Plates4Less has launched the Plates4Gifts Guide – just in time for Christmas. The guide is designed to make shopping as easy as possible by providing help for gift-givers looking to find and discreetly buy the perfect number plate.
The launch comes after the growing popularity of Private Plates as a gift in the UK – with 2 in 5 of Plates4Less customers purchasing number plates for someone else.
Plates4Less customers are able to download and print a free certificate – which is especially good for super last-minute gifts. Those who have purchased in advance may be able to benefit from a presentation pack upgrade which sees the certificate presented in a folder with a ribbon. They can be delivered as soon as the next working day if they are ordered before 2pm.
But how often are people buying Private Number Plates and why would they make a good gift?
Personalised plates are more popular now than ever
Private number plates are sometimes called personalised number plates, private registration marks, or cherished number plates. Often, people choose plates that resemble names, words or display their interests and important dates.
Antony Clark, Marketing Manager at Plates4Less, has told how personalised number plates are more popular than ever.
He said: “We’ve seen a big increase in the demand for private plates over the last five years with a 30% increase in marketwide activity since 2017. Since cars are more expensive than ever but also more reliable and comfortable, it seems that some people prefer to purchase a new plate, rather than change their vehicle.
“People also enjoy private plates because they are personal and unique, so they can make their mass-produced vehicle more individual and special to them. We often have clients who want us to make their car easier to find in a car park and others who feel that a more distinct registration is less of a target for thieves and cloners.”
However, you may be surprised to know that if you see someone driving around with a private plate, it is likely it was bought as a gift. Number plate expert Antony Clark has explained the truth behind this trend.
He shared: “About 2 in 5 of our customers are buying private number plates as gifts now.”
What makes number plates good gifts?
Antony said: “People want gifts that are thoughtful and luxurious – private plates are both. Additionally, they make great presents for those giftees who are difficult to shop for.”
Private Plates are potentially lifelong gifts which can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle. They can also be described as the gift that keeps on giving in some cases, as plates can increase in value over time when chosen wisely.
“We have found that as clients are less interested in trips away and experience days (which can be cancelled), they are opting for more tangible gifts and the exercise of finding and buying a private number plate can be a fun, shared experience in itself,” Antony added.
How to find a Private Plate for someone else
Due to the increase in demand, and their love of helping clients, Plates4Less has launched their Plates4Gifts Hub! It’s been designed to assist shoppers through the entire process and answer important questions along the way.
“We love to help customers with their search, so we wanted to put this information out there to empower those who would rather search independently,” said Antony. “By using this process, it should be simpler than ever for customers to find multiple plates that suit their needs and make great gifts.”
It’s explained more fully in the Plates4Gifts Hub Search Guide, but it’s a pretty easy formula that you can follow along with.
Think of your primary idea. Plates4Less suggests that most people are inspired by a name, initials or a word.
Expand your first idea, developing it further, and combining other ideas, so the whole plate has significance. Usually, numbers are added in at this stage. If you aren’t using a number to resemble a letter (like 5 instead of S) then you could use a birthday, age, house no. or anniversary date or any other significant number! We often see clients adding partner and child initials as their secondary search criteria.
If there’s still space on the plate or the client would prefer to opt for distinctive plate with more resale appeal instead of something highly personalised, consider using a registration “filler”. Things like OOO, G8, B16, S555, BO55, SX51 or MI55 are both fun and easy to understand, so they help complete the plate.
Top tips from an expert
1. Create and share a shortlist
“You can put together a list of plates and ask friends or family of the giftee for their opinions on those options.
“If you don’t need it to be a surprise, you can ask the giftee to look through the shortlist you’ve put together to see which plate they like best. Chances are, they’ll be delighted that you’ve put so much time and effort into finding a selection of plates for them.”
Plates4Less’ Favourites Heart tool can be used to collect a list of number plate ideas, and share them with others.
2. If future resale value is important
If you are looking for a gift with investment potential then you should consider the appeal of the registration mark when it returns to the market, i.e. make it less specific to the recipient.
Consider searching for their name rather than their initials or look at options with round or repeating numbers rather than specific ones if you are going for initials.
3. You can buy now for later use
All registration marks found on Plates4Less can be purchased for later use or for future gifting. So if the recipient doesn’t have a vehicle for your chosen registration, please don’t let that stop you from securing it now. Please remember; there’s only one of each registration mark so act soon to avoid disappointment!
Plates4Less, which is part of VRM Swansea, is a well-established agency for buyers and sellers of private number plates in the UK. It has over 67 million registrations on its books, and the most technically advanced smart search engine to help clients find the perfect plate. Trading since 1997, the company has more 5 star reviews on Trustpilot than any other agency in its field of expertise.
Despite the name, Plates4Less hold the UK record for negotiating the sale of the most expensive private sale to date in the United Kingdom, at in excess of £600,000 in 2022.