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Private plates move paying dividends

Since introducing an online auctioning app in 2009, where car owners registering cars for the first time in Cyprus have the opportunity to bid for specific number plates, the Department of Road Transport (DRT) has pocketed a tidy €1.3 million.

Since its introduction nine years ago, 7,286 car owners have made use of the number plate auction system.

The most popular number for which there is usually much hard-fought bidding in every new series is the number 001 and, according to statistics, this particular number has brought in quite a tidy bit of revenue for the DRT.

The highest amount paid for a 001 number has been €4,180, while another driver bid €3,500 to clinch the much-prized 001 number in another series.

According to DRT statistics, the 001 number in three different series has been sold for €3,000, while further amounts ranging from €2,000-€2,500 have been paid for 001 numbers in another 10 different series.

Strong bidding is also evident on number plates with three of the same digit. The highest price paid for a 777 number is €2,900 and for an 888 number, €2,500.

As more people become aware of the DRT’s number plate auctions, buyers from the former Soviet bloc countries, as well as from the Far East, currently living in Cyprus, have pushed the interest for number like ‘008’, ‘088’ and ‘888’ to new heights, as the figure ‘8’ not only refers to infinity, but is considered by some cultures to be lucky, or a similar symbol may appear in their folklore or religion.

Fierce bidding is also evident with the change of letters in each series such as MMT, MMX and MMY while fierce bidding is also evident in numbers for specific reasons.

A prime example is the registration of the ever-popular Porsche, whose owner, after dishing out a princely sum, won’t be put off by spending a bit extra on a ‘911’ number for his number plate.

The ‘sinful’ numbers 13, 69 and 666 which, until now, have never been issued (for obvious reasons), will be available for purchase only – either through the auction or outright purchase.

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