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In times like these, we are all looking for other ways to make money aside from our day jobs, a ‘side hustle’ is a great way to boost your income and can come in many forms. Investing in number plates can be a potential way to make an investment, as the industry is constantly growing, despite the tough economic conditions in recent years.

The private number plate business is only increasing, with private number plates becoming increasingly popular, not only with the rich, but with the everyday person that wants to add a bit of luxury to their life. Over a five-year period, the value of the private number plate market has over doubled, with the DVLA making £85 million between 2011-2012 to a massive £200 million between 2016-2017, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping.

Why do you want to invest?

Before you consider entering the private number plate market to make some money, you need to consider the type of number plates you are buying. If you purchase plates that are meaningful to you, then chances are they probably aren’t popular number plates that appeal to a large audience of collectors. You need to be intelligent about the type of plates you buy. Likewise, if the plates you buy hold sentimental value to you, it will be much harder to part with them when it comes to selling.

Can you wait?

With a lot of specialist items, most of the time you can’t expect to make an immediate profit on private number plates, you have to be patient and keep track of the market. If you want to do well in the industry, you have to be willing to sit on the plate for a while, possible decades in order to see the value of the plate rise substantially.

What are the charges you might incur?

There may be some costs that come with investing in number plates, at the moment, the DVLA charge a fee to transfer a plate from one vehicle to another, or from a vehicle to have it removed and retained.

If you are looking to hold onto a number plate for a while then you will have a Certificate of Retention with it. These last for 10 years, however, if you are looking at holding onto your number plate for some time then it might be worth checking to see when the renewal is due, as you will be charged for this.

What are the risks?

As with any market, it can fluctuate and change at any time, and a large global event could have a positive of detrimental impact on the market. If you invest in a number plate, it may or may not ever make you any profit, this all comes down to the market and your knowledge of the industry. That being said, no one can predict the future, therefore, if it’s an industry you are interested in investing in we suggest you give it a go. You don’t need to invest huge amounts of money to get started, and the DVLA seem to be making a good return, so, why can’t you?

 How to get started

The process is simple, choose a number plate you want, buy it/bid on it and then keep hold of it until you think it is the appropriate time to sell.

There are several different places you can buy private number plates, from DVLA auctions, to online websites and private sellers in local ads. The key is to stay on top of the market, see what’s selling and what isn’t. Once you’ve received your private plate, you’ll have all of the appropriate documentation you need to sell it on again in the future. And when you do decide to sell, you can choose to sell privately or go through buy and sell websites that specialise in private number plates.

This is a collaborative post.