When someone buys a car, he or she associates the buy with an emotional high. A personal vehicle, after all, is a prized asset of the owner. If the owner has a family, then the entire family revels in the experience of purchasing the vehicle and shares the memories with the new owner.

Many people go beyond the buying experience of securing their favorite vehicle. It may be a retro car, a family SUV, a sports bike, a classy sedan, or even a utility vehicle. Each vehicle will be uniquely customized exactly as the owner wants it. It may be a powerful music system, enhanced security features, a unique color scheme, or even a private number plate. Owners want their automobile to reflect their personality. That is why they will continue to modify and enhance the looks and performance of their vehicle. In many cases they will include a private number plate and they are always looking for the next customization regardless of the cost.

Going for a personalized number plate for your vehicle is an investment for the future with an initial cost. These personalized registration plates are unique and using both letter and number combinations can allow the creation of names whilst staying within the licensing rules and regulations. Wealthy people tend to go for classy dateless number plates, generally sold in auctions and at very high prices.

For an average person who cannot afford an exclusive plate, it is possible to buy a number plate from DVLA, choosing a unique combination of alphabets and numbers at an affordable price. Buyers can assign these private number plates to any kind of vehicle they own, providing they don’t make the vehicle appear younger than it is. The trend in cherished number plates became popular when people with an exclusive taste first bought personalized number plates for exclusive cars like Rolls Royce Limos, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentley’s and Mercedes Benz Limos. This started the trend in personalized number plates and similar but lower cost variants of these cherished numbers can now be seen displayed on the fronts of affordable cars and bikes.

Registration Types

Dateless registrations: These tend to be the most expensive style of registrations which were first issued to road going vehicles from 1903 in the UK. They don’t carry an age limit and can be assigned to any age of vehicle. These alphanumeric private number plates exclude the letters ‘I,’ ‘Q,’ and ‘Z.’ It is worth noting that the numbers in these plates can start with every number except ‘0’. The letter ‘O’ quite often is used to appear as the number ‘0’ to achieve the desired effect.

Suffix registrations are registrations that have an age identifier in the form of a letter placed at the end of the string of letters and numbers. They always contain 3 letters at the start of the sequence with a group of numbers between 1 and 999, further followed by a single letter that identifies the vehicle’s age. These registrations exclude the use of letters ‘I,’ ‘Q’ or ‘Z’ and they do not use ‘O’ or ‘U’ as age identifiers.

The psychological attribute

Studies carried out by psychologists show that a personalized registration number plate will typically provide insights about the personality of their owner. If the design of the number plate is flashy or controversial in some way, it is likely to tell us that the driver has an aggressive personality and that they are likely to be an extrovert. Many of these people accessorize their cars in a way that makes them feel like they own the roads and that they are not to be challenged on the road in any way.

Some studies have claimed that some people put ‘soft’ meanings to their private number plates, intended to make other drivers on the road more tolerant of them.

Researchers also believe that motorists customize their vehicles to ‘identify their territory’. They are looking to signal to other road users how important they are and how they should be treated on the roads.

It has been found that drivers either love a vehicle with a private number plate or they hate vehicles with a private number plate. There are very few people that don’t have an opinion about private number plates on road going vehicles.

The cost of a very basic personalized number plate with 3 numbers is around $300. If someone wants to go for something with fewer numbers the price increases to around $400-$500. Every day approximately 250,000 car owners apply for a custom number plate at different government agencies across the world.

Opinions about Private number plates

To understand the views of the public some websites and apps have been developed to conduct polls and to gather road user’s views and attitudes towards personalized number plates. Turning to the results of those polls, it becomes apparent that road users without private number plates’ dislike many of the traits they associate with those people that own a private number plate.

Traits that tend to be attributed to the owners of cherished number plates include; an attitude of privilege, self vanity and image consciousness, arrogance and egotistical.

Despite many of the views held by members of the public regarding the nature of car drivers with a personalized number plate, many of the transport related agencies have more realistic views. The Royal Automobile Club Foundation, suggest that motorists that display cherished private number plates are more likely to be considerate of other road users. However, driver anger experts assert that drivers that are more territorial in nature are more likely to adorn their vehicles with number plate personalization.