Heritage license plates have long been sought-after commodities in Australia, and with the economy in a strange place after a multi-year pandemic slump and global supply issues worldwide, this is truer than it’s ever been before. This week, all eyes are on a single-letter offering with tongue-in-cheek connotations: this might just be the most expensive ‘D’ you’ll ever see.
Necessity is the mother of invention, which is why shaky markets have seen a surge in left-field investment strategies from Australians looking to put a few extra dollars in the bank. Crypto, NFTs and second-hand cars have all had their time in the sun, but this week all eyes are turned to one of Australia’s most idiosyncratic investment opportunities: the heritage license plate.
For the uninitiated, what are heritage plates? They are car license plates that were introduced many decades ago, long before plates were standardised in the mid-century. These are not to be confused with personalised number plates; heritage plates have just that – heritage and history – personalised plates are an entirely different beast (and nowhere near as valuable).
Australia’s history with license plates is a convoluted one, with examples of heritage plates differing state by state. In short: any plate that doesn’t conform to the now-standard license plate format can suddenly become desirable. If you throw into the mix a plate that’s got some pop-cultural significance or can draw a wry smile from people that see you cruising by, then you’re really onto a winner…
That’s where the ‘D’ plate comes in. This first-generation NSW plate is not only one of the first to ever be issued in the state, making it incredibly exclusive and laden with Australian history, but it also invites a number of eyebrow-raising questions: just how big could this ‘D’ get? Who’s going to have the most valuable ‘D’ in New South Wales?
How much is the NSW ‘D’ license plate going for?
Well, at the time of writing, the highest bid for the D-plate stands at a not-immodest $112,000, after jumping from $36,000 earlier this week. However, if history is anything to go by, that number could climb quite a way before bidding closes at 8:30 pm on Tuesday 28th.
Back in 2017, the exceptionally rare NSW ‘4’ plate sold for a whopping $2.4 million. Ian Davies, director of leading Sydney luxury car dealership Prestige Connex, spoke exclusively to DMARGE about the phenomenon of the seven-figure license plate:
“Heritage plates have certainly become an appreciating asset to own […] It’s a tax-free profit opportunity versus shares and property – they seem to have proven to be a safe bet for investment.”Ian Davies
A “safe bet for investment”, a piece of Australian history, and the basis for a few good jokes to boot, it seems that the ‘D’ plate has all the key ingredients to be a resounding success at auction… watch this space.
Following bidding for the D-plate at tradinggarage.com.