during that period. Looking at the past bidding exercises, the new prefix launch often takes place every 3 or 4 months. 

The results are usually ready approximately 1 week after the bidding is closed.


How much should you bid?

It is important to mention that there is no single recommended bid amount that works perfectly for everyone. Obviously, you want to come in with a bid competitive enough to land the numbers you wanted, but not overpay. 

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Here are some tips to help you determine how much you should bid:

  • Check the market price. You can research some car plate prices from our website and try to find the numbers that are similar to the ones you want. That way you can have a rough estimation of the value of your desired car plate.
  • How badly do you want it? Do you need it immediately? You might want to reflect on these questions to set the bid amount. You might need to have a higher bid amount to ensure you outbid other people. That way you don’t have to take your chance or try your luck in the next car plate bidding, which could be in another 3-4 months
  • How rare or attractive is the number plate you want? Just like other products or services, the more attractive it is, the more people want them. Popular number combinations will have many people bidding on them, which increases your competition. 

Additionally, single- and double-digit car plates are limited in availability. Due to that reason, they are inherently higher in price. However, if the VRN combination is only meaningful to yourself or a small group of people, then you don’t have to bid as high.


Pros & cons of car plate bidding

There are plenty of advantages to obtaining a car plate through bidding. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of number plate bidding to help you decide.

Pros of VRN bidding

  • Bid at your desired price

If your desired plate sells above your budget in the open market, bidding may be the perfect solution for you. 

You can bid for any VRN from the minimum amount of $ 1,000. 

  • Get your hands on the latest prefix

Bidding is one of the ways to get a plate with the latest prefix made available by the LTA. If you want your favorite car to be decorated with the newest prefix’s number plate, you can try submitting a bid. 

Cons of VRN bidding

  • Failed to get the numbers you want

The results of bidding can be hard to predict. You might not be able to certainly tell whether your bidding is successful or not.

Due to that reason, there is always a probability of not getting the numbers you aimed for.

  • Takes time

Getting the car plate of your dreams from bidding can be a long process depending on the results of your bid. 

If you need a VRN in a hurry, it can be a problem. Considering the fact that if someone outbid you, you will need to take your chance in the next car plate bidding hosted by the LTA. 


Alternatives to car plate bidding 

If car plate bidding is something not for you, there are other ways to get the car plate number of your dreams. 

Your first option is to buy it from the open market. There are a lot of car plate dealers selling nice car plates or vanity plates at competitive prices. 

However, it is important to check the credibility of the sellers to avoid being scammed. To avoid that, you can research the sellers and read their customers’ reviews

Make sure that the car plate number is in the sellers or car dealer account. Most importantly, payment should only be made to the seller and not in third partly name. If possible, request the car plate number to be transferred to your name first before making the payment. You might want to consider asking for a 50% payment and pay off the rest after full transfer of the car plate number. 

Transferring of a car plate number via onemotoring portal will only take about 20-30 minutes at most and you can use the car plate immediately once the car plate number is transferred to your name. 

We have a wide selection of great car plates and are one of the trusted car plate dealers in Singapore. 

If you are lucky enough, sometimes the used car you purchased comes with the plate you like.  Some car dealers sell cars with nice number plates. In this case, you can buy the car along with the plate to make it yours.


Don’t be overwhelmed by car plate bidding

If you want a car plate that reflects you or your personality, car plate bidding is one of the solutions! The process of submitting a bid can be smooth as long as you already know the process, the requirements, and the schedule.

Moreover, it is important to take time to research to come up with a suitable bid amount. That way, you can increase your chance of making a successful bid without overpaying.

If you do not have the time to wait for a new number series to be released by LTA for bidding or do not want the uncertainty of over paying / bidding for a car plate, then buying a plate from the open market, either dealer or individual might work for you. Because the price and transferring of the car plate number are agreed willingly between the buyer and seller!

Happy VRN ( vehicle registration number ) shopping!