The personalised number plate industry in the UK is big business, with many people wanting a personalised plate for their vehicle that makes a statement about their status, their job, their hobby, or any one of dozens of other reasons.
This explains why there are dealers who do nothing other than buy and sell personalised DVLA registrations, but many of them do not hold their own stocks.
One company that does is Mark Hunt which is a family owned firm based in Beverley in Yorkshire and run by owner Alan Hebbs. He has been in the business of buying and selling them for over 30 years, and now has thousands of personalised number plates for sale which are his own stock. He says that many dealers merely act as agents for owners of personalised plates and hold no stock of their own. Because the company holds its own stock, he has number plates which cannot be found anywhere else. It also means that he can transfer them to a buyer in seven days or less, when other companies could take several weeks.
Hebbs handles every transaction personally from beginning to end. He does not employ commission- based sales staff. Hebbs says that he supplies numbers to the most prestigious garages in the UK, and also to the celebrity world including top sportsmen and very well-known actors and actresses.
Many of the number plates that he sells only cost a few hundred pounds, but others can run into many thousands. For instance, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck had the number plate COM 1C which would have cost an eye-watering amount, but not all personalities want a plate like that. The well-known television presenter ChrisTarrant eschewed the idea of CT with a low number, and instead opted for CHU 8B. Tarrant is a keen sports fishermen and the chubb is one of his favourite targets.
While he has many plates in the few hundred pounds bracket such as HU11 BMX for just £899, Hebbs also has plates such as OXF 4D at £5,500 which would suit a university professor, and HOR 58OX for which no price is shown on his website. Doubtless, that would be a suitable number plate for a racehorse trainer, but the price would be up for discussion and only open to very serious buyers.