Cherished number plates have also made it onto the screen

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Cherished number plates or private number plates have finally made their way out of 1980s yuppiedom into the realm of the modern world. Now, with the burgeoning trend for all things personalised, they are now more popular than ever before and with prices beginning as low as £80.00, they are now not only the preserve of the rich and famous; instead they are now available to a wider audience than ever before.
Since the introduction of various new prefix and suffix styles by the DVLA, it became apparent that certain letters and numbers could be arranged to form words. The popularity of private number plates soared until 1975 when the licence was revoked, meaning the end of personalised number plates. At the time, number plate dealers were being led by entrepreneurs, meaning that in effect the DVLA had wiped out the market.
Since then, there had been a return in people wishing to use personalised number plates for their vehicles, and whether you see them as eighties throwbacks or just another form of expression for the new millennium, there is little doubt that private number plates make a statement.
It once was the case that cherished number plates were strictly reserved for those who had enough money to own them. Among the earliest release plates is the A1 plate, owned by Queen Elizabeth II. Singer Englebert Humperdinck had another early release plate, EH 1, made for his Rolls Royce Corniche, until his wife later asked for another plate to be made for his other car which displayed his date of birth (The 2nd of May) -25- and the initials of his name, AGD –Arnold George Dorsey. Other famous fans of personalised number plates include the boxer Amir Khan (BOX IING), and Paul Daniels (MAG IC).
Cherished number plates have also made it onto the screen. David Hasselhoff’s KNIGHT number plate from the hit TV series “Knightrider” is one example, while Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly’s time travelling DeLorean famously bore the number plate OUTATIME in “Back to the Future”. In “Batman”, the Batmobile had the number plate “BAT1”, while in “Ghostbusters” the converted hearse used by the Ghostbusters themselves to reach eerie emergencies had the number plate ECTO 1.
It seems then, that number plates such as these are not only a way of making a statement, but they also create a message, whether it is ambiguous or not. Now more widely available than ever, some of the more desirable number plates have been regarded as investment items, and are being bought largely for this reason. The general rule is, the rarer the number plate is, the more desirable it is, therefore the more it will be worth, making number plates much more than just something to put on a car.

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