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Number plates

Number plate rental scheme
 
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This may only apply in the UK, not US, not sure. Here we have companies which advertise huge lists of vanity plates with prices ranging from £300 to £50,000 or more. Now using the model of stock borrow/lending from the financial world, these companies could lend the expensive plates out for a fee. Since a car owner actually has to own the plate, a reversionary contract of some sort would be needed.

So rather than pay £10k for BOB 52 I would rent it for £450 / annum thus making the owner a respectable 4.5% yield, much akin to stock borrow/lend yields. Low risk for them, they can always get their asset back (so long as the contract is tight enough) and they earn money on something which otherwise may be sitting arround unsold.

Bobble, Mar 05 2004

Rhode Island Vanity Plates http://www.dmv.state.ri.us/vanity/
Options include a Mr. Potato Head design, which is what you get for living in Rhode Island. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004]

Number Plate Trader http://www.numberpl...er.com.au/start.htm
Buy and Sell Number Plates throughout Aus and NZ [reap, Oct 04 2004]

One you can buy http://news.bbc.co....d/essex/3544773.stm
F1 - they're expecting a hundred grand for it. [Gordon Comstock, Oct 04 2004]

http://www.dvla.gov...ehicles/cherish.htm Here is your administration model! [mikeyg, Dec 07 2005]

[link]






       Would the government go for this?
yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 05 2004
  

       I cant see its any of their business. The rental would actually be a contract based sale and re-purchase.
Bobble, Mar 05 2004
  

       In the US, the selling of vanity plates resides with the licensing agency. If you want to be BOBBL BOY (8 character maximum around here), you can, by paying just a tad extra at the DMV. Because it's so widely available, there isn't the kind of license plate market you have in the UK.
DrCurry, Mar 05 2004
  

       Yes - thought as much [DC]. Its also changing a bit in UK, but the market for old style plates is still holdin up well. A1 is apparently worth £250k.
Bobble, Mar 05 2004
  

       FYI: In some states in the US, liquor licenses (which are state controlled, not federal) are bought and sold in a similar way. This is because only a fixed number of them are issued, so a new bar ("pub" for the non-colonial cousins among us) must acquire one from an existing bar.   

       I've heard of similar arrangements being done -- usually as a financed sale with a first right of refusal for repurchase going back to the seller if the new bar goes under   

       Granted, your rental plan is different in that a rental would never get "payed off".
zigness, Mar 05 2004
  

       Maybe so, but see link.
DrCurry, Mar 05 2004
  

       Interesting. Especially good for you if your issuer keeps central registration but lets you close your own transactions.
dpsyplc, Mar 05 2004
  

       Not sure what to think of the idea. Certainly, it's marketable, Bobble. Not much unlike buying up domain names or tickets to events or, as you said, the stock market and selling them off at a higher yield.   

       I do have a pet peeve about this model, though:   

       In Canada and maybe also in the US, this model somewaht resembles what we call "scalping" -- no, not the hair kind! Here, the are folks run out and buy blocks of tickets for major events/concerts/sports and then hang out in front of the event trying to sell them at a profit. It has actually become a problem in Toronto; there is a push to make scalping illegal. Hard to make illegal something that so closely resembles the activity on the stock market.   

       It's laughable to see these scalpers, 5 and 10 minutes into the game, still outside trying to sell their tickets (these are sometimes amongst the best seats at the venue, don't get me wrong!) to an uninterested crowd of passersby at a DEEP discount. I'd enjoy watching that enterprising person -- who blocks me from getting the tickets from the proper ticketing authorities in order to re-sell it to my at a higher than face value cost -- get stuck with that purchase rather than let them reap the benefits of a (I was hoping not to say this) half. baked. idea.
NeMo, Mar 06 2004
  

       This isnt like scalping, or ticket touting as we call it in the UK. These licence plates have all been issued already to someone. In the UK we can't decide what our number plate is, we just get it allocated. If its a good one, then its got a value and can be sold on. This at least was the situation until a couple of years ago when the government decided to get in on the act. Now they sell some of the good ones themselves. But they all have to fit within the format of a valid plate. I.e. at present our number plates are aaNN xxx where aa=area code, NN = year designator, xxx=any 3 alpha.   

       An analogy would be a used car salesman.   

       NB.Stock borrow lending is not ticket touting either. Most pension firms are sitting on billions of stock for the long term. In order to increase their returns, they lend stock to other firms which have sold short and need to deliver up. The stock must be delivered back to the pension firm on an agreed date. So the pension firm keeps hold of the stock, but also manages to make a return while doing so.
Bobble, Mar 08 2004
  

       Wow... I'm amazed to discover that people assign a huge monetary value to something as assinine as license plate numbers.
waugsqueke, Mar 08 2004
  

       What happens when the original company gets a sale, but the number plate is already rented out?
Ling, Mar 08 2004
  

       // A1 is apparently worth £250k //   

       Truthfully, it's worth whatever someone is prepared to pay, and if someone is prepared to pay £250k for a car registration plate, then they are bigger, richer mugs than I.   

       The trouble with your scheme [bobble] is that number plates must be registered with the authorities (in the UK its the DVLA) so that the car can be identified. Renting number plates would mean that the turnover of plates on cars would be significantly higher than current levels. That additional cost would not be picked up by either party involved in the transaction, but would have to be faced by the DVLA - or the Government (you and me) to put it another way. I'm not sure I want to pay for this kind of oneupmanship.   

       Further, with a contract from a solicitor, this scheme could be instigated immediately. Nothing stopping it.
jonthegeologist, Mar 08 2004
  

       I'm gonna have to check if I can still get mine - initals, birthday as in BTO3FEB.
gnomethang, Mar 08 2004
  

       Setting up security for the return of the plates would be difficult. In the UK a number plate can only be transferred from a vehicle that has a valid MOT. What would you do if, at the end of the rental period, the renter's car is a wreck and the MOT has expired?
Gordon Comstock, Mar 08 2004
  

       Some novocain jelly on the plates might help accomplish your goal.
bungston, Mar 08 2004
  

       Ummmm.... if it means so much to you, why not just put a sign or bumper sticker on the back of your car that says 'Bob 52'? Then you could have a more sophisticated sticker that says: "BOB THE CLEVER 1 THAT DIDN'T PAY EXTRA FOR THIS BUMPER STICKER".
telepathetic, Mar 08 2004
  

       It's big business in Australia too, especially among car collectors (plates like CHEV69 and FORD56 are worth a fortune [link]
Because the initial purchase is $200, they are also extremely popular with businesses, who get the company name to uniquely identify the business. (on the link, I found COKE01 for $10k)
A friend of a friend has CROWN1 and CROWN2 on his Toyota Crowns. Crown Casino (Melbourne) has offered $50k for each of them.
reap, Mar 09 2004
  

       A friend of my mother's collects number plates - he has the first one issued in WA ("1"), which is the pride of his vast collection.
Detly, Mar 09 2004
  

       // What happens when the original company gets a sale, but the number plate is already rented out? // This would depend on the contract. It could be a 1 month notice of return, perhaps.   

       //There's a market for them here, too. I'm unsure whether I'd give a rat's arse whether I had one or not. It seems like a lot of wank to me//   

       It may be wank, but thats not to deny it doesnt exist. Theres a market for these things, and this is an idea to increase the profitability of companies operating in this market, and to open up a whole new business sector.   

       //Renting number plates would mean that the turnover of plates on cars would be significantly higher than current levels. That additional cost would not be picked up by either party involved in the transaction, but would have to be faced by the DVLA//   

       In fact the government would probably be keen on this scheme, as they get the assignment fee each time a plate is transferred. The cost of the assignment fee would be picked up by the rentee, which is why its only feasible on high priced plates, otherwise the fee will become to high a proportion.   

       //A friend of my mother's collects number plates - he has the first one issued in WA ("1"), which is the pride of his vast collection// So your friend just has these sitting arround ? or are they actually on cars ? If they're not on cars, he seems an ideal candidate for this idea   

       //Setting up security for the return of the plates would be difficult. In the UK a number plate can only be transferred from a vehicle that has a valid MOT. What would you do if, at the end of the rental period, the renter's car is a wreck and the MOT has expired?//   

       Are you sure of this ?? My understanding is that this is not the case.   

       Generally the major problem with the idea is getting the contract tight enough to ensure title reverts to the original owner after the rental period. I don't believe this is an impossible hurdle to overcome
Bobble, Mar 09 2004
  

       //It's a display of wealth. //   

       Ah... that explains why it made no sense to me. Numbers here cost the same no matter what, acquired on a first-come first-get basis. So having "A1" just means you got there first.
waugsqueke, Mar 09 2004
  

       [Bobble]   

       //Are you sure of this ?? My understanding is that this is not the case.//   

       Er... sort of, but basically yes. The DVLA site does not have much useful info but a site that will buy your plate says:   

       Vehicles must be currently licensed, or in the process of being licensed. The application will still be considered, however, where the last License (tax disc) expired within six months of the date of application. Where you were the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time when the MOT was valid, you have up to six months from the expired date of the MOT provided your road tax is either valid at the time of transfer or expired naturally (i.e. was not refunded).
Gordon Comstock, Mar 11 2004
  

       Gordon i could be wrong but i believe you can be the registered owner of a number plate but not have it on a vehicle.   

       as for the number plate thing in the UK i have been told that one car company registered all its new vehicles in one county to get the company initials as the last 3 letters on the plate.
engineer1, Mar 11 2004
  

       [engineer1] is right again. You can own a number plate in the UK without it being attached to a car, but you must pay for it's continued registration and, if not eventually put on a vehicle, your ownership may lapse.
jonthegeologist, Mar 11 2004
  

       Fair enough. I bow to superior and more up-to-date knowledge. But I think there was a time when number plate dealers (as opposed to brokers) would have stacks of old mopeds (cheap and easy to MOT) with cherished numbers on.
Gordon Comstock, Mar 11 2004
  
      
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