Motorists wanting to add some cachet to their driving experience chose personalised registrations
They won’t get you from A to B any quicker, and will probably earn a sneer from fellow drivers, but what do “Betsy”, “Paul” and “Roy” care?
For thousands of car drivers personalised number plates are a prize possession; a statement of individuality in a world of faceless conformity, and a neat investment.
Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis (1 DLT) is a big fan. He bought the licence plate 35 years ago and hasn’t regretted it for a moment.
“It’s not flash. All the time I’ve had that number I’ve always thought ‘that’s fun’. I’m not that kind of flash person.”
The plate currently adorns his new Bentley, but at times “it’s been a toss up whether it or the car has been more valuable” says the ex DJ.
And while Travis has no problem advertising his whereabouts in such a way “I’m of the old school” it has at times caused him inconvenience. The number plate was pinched by a fan some years back, reducing Travis to scrawl “1 DLT” on a piece of paper.
Such criminal intent could hardly have been conceived when first ever number plate, A1, was issued in 1903. Earl Russell is said to have camped outside the vehicle registration office to get the prestigious plate.
And buying a personalised registration can be a financially shrewd move. According to one industry tale, a haulage company had a fleet of lorries that all had personalised number plates with the company’s name in them. The plates ended up being worth far more than the actual business!