Jumat, 12 Agustus 2011

Private Number Plates - A Worthy Investment?

Buying personalised number plates for investment is certainly not a new idea; some of the most in demand plates have been sold in recent years for eye-opening prices. The exclusive nature and appraised values of many private plates seemingly makes them a good choice for investment, right? Search EBay or some of the private plate specific sites on the internet and there is a direct correlation between profit and number plate sales, some of the closing prices on EBay for private plates are not only surprising, but for the potential investor, they may serve to validate the notion of investing in plates as being a very diverse and worthwhile investment. Time to log in to EBay and start making money! Well, the reality is always different than what is perceived - before you begin looking to buy number plates as a potential investment, there are some things to consider.

Aside from the usual questions that come up when considering an investment, you've really got to consider the facts. If you are looking to invest in private plates here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

How long will these be popular or sought after?

Will the value fluctuate wildly?

How long can you wait for your investment to appreciate?

How crowded is the market?

About private number plates: they're called private number plates for a reason; they are quite personal in nature and as such, a potential investor has to consider whether or not the plates they're buying with the eventual intention of selling are going to be desired by a buyer as a reflection of the buyers personal taste as opposed to merely being an object with value.

Certain types of plates will always hold some value. Plates that begin with the number 1 and plates that contain numbers in place of letters are always sought after. These types of plates are a more logical target of the investor who does not have an endless supply of money to go directly for the more costly, surefire investment worthy plates.

A number plate with a name that is affordable right now may become sought after in the future, an investor has absolutely no way of knowing whether somebody of fame or stature may come calling in the future for one of their investment number plates because it features their name on it. Granted, the odds are a scenario like that is fairly unlikely to occur, but the likelihood of someone buying it from you as a gift (wedding, anniversary, birthday, etc.) for someone else is far more common. Again, as with many an investment, there is always some risk involved and no guarantee that the return on the initial investment will yield a significant gain.

There is no limit to how many plates you could potentially buy and it is also not a requirement that they be registered to vehicles, you can retain the plates indefinitely by using retention certificates. Note that these retention certificates must be extended annually.

All of this is dependent on how informed you are about number plates and how your grasp is of the market in terms of demand. There really is no way to circumvent the required knowledge - if you're already an enthusiast, then you'd be taking your enthusiasm one step further, a logical extension of your interest in the hobby. If you are approaching private plate investment and sales as nothing more than another commodity for your portfolio, you'll want to align yourself with a reputable private plate company before spending any money. There are some companies who will attend plate auctions on your behalf, but this leans more towards the intent of saving the already informed buyer time rather than educating the uninitiated buyer about private plates. Some firms will be happy to advise you of trends and fluctuating values - this is the kind of company the potential investor should be seeking to align him or herself with.

If you're serious about investing in private plates, contact your nearest private number plate company and speak to somebody about investing. You can discuss your intentions, budget and level of knowledge with an authorized agent to determine if it's worth pursuing - the return on investment could be significant if you're patient.

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