Author Topic: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers  (Read 1742 times)

Online RichardL

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UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« on: 09.12. 2007 00:28 »
I was just looking at a website for "Classic British Bikes" where they were selling UK vehicle registration numbers for thousands of GBP. Most of these numbers did not appear to have any clever significance. Can someone explain to me why they would be worth so much money? Here is an example The only reason I can think of for someone to pay more than $15K (7,500 GBP) is to prove they are the craziest person on earth.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/EMA-881-REGISTRATION-NUMBER_W0QQitemZ300178908949QQihZ020QQcategoryZ421QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Online groily

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #1 on: 09.12. 2007 10:10 »
Hi Manosound, Tis true that there lurketh in the UK many 'craziest people on earth' who feel the need to advertise their presence by sticking 'personal' plates on their vehicles. The 'good' numbers went long ago, in the main, but there are gazillions that are passably individual. Were you (which you're not and I'm not and I'm sure 99% of bike riders aren't either) an illiterate with equally illiterate eye-candy to appease, a plate with EMA could be seen as valuable (assuming said eye candy is called Emma). To you or me and to pretty well all motorcyclists it is a load of the proverbial. It's also a bad idea in practical terms - who wants the world to know who/where they are and what they're up to . . .?
When I bought my A10 earlier this year, from an English source, the original 1959 plate was regarded as worth something . . . I offered to let the vendor retain it provided he put another plate on it - legally - as I couldn't benefit from its original one here in France. I jokingly said that if the plate was worth what was stated, I'd let him keep it and he could give me the bike! Sadly, the values floated around are often not realised and it came to me with its original number, now lost to the UK government following surrender and return from the powers that be here.
In the USA, as I recall, in some states anyway, one can ask for anything non-obscene etc provided it has not been taken already . . . In France you basically get what the Prefecture gives you. I've never met a Frenchman who gave a darn for his licence plate. Far more interested in his food wine and sex life.
Now, having offended every forum reader who would love to flaunt the UK plate BAL 4S or DER 3K - yes those are the sorts of things that go for real money - I shall retreat into the barn to see what can be done with the rest of this appalling wet and windy European day . . . Groily
Bill

Online RichardL

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #2 on: 09.12. 2007 14:04 »
Groily,

Thanks for the very amusing read and interesting answer. As I had feared, it is an extreme case of people with "more dollars than sense." The part that I find disturbing is that the numbers can be owned by third-party individuals or businesses for sale on the open market. It would seem to me that once out of use, the numbers should revert back to the governing agency. To my knowledge this is the case in all U.S. states (at least, I've never seen any for sale privately). It reminds me of those individuals, whom I envy, who had the foresight to purchase big name web addresses in the early days of the internet and sell them off for an easy retirement. At least that scheme seems to have a more legitimate entrepreneurial raison d'etre (with apologies for delving where I probabaly should not go - the French language).

Richard
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Offline a10gf

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #3 on: 09.12. 2007 14:47 »
The ebay EMA 881 for 7500£, maybe trying to exctract money from some rich guy who happen to have a name like Lord E. M. Aristocrat III, born in the year 881? No wonder there are no bids so far.  *smile*

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Online groily

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #4 on: 09.12. 2007 16:55 »
Well Richard I guess the vehicle title agencies in the USA (and France for that matter) haven't been semi-privatised, like the said UK agency, which since not so long ago has been able to offer for sale all sorts of rubbish for quite a lot of money to try to help self-fund. It doesn't seek the sort of silly money the specialist UK number plate selling companies (yes, there are loads of them) ask, but it's no way to run a railway.
Shouldn't have said that, of course, 'cos they can't run one of those either.
 
Anyway, it all just goes to show the lengths people will go to to satisfy their vanity - and how vain some people are. IMHO there is only one good reason for buying a particular number, and that's where it becomes possible to reunite a vehicle with its original plate, if it has lost it along the way. How could that happen, you might innocently ask? But, oh, it happens quite easily in the UK, because the powers-that-be have taken it into their heads to interfere serially in private property rights in ways which would make you guys tip more tea in the harbour and a Frenchman wonder how the loonies were granted control of the asylum.
 
I must not presume upon our long-suffering moderator's goodwill, so with great difficulty I'll restrain myself from developing the theme any further! Suffice to say, probably the best overall regime (despite a couple of downsides) for keeping old vehicles on the road this side of the pond (that's evaporated, shifted and soaked me all week) is the French one, which is one of the principal reasons I live here and like it. Groily
Bill

Offline LJ.

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #5 on: 09.12. 2007 17:13 »

Quote
I must not presume upon our long-suffering moderator's goodwill,

It seems that with such a good membership here, No moderating is needed!

Quote
I thought our "long suffering moderator" is in Norway

That's the overall govener, I'm just left to do the dirty work.... If any should come along!  *smile*

Quite honestly guys, I think Erling has got the forum well set up, we don't see no smutty stuff here or spam as such, not like on some of the other forums.
Ride Safely Lads! LJ.
**********************
1940 BSA M20 500cc Girder/Rigid- (SOLD)
1947 BSA M21 600cc Girder/Rigid-Green
1949 BSA A7   500cc Girder/Plunger Star Twin-(SOLD)
1953 BSA B33  500cc Teles/Plunger-Maroon
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Blue
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Red

Online groily

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #6 on: 09.12. 2007 17:26 »
 . . . which is why it's such a great forum. As well as not having people who think it's their private fiefdom, who only get up of a morning to criticise people who dare to ask a simple question, who haven't owned their bike for 125 years, who didn't have a job at the factory in 1923 or who haven't got a PhD in widgeteering! Oh yes, they're out there, but not here thank god. Groily
Bill

Offline Beezageezauk

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #7 on: 09.12. 2007 17:37 »
I've always thought that the UK registration number set-up was weird because of the fact that the Ministry of Transport issues a registration number to a new vehicle and that number is supposed to be handed back to the ministry when the vehicle is scrapped.  Therefore the number doesn't actually belong to the owner of the vehicle.  OK...If the number doesn't belong to the owner of the vehicle...what right does he or she have to sell it??  Somehow this fact has gone unnoticed in the buying and selling game!!
Since about 1963, we in the UK have been able to tell the year of registration of a vehicle because of the coded registration number.  It was all to do with the single letter either at the beginning A123 XYZ(1963-1982ish) or at the end ABC 123A(1982ish-2000).  After 2000 a new coding system is in use with two numbers in the middle showing the year of registration.  For example YB03XYZ would be a 2003 model.  Before 1963 we couldn't tell the age of the vehicle.  
Some folk use the older registrations to disguise the age of their new car.  If a particular model, for example, has a 6 year run, the neighbours don't realise how old it was so it doesn't appear to get any older.  Yeah, we would all like to look younger wouldn't we??  Other folk use these registration numbers because in some way they might spell out the owner's name or initials.  Whichever way it is it's vanity that causes it.
I was told a number of years ago (when I noticed a lot of coaches with "Personalised Registrations") that a British coach above a certain age was not allowed to do Continental Tours.  OK, stick a Personalised Number on it and the authorities didn't know what year it was made.  It's different now with the advent of the computer.
The rules are that you can put an older number on a more modern vehicle but you can't put a modern number on an older vehicle.  This is to prevent a vehicle from appearing to be younger than it really is.
Now then, when I was at the Norwegian BSA Summercamp in 2006 I noticed many BSA's there with "Personalised" registrations.  Something like 1970 A65 or 69 R3. I can't remember the exact format but it appeared to me that the registrations were available for the asking.  Maybe our Norwegian members can tell us how it works in their country?
Beezageezauk.

Offline a10gf

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #8 on: 09.12. 2007 18:16 »
The Norway system, for a more than 30 years old vehicle, one can order any newmade original-looking plate one wants, subject to availability, made with the old system of letter\number combination, with the old design and material. For ex, initials + year of birth or year of manufacture of the bike\car is popular. So no plate trading nor any value here. Strange how much difference between countries, dealing with the same matter.

Insurance is something like 1\10 of normal. There is no yearly vehicle tax or subsequent techical controls. Registration\paperwork is free, except a small sum if it's a new import (vat still applies on import value). The initial technical control for imports is very forgiving, just that most stuff works passably. There is (strangely enough) a very positive attitude from the authorities, otherwise most areas are very restricted or vastly overexpensive. 

and thanks for the forum comments. ps, Groily's comments above are very good.

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Re: UK Vehicle Registration Numbers
« Reply #9 on: 09.12. 2007 19:58 »
I have several machines with valuable plates, now here is the problem when it comes time to sell do you sell bike with plate or do you sell plate then bike, I personally like to see bikes with original reg no,s as these are now becoming far & few between.But I could sell then the buyer strips bike of plate. I can,t really see the point in personal  reg no,s as you cant see them yourself when you drive /ride.I think I,ll retain my reg no,s on a retension document then when bike is sold I,ll sell reg no to fund my motorcycle habit or help repair other machines I have. Life would be a lot easier if all reg no,s were non transferable.Dave....