2023’s Most Expensive Number Plates

A private registration plate is one of the flashiest ways to customise your car, giving you the eye-catching ability to show off your name, an interest or hobby, or just have the bragging rights to a vanity plate (Like ‘X 1’, which set one buyer back over £500,000 in 2012) 🤩

March has seen the release of the 23 registration plate, which will feature on all brand new models. With that comes a new list of available plates as well as a new list of banned plates, so we thought it’d be a good time to check in on currently available plates.

Below you’ll find the most expensive plates available today according to TopReg, as well as some pop-culture inspired suggestions from us! And for anyone wanting to show their love of vertical video on their new vehicle, we’re delighted to share that ‘TK23 TOK’ is available for a very modest £315.

What are the DVLA requirements for number plates?  ✅

To comply with DVLA requirements, number plates in the UK must correctly and clearly display your vehicle’s registration number - you can be fined up to £1,000 for breaching the requirements, and any vehicle that isn’t compliant with licence plate standards will fail an MOT.

The current format was introduced in 2001, and consists of two letters referring to the region your vehicle was first registered, two numbers which detail when the car was registered, and three letters chosen at random.

Private number plates can deviate from these specifications, but must still meet the standards for formatting, which changed in 2022.

Whether you opt for a private plate or not, the number plate on your vehicle must: be made from a reflective material, display black characters on a white background for the front plate and a yellow background for the rear plate, not have any background pattern, be marked to show who supplied the number plate, and be marked with a British Standard number.

If you have a zero-emission vehicle you can also opt to display a green flash on the side of the plates  🌳

The most expensive plates available in 2023

Using data from TopReg, we’ve found the most expensive private plates currently available on the market - the most expensive of which will set a buyer back over 10 million pounds! The top 10 most expensive private plates not currently registered to an owner are:

  1. F1 TPR - £10,077,800
  2. C4 BOH - £5,730,600
  3. W1 HOM - £561,790
  4. K121 SNA - £332,500
  5. M1 AMG - £294,100
  6. D7 OHA - £282,500
  7. J4MES - £282,500
  8. K4 AHN - £259,290
  9. L1 NAV - £259,290
  10. Y4 TES - £259,286

If you can spare £10m for that F1 TPR plate, we think it’d make a fairly sweet gift for the Drive to Survive fan in your life. Formula 1 fans coveting a more apt plate to show their F1 fandom are out of luck - the plate ‘F 1’ was purchased back in 2008 for £440,000, and its owner has since declined buyers’ offerings of £6m and £10m.

And if you or a loved one happen to be named James, the ‘J4MES’ plate is only going to cost you about as much as an average house 🏡

Pop culture inspired number plates

Stuck for private plate inspiration? We’ve found some private plates inspired by some of the most popular TV shows for UK viewers according to FlixPatrol, which ranks the content on streaming services by its popularity.  


Stranger Things 

Stranger Things season 4 was the biggest series to launch on Netflix in 2022 according to FlixPatrol’s metrics, and chances are the opening notes of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ now remind people just as much of Summer 2022 as Summer 1985 when the song was originally released.

The show’s final season is expected in 2024, and the perfect private plate for fans of the show is still available - for a cool £9,650, one lucky driver could have a plate reading ‘E13 VEN’. We can’t believe Millie Bobby Brown hasn’t snapped this up herself, being an explicit reference to her character in the show, Eleven.


The Last of Us

Since Season 1 of HBO’s The Last of Us series aired its emotional finale, the full season has become available on Amazon and iTunes, where FlixPatrol reports it breaking into the top 10 on both platforms - and straight in at number one on iTunes.

For those looking to display their love of the series, or the acclaimed video game it’s based on, on their car, the plate ‘J20 OEL’ is available, referencing everyone’s favourite post-apocalyptic dad. Or maybe your name is just Joel - either way, this plate will set you back £3,700.


The Mandalorian 

Pedro Pascal’s 2023 dominance continued from his role as a protective father figure in the Last of Us to a protective father figure - in space - for the Mandalorian’s third season on Disney+. The show is surging up the charts since its third season started airing this March, currently sitting in third place on FlixPatrol’s list of the most popular series on the streaming service. 

Of course, the real pull of the Mandalorian is the character’s adopted child, Grogu, who has become a modern icon of the Star Wars franchise. While he’s too small to see over the steering wheel of a car, you may want to adorn yours with something in homage to the little green guy - the plate ‘G5 OGU’ is available for just £165, making it the bargain on this list.


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power 

Amazon’s big budget prequel series for The Lord of the Rings hit screens last year, blowing viewers away with its gorgeous depiction of Middle Earth. The show is expected to grace our screens once more in 2024 with Season 2, and whether it was J. R. R. Tolkien’s books, Peter Jackson’s films, or the Amazon Prime series that got you hooked on high fantasy, fans can pay homage to Middle Earth’s most iconic settings with their number plate.

Whether you’d opt to reference Mordor - Sauron’s realm and the final destination for Frodo and the Fellowship - or you’d prefer to pay homage to the realm of Men with a plate referencing Gondor, both are available currently. “MO23 DOR’ can be yours for £315, while “GO11 DOR’ will set you back £690.


One more for the FA Cup hopefuls  ⚽️

The FA Cup has whittled its way down to the Semi-Finalists, with Brighton to take on Manchester United and Manchester City to take on Sheffield United for the coveted day at Wembley.

With the new 23 plates now available, it would be remiss of us to not tell fans of those four teams that they can secure a commemorative number plate now (if you feel optimistic about your club’s chances of course) - ‘FA23 CUP’ is available for £690.

Final Thoughts

Of course, a flashy private plate is nothing without a flashy new car to stick it on! Carmoola allows you to quickly and easily get the finance you need for a new vehicle - check out their budget calculator to see how much you could spend on your new wheels.