South African appraiser and auction house Stephan Welz & Co says it will auction off some of the country’s most expensive number plates at an event in Johannesburg, later this month.
The plates up for auction include the rarest and unique 8 single digit Gauteng number plates out of a possible 78 billion combinations of which have achieved high selling prices globally, the auction house said.
Stephan Welz & Co noted that the personalised number plate market in South Africa is still in its infancy.
However, since 2000 as many as 500,000 personalised number plates have been sold with the Department of Transport generating in excess of R500 million in revenue.
According to Stephan Welz & Co, 1 – GP to 8 – GP is available with 9 – GP already purchased by Joost van der Westhuizen (his rugby jersey number).
“The price of SA’s most valuable plate (1- GP) is expected to fetch well over the R1 million mark with SA’s top business elite, royalty, investors and even government officials vying for one of these prize possessions,” the auction house said.
Stephan Welz & Co pointed to remarkable uptick in personalised number plates going on auction globally, including a businessman from India, Balwinder Sahani, who paid R125 million (33 million dirhams) for the Dubai number plate ‘D5’.
In the United Kingdom, the number plate K1NGS sold for £231 000 and RR1 sold for £75,000.
On the first public auction of number plates in Dubai, the number plate ‘2’ sold for an equivalent of R2.73 million and the number plate ‘6’ sold for R1.78 million and ’11’ for R1.85 million, the auctioneer said.
In 1989 in New Zealand, the single character number plate ‘1’ sold at the first auction of its kind for $34 100 (NZ). In 1991 it was resold for $111,375 (NZ) and in 1995 it was resold again for a staggering $630 000 (NZ).
The world record price for a number plate sale was set in 1994 in Hong Kong with the sale of the number plate ‘8’ for $1 million (US).
The No. 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese, and other Asian cultures.