Affluent Auto

Are Private Number Plates Worth It?

It has been over twenty-five years since the private number plate was first launched and in that time, the DVLA have raised over £2 billion in revenue from them with over three million plates sold.  At one time, a private plate was seen as something that only millionaires had or were a little ostentatious but today, anyone can own one with only a small investment.  So are private plates still worth it?

In the numbers – If you happen to own one of the more unusual or coveted personalised registration plates, then you can certainly make a lot of money if you decide to sell them.  The current record for a private plate is held by the plate ’25 O’ which sold for £518,000, beating the previous record for ‘F 1’ that sold for £440,000.

However, these UK records are a little modest when compared to some of the world record figures for private plates.  Unsurprisingly, the record is held by plate ‘1’ that was bought by Saeed Khouri from Abu Dhabi for a small investment of £7 million.  The auction that featured this plate sold a total of 90 license plates and made over £16 million.

An investment? – While most of us won’t ever own a private plate that can sell for that kind of money, they are still an investment.  Car fanatics such as Chris Evans collect them and has been known to leave a note on the windscreen of a car when he sees a plate he loves to see if the owner wants to sell it. Generally, the shorter the plate, the higher the price while ones that relate to common names can also fetch a good price.  One plate reading ‘F14 MES’ was sold by a fireman in 2001 for £3500 and then sold again in 2013 for £7995 – a nice little profit. Of course, not all plates will make a profit in later years and there’s no real way of knowing what prove a good investment.  That’s why people often choose plates for sentiment reasons, rather than in the hope that they become super valuable at some point.

Choosing a plate – There are rules about personalised registration plates that limit what you can and can’t do with one.  There are four main plate styles at the moment:

  • Dateless – 1 ABC or ABC 1
  • Suffix style – ABC 123A
  • Prefix style – A123 ABC
  • Current style – AB12 ABC

If you have an idea for a private plate and want to know if it is available and in the right format, you can use the checker through the DVLA website where you can do a search on the plate.  You can also check with companies that sell existing private plates to see if they have something that matches what you want.

Passing on a private plate – You can pass a private plate on from one vehicle to another by using the correct forms from the DVLA.  You can also leave it in your will for someone when you die – otherwise, the plate will become inactive and cannot be used again in the future.

Why is Car Hire So Expensive?

12 million cars in the UK are hired out by UK residents every year and then further more hire cars are leased for trips outside of the UK for holidays or business reasons. It is safe to say then that leasing cars it pretty popular and most definitely with good reason. The benefits of hiring for holidays and business trips are pretty clear to most people but there are also numerous benefits of car leasing instead of buying a vehicle to use for your everyday needs, for example:
  • You can get a top end supercar you really love without the upfront costs
  • You’ll have the option to change your car every few years without the effort of buying and selling. Giving you the chance to test out amazing cars you might not have otherwise got your hands on
  • Although buying a car outright does tend to be cheaper in the long run, leasing can often work out cheaper on a monthly outgoings basis and you will also save money and time not having to pay for services/MOT’s and often Road Tax
  • You get less of a headache when/if it comes to repairs than you would if you owned a vehicle
  • A really great car that you wouldn’t have been able to afford upfront and that matches your lifestyle at that period of time can offer you a better quality of life
  • It is only for 3 years, so if that zippy little sports number doesn’t fit into your lifestyle in 3 years’ time, then you’ll be able to simply hand the keys over and switch it up for something equally exciting but more fitting to your way of life

But even with all these benefits, is there really any need for the cost of leasing to be so expensive? Car Hire companies have a lot of costs and take a lot of administration and leg work that allows their customers to drive away with top of the range motors. So here’s a few of the things that car hire companies do thatall go into the cost of your hire so that we can get an idea if the cost of hiring is worth it:

  • They set up all agreements, contracts and paperwork for you to sign
  • They deal with all the cars documents, registrations and paperwork
  • They take the risk on the initial outlay on the vehicles
  • They complete credit checks via external credit checking companies, they pay for this service along with the time it takes them. They do this to ensure that they lend responsibly and that they are not putting their customers under undue financial strain
  • They complete a DVLA driving licence check, which they have to work with an external background checking company to complete
  • They include servicing, saving you time and money
  • They may even include insurance and road tax depending on your contract agreement and deal with all the associated administration surrounding this
These are just a few of the tasks the car hire companies carry out, the list doesn’t even end there, so all considered it is understandable that the monetary cost of hiring a luxury car might be on the expensive side. However, it isn’t all about the cost, it’s about quality of life, the time and worry it saves you, the ability to have the car of your dreams and have it right now, it’s these things that might not make it cheap, but they certainly might make it worth it.

Modifying your Luxury Car

When you own a great looking luxury car there is an air of prestige about it and we tend to want to keep these tops of the range motors in the best possible condition we can. We also like them to show a little bit of our own style off whilst keeping the prestige of the original design. They don’t tend to be like classic cars where there is modification after modification that can be carried out but never the less we can still tweak them to our own taste with a few relatively quick and easy changes.

Top Tech – A great place to start when it comes to mods in a luxury car is to focus on the driver and passenger experience. By installing some great tech in your luxury car you experience is greatly heightened. If you love music then getting a top of the range sound system installed should definitely be on your list, if you can get one that hooks up to your other gadgets it will provide an all-round better user experience too. The obvious is a great top of the line navigation system and after that you might want to consider things like in car wi-fi and passenger TV’s. You can get some great ideas for in car tech from sites like Tech Radar.

Bumped Bumpers – There’s nothing worse than scratched and dented bumpers on a top of the range motor. It just instantly takes away from the beauty of the machine as everything else is so well presented the eye is immediately drawn to any bumps and scrapes. Give your car the modification it deserves and help keep it in great condition with a universal car lip kit which will not only save it’s looks but also you time at the garage getting it fixed up.

Custom Exteriors – There’s a few things you can do when it comes to the exterior, alloy trims are a great start or pop on private number plates, you can head over to sites like Number Plates 4u – Cherished, Personalised & Private Reg news for loads of benefits and guidance for getting cherished number plates that are perfect for your vehicle. If you want to make a bigger change to your exterior then consider a custom paint job, you can even get a personalised etching if you want to make your vehicle really pop.

About Affluent Auto

Looking at the price tags on some of these stunning cars might be enough to make some people’s eye’s water but at Affluent Auto we know that style, power and class might just have to come with a hefty price tag and we embrace that.

This site will be ready soon and it will be exploring some of the most luxurious cars out there so that we can bring that touch of power and style right to your desk.

Knowing that these beauties might quite rightly deserve their eye watering price tags doesn’t stop us from trying to get in on the action though.

We’ll be exploring more than just the best of the best in terms of price, we’ll be seeing how you can get that style and luxury at home on a much more modest budget.

Reviewing cars from all walks of life, seeing how you can modify and upgrade the auto’s you have and love, seeing how you can save money on all the boring bits so you can spend it on the exciting parts and much more on top.

We can’t wait to wipe the grease from our hands and really get to enjoy the way it runs, so we hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Supercar Gift Experiences

For those with a need for speed but a little less cash in their pocket, or even those who want to feel the thrill of the cars before they embark on perhaps hiring or buying, a supercar gift experience is a fantastic option as a present. The driver will have the opportunity to ride in some of the fastest, toughest and most powerful cars on the market without having to push the boat out too much. Cars from makers such as Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari as well as many more are usually on offer at these kind of experience days giving the ride a real touch of class. These rides will offer all the thrill of the fair and more with most cars going from 0 – 60 in around 2.6 seconds. Plus, the best bit, they really get to feel the power and be in control of these thunderous speed machines.

Birthdays, Christmases, any special occasion really, if you have a car enthusiast to buy for then this is a great option for you. Here’s a clip to give you a little peak into the kind of tracks and cars you’ll be offering up your loved one for their special thrill packed day out at the track. They are also really easy to get your hands on so do a little research into your requirements and then head to a site like Every Man Racing, Virgin Experiences or Buy a Gift to get an easy and memorable gift in no time at all.

How to Watch Monaco Grand Prix

Ask a Formula 1 fan which grand prix they want to watch more than any others and the most common answer you will receive is the Monaco Grand Prix.  This is undoubtedly one of the most illustrious races on the calendar, set in the Principality of Monaco, home of many millionaires.  But how can you watch the race if you don’t have your own private yacht moored there?

Because Monaco is a street circuit, there are lots of different places that you can get tickets to watch the action.  Some of the best spots for spectators combine the best of the action (including the likelihood of a crash) along with the best facilities including large screen TVs to keep in touch with the action when it moves away.

Casino Square: Opposite the famous Monte Carlo Casino, Casino Square is a great place to view the race.  The seating offers a view of the Massenet corner, a right-hand corner where cars reach speeds of around 125 km/h.  There is also a large screen TV opposite the seating area so you can also keep track of what is happening when the cars are in other parts of the circuit.

Tabac: Tabac corner is a 155 km/h left-hand turn and there is a stand known as ‘triune K’ that offers a perfect view of both the corner and the harbour itself.  So while you can enjoy the racing, you can also admire the stunning yachts that are moored there while the racing action is elsewhere.

La Rascasse: La Rascasse is the second to last corner in the race and is opposite the harbour docks.  Tribune T is the name given to the stand erected here and also has a large screen TV to enjoy all of the action.  The stand is located opposite the pits so spectators get to see the cars when they make their stops.

Budget options: If you are looking for some budget friendly options for viewing the race, there are two general admission areas where you can get good viewing but you do need to turn up early.  Nouvelle Chicane is alongside the harbour and views over the straight just before Tabac corner.  It is general admission with no reserved seating.

Alternatively, the Rocher general admission area does have views across the harbour as well as the Piscine and Anthony Noghes corner but viewing can be limited.  Turn up early and bring your own chairs to make the most of it.

Booking a package deal: One of the easiest ways to see the best of the Monaco Grand Prix is to book a package deal with a specialist such as BAC Sports travel tours.  The company offer different BAC Sport Monaco Grand Prix packages to suit your budget and requirements and also offer packages to a number of other Grand Prix on the calendar.  Booking a package allows you to relax and enjoy the trip, without worrying about where to see the race or arriving early enough to get a good view.

Top Supercars you can use Everyday

I’m going to play it a bit fast and loose with the term Supercar here. I guess the original and strictest sense of the term our search would be narrowed down to a rear engine, two seater, high powered top performance auto that’s been built with little but power in mind. However in this event, we want a car we can drive every day and get the very most out of so, we’ll be looking at Supercars in a slightly looser sense. We’ll be keeping a hold grasp on high power and top performance, making sure with throw in some luxury style but loosening up on things like rear/forward engines, seats, doors etc to include some amazing quality, high performance coupes and hatchbacks. Yes, yes we know that most supercars are going to cost that little bit more time, effort and money to keep on the road as an everyday drive, but that are ones that we feel do the best job day to day and that still deserve the supercar tag.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta: The F12 has the whopping supercar price tag of around £351,000 and is known as the top grand touring car in the Ferrari catalogue. In terms of using this beauty every day, it certainly scores a few more points than other cars of its kind. The engine noise for example, is a lot less attention seeking. It actually has some space for human passengers and baggage in the rear of the vehicle. Those passengers can also get in and out of the car without causing harm to themselves or others thanks to its door positioning and design. On top of all that it has extremely comfortable seating that still has that real leather luxury to them. It’s a front engine, rear wheel coupe that can do 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, reaching a top of around 211 mph. With 730 horsepower you are getting a high powered supercar that can talk the talk but does it quietly.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: A naturally aspirated V8 6.2ltr engine gives you 563 horsepower to play with and it certainly helps on the speed front, giving you 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. So for day to day you might not need all that power behind you, but it certainly feels good and if you spend a fair bit of time on long motorway commutes, you might get chance to have a little fun with the power once in a while. This motor will set you back around £145,000 but it seems to be holding its value a lot longer than most cars do so it’s likely that you could get a fair chunk of that back selling it on once you’ve had your fun with it. It’s positioning is low and therefore it sports the upward opening doors you see on a lot of super cars, also as with the classic supercars you’ll only find two seats so if there’s a chance you’ll want to be chauffeuring people around this isn’t the car for you. Although its classed as a front engine car its engine is all positioned behind the front wheels making it, technically, a mid engine car in reality. So if you are looking to be a lone ranger with some real power and sound behind you then this car is a great option for an everyday supercar.

Aston Martin Vanquish: An Aston Martin Vanquish will set you back around £200,000 and top 201mph with your foot down. It’s an exceptionally low vehicle so it helps that the doors open upwards so you can avoid any nasty bumps and scrapes on kerbs etc. There’s fantastic visibility, it’s a quiet drive with smooth steering and a pretty smooth gear box too so that all adds up to a better city drive than a lot of other cars in its class. Admittedly it’s not as roomy or easy to exit for any passengers in the back of the vehicle than the F12. In fact, let’s be honest you’re not really going to get any passengers in the back but if you only need a 2 seater with some extra room for baggage then there is a decent amount of baggage space available and this could be a competitor.
This clip shows the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG discussed above in action along with 8 more cars that you might want to add to the mix.