Dubai Auction Brings Record $15M License Plate Sale

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The proceeds of the sale will go to a charitable food aid project.

A two-character license plate, "P7," has sold for a record $15 million at auction, surpassing the previous record set in 2008. The auction took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates via Emirates Auction, where it attracted a winning bid of 55 million dirhams ($14.97 million at the time of writing), beating the previous record sale of a plate bearing the number 1, which sold in Abu Dhabi for 52.2 million dirhams.

The winner of the bid has not been disclosed, but flaunting one's wealth is a common theme in the region, so it will likely be affixed to a Bugatti Chiron or something similar. But even if the plate were to find a home on the record-breaking Chiron Profilee, the vanity plate is still worth more.

Emirates Auction/YouTube

It's weird that we live in a world where a stamped piece of metal that weighs just a few ounces can be considered more valuable than one of engineering's finest marvels to date, but six- and seven-figure license plate sales, usually taking place at auction for charitable purposes, are not uncommon in the UAE. The proceeds of this particular plate will go to the 1 Billion Meals Endowment, a global food aid initiative by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

Interestingly, other license plates have been listed for more than this one attracted, most notably the "MM" vanity plate that went up for sale in October 2021 with a price north of $24 million but never found a buyer.

The Plate Broker

A UK license plate with the inscription "F1" owned by Afzal Khan would certainly beat this figure if it ever went on sale, and as new names for hypercars and supercars continue to emerge, configurations that seem arbitrary now could someday be worth fortunes.

License plates are continually evolving as standards and politics change. We've seen emojis become legal in Australia, while offensive - but not vulgar - license plates were approved in California in 2020. More recently, the Golden State has approved digital license plates, as have Michigan and Arizona.

Vanity plates are just that - evidence that you want attention from strangers, but if you have the money, why not flaunt it?

Kahn Design

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