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An investment with wheels?

Car, investment with wheels, retirement, investing, number plate

The most expensive number plate ever sold in Australia recently went for nearly $2.5 million, so it could be time for investors to consider this alternative asset.

NSW number plate '4' sold to sex toy magnate Peter Tseng in August last year for $2.45 million, and Numberplates.com.au recently sold NSW number plate ‘1’. The sale price has not been made public, but director Steven Hantos said the vendor was satisfied with the price after predicting it would go for even more than NSW ‘4’. 

This plate dates back to around 1910 when it was issued to penny-farthing dealers, Bennett and Wood.

“The market for number plates has taken off over the last two decades, with NSW and Victorian plates highly sought after. The lower the number, the more desirable and valuable the number plate,” Mr Hantos said.

“Some plates take decades, if not longer, to change hands and are often passed from generation to generation. This makes their worth even greater.”

He said investors are generally car lovers on the look-out for plates to suit their own personalities and vehicles.

“However, the ones with serious price tags are usually held by investors looking to increase their portfolio with a one-of-a-kind purchase or superannuation funds looking for good returns with value growing around 20 per cent year on year,” Mr Hantos said.

NSW ‘6’ sold for $895,000 in 2008, beating NSW ‘2’ and its 2003 sale price of $683,000.

The highest public sale in Victoria was for ‘21’, which went for $536,000 in 2016.

“Heritage number plates were issued in the early 1900s. In 1937 (NSW) and 1939 (Victoria) those plates were discontinued and handed back over the years to the government,” Mr Hantos said.

“This stockpile of historic numberplates is now slowly being drip-fed back onto the market since 1983, keeping the value of those in circulation high.

“Many consider them to be artwork as they are manufactured in heavy vitreous enamel; furthermore, buying number plates can be considered as speculative as investing in artwork.”

An investment with wheels?
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