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Sunday, November 15, 1998 Published at 15:28 GMT


G1 FTS on a plate

Someone was worth a £350,000 number plate

Personal Christmas gifts with a difference are due to go under the hammer at an auction of cherished number plates.

Anyone with a large bank balance and a special Simon, Rita or Ricky in their lives could pick up one of 88 vehicle registrations, which are expected to fetch from £5,000 to £35,000 each.

[ image: EastEnders' Ricky may get a surprise from Bianca]
EastEnders' Ricky may get a surprise from Bianca
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency-organised event on 10 December should see bids coming in thick and fast for R1 CKY, S1 MON and R1 TAS.

Other plates in the sale include 1MCC, S1 GHS, R1 LEY and S1 XTY.

The auction - to be held in London's Stationers Hall - will also put up Jaguar-related plates for the first time. These include 120 XK, 55 XK and XKS 5.

Profession and status, as well as names, are provided for.

[ image: S1 LKS - for the lawyer in your life]
S1 LKS - for the lawyer in your life
Barristers might want to go for S1 LKS, while lottery winners and the generally wealthy could plump for R1 TCH.

Byron Roberts of the DVLA said: "This auction will attract some bidders who are looking for the ultimate Christmas present, either for their loved one or for themselves."

The DVLA says its Sale of Marks has made almost £250m for the treasury since the scheme began in 1989, with about 500,000 plates being sold.

In its 1993 auction, a mystery buyer paid £235,000 for the personalised registration K1 NGS.

The agency said it took just two minutes for the record price to be reached, passing the previous record of £202,000 paid in 1989 for 1A, the reverse of the first plate ever issued.

Also in 1989, a successful bidder snapped up the number plate JUL IE at an auction at Christie's for £350,000.

Air stewardess Debbie Brook shelled out £5,200 for the registration 36C - in celebration of her bust size. The 26-year-old apparently did not own a car at the time of the purchase.

[ image: £42,650 for BAS 1L]
£42,650 for BAS 1L
In 1993, the agency held a Classic Collection auction as part of the Crufts Dog Show.

Registrations including K9 DOG, K9 PUP and K9 VET were snapped up.

Motorists have been known to use registration plates to flaunt their national, regional and sporting allegiances.

At a DVLA Classic Collection auction in Cardiff, PLA 1D and C1 WYD were available.

And a Welsh rugby fan recently paid £2,600 for 1 WRU at an auction in Cardiff.

Scottish auctions have seen plates including D1 RKS and NES1E snapped up for £2,500 and £4,500 respectively. K1 LTS fetched £6,600.

The DVLA says there are more personalised registration numbers in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

[ image: B1 MBO fetched £18,000]
B1 MBO fetched £18,000
Golf fanatic Clive Smith, owner of the Pine Ridhe Golf Club in Camberley, already owned 2 TEE, 9 TEE, 17 TEE and 18 TEE - so it was par for the course when he paid £52,000 for the number plate 1 TEE.

Plates spelling names are among the best-sellers.

In 1991, J1 MMY sold for £35,000 while BAS 1L went for £42,650.

Other sales include B1 MBO (£18,000), B10 PSY (£4,500), BAD 1E (£12,000), BRA 1N (£16,000), SON 1C (£7,500), TOX 1C (£5,200), WED 1N (£11,000) and YOG 1E (£3,000).

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