Sitting in traffic the other day, in a car, which is unusual for me I see the car in front has a vanity plate. Not too uncommon in the US and not too expensive either (around $30-40), and the unique thing on North America plates is you can choose almost what ever you want, unless someone else has it or its not offensive.
The rest of the world maybe its not so easy, but vain all the same, and in some countries it is very, very expensive.
In the Emirates for example
How much would you pay for a license plate that had '1' on it?
a businessman named Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri was willing to pay 52.2 dirham -- the equivalent of $14.3 million -- for the local license plate labeled "1" at an auction at the 7-star Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, making it the world's most expensive license plate.
...and that was in 2008
There is a great sales pitch though from the Auction house that sells the plates
Our job at Emirates Auction is to make an expensive car without a prestigious license plate worth nothing,
Al Mannaie said vanity plates are good business -- an investment with more than a 20 percent annual return. Meanwhile, they're a status symbol on wheels.
"The value of the plate will increase while the value of the car will decrease," al Mannaie said. "So overall there will be zero percent depreciation."
Before you read into this it's just rich arabs flauting their wealth, well yes it is, but its also for charity!
The auctions take place monthly, organized by Al Mannaie's company on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Police Department. The past five auctions raised $56 million across 393 plates, with all proceeds going to charity. Money from today's record sell will go to victims of road accidents.
So here's the question...if you were extremely wealthy would you prefer a licencse plate that said '1' or would you prefer the American style where you get to choose what it says...and what would your plate say?
If you happen to be in the market for some foriegn investing there is a number plate currently up for auction - '16' current bidding shows it at $53,000