Name your number plate without going broke

7 July 2020

 

Whether it’s a nickname, code name or a word that inspires you, if you choose what’s on your number plate it can cost a lot.

Also dubbed ‘vanity licence plates’, these customised Mzansi registration plates are a public statement priced between R1,450 and R150,000 depending on the province you are buying in and other factors.

Crazy price range*

That’s right, there’s no standard price in the country. Prices vary between provinces and even within some provinces.

Less costs more

Minimalism is hipper than manicured man hair in the provinces of the Western Cape and Gauteng.

That’s because “the less you want on your plate,” Business Insider warns, “the more you are going to pay”. Let’s find out which personalised number plate (PNP) is the priciest (and which is the cheapest)…

 

In first place for crazy expensive PNPs by province, the Western Cape.

The province that hosts our legislative capital is the winner of this dubious award.

Its CAA type plates are top of the range in terms of price. Single digit CAA plates cost up to R150,000, e.g. 1 – CAA. You can get double digit, triple digit, or up to 5 digits. The more digits there are, the less you pay.

WP variations are cheaper, but not by much. Single alpha or numeric character sell for R100,000, e.g. 1 – WP. Double characters will set you back R8,500, e.g. YO-WP. From there, they get cheaper the more digits you have, closing at R3,000 for between 4 and 7 characters, e.g. DOTSURE – WP.

 

In second place for stunningly expensive PNPs by province is Gauteng.

The province that is home to our administrative capital of Pretoria (or PTA 😉) charges much less for its low-character plates. Three characters retail at R5,950 and prices descend from there as characters increase, with 4 – 7 of them priced at R3,450.

 

In third place for pricey PNPs by province, and descending order, #AllOtherProvinces.

They charge a flat rate per PNP, namely R4,850 in the Eastern Cape, R4,700 in Mpumalanga, R3,500 in KwaZulu-Natal, R3,200 in Limpopo, R3,000 in the Free State, R2,800 is North West, and R2,530 in the Northern Cape.

The cheapest, however, is not a PNP from the Northern Cape province, it’s one from Gauteng. Mekaish calls it a “SRN 3” and explains it as 3 numeric and 3 alpha characters (or vice versa) e.g. LUV247– GP or 365JOY – GP.

 

Cash-strapped but want an unusual reg plate? Buy used.

Unique number plates can’t be replicated but they aren’t in use for eternity. You can take over someone else’s old number auctions and online marketplaces like Gumtree under “Used Antiques & Collectables”.

 

If PNPs are also auctioned, surely prices for plates can be sky-high?

Yes they can, because it’s all about demand and supply and the highest bid wins. The most expensive customised registration plates were not even new when they sold as a set. Wheels24 reported that single-digit Gauteng Province plates sold at an auction for a whopping R1,89 million in 2016, making the plates 1-GP through 8-GP the leaders in outlandish prices for registration plates.

 

What’s in a name? Even more expense, sometimes…

Take care, because your PNP nickname may do more than announce you to other people.

The Verge reports that Joseph Tataro put “Null” on his front and rear USA plates in 2018, and soon received over R200,000 worth of traffic fines he wasn’t responsible for. Woah!

That’s because programming language recognises the letters forming the word “null” as an indiscernible value (like “void”). So “whenever any traffic cop didn’t enter a license number when writing a ticket,” Jon Porter explains on the popular tech news site, “it would automatically get assigned to Tartaro” in the digital system.

Not the administrative nightmare you need. No matter which letters and numbers you choose, what you might need is our Road Protect benefit which will resolve your traffic fines and organise and deliver vehicle licence renewals for you**. That’s an added insurance benefit dotsure.co.za car insurance policyholders have access to.

 

Final tip: don’t let it get swiped

Got a PNP? Here’s how to keep it. Attaching it with security screws can reduce the risk of thieves walking away with one of the most expensive name tags you’ll ever own. It can also help you avoid other problems related to this rare form of property because, “as far as the law is concerned,” Insight Security warns, “your car registration number ‘is you’…” so if your number plate is used to commit a further crime, you’ll have to prove that it was not you.

Do you dream of tailored motor insurance to go with that personalised number plate? You can Name You Price™ when you cover your vehicle with dotsure.co.za. Get a dotsure.co.za car insurance quote online today. Don’t delay!

MORE
If you’re into number plate trivia, click here.

 

*All prices are quoted from Mekaish.com.
**T&Cs apply and are obtainable by emailing u2us@dotsure.co.za.

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