The World’s Most Expensive License Plate Costs More Than A New York City Penthouse

The World’s Most Expensive License Plate Costs More Than A New York City Penthouse

An unavoidable part of owning any vehicle that is legally allowed to drive on public roads is license/registration plates. While there are many names for this around the world, each country has a distinct format and design of plates. It’s one of the small things we car nerds get off on when traveling. Pro-tip: spotting foreign plates is a great game for a European road trip.

And while they may just be there to serve a legal purpose, as with anything and everything, Dubai has made them a thing. There are many places around the world where any supercar will be accompanied by a private/custom license plate. Sometimes it will be a nod to the make or model or even the person’s name, a common find in the UK. However, in Dubai, the smaller, the better.


The fewer digits, the more expensive. As with most things, a custom plate is simply a show of wealth, and just last week a plate sold for $15 Million at auction. This made it the most expensive license plate ever sold. Here’s why.

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What Is The Most Expensive License Plate In The World?

dubai plate 7 sold for 15 million copy
Business Insider

Just last week, a license plate that is believed to be the world’s most expensive sold for an eye-watering 55 million UAE dirhams or $15 million USD in an auction to an anonymous bidder. The plate simply features one letter and one numerical digit. P 7. And while this is a record-breaking amount, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a Dubai plate sell for astronomical amounts.

Proceeds from this record-breaking sale will be given to “One Billion Meals”. A campaign run by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE. The funds will be donated to help vulnerable communities around the world during the holy month of Ramadan.

The most expensive license plate in the world was soon after shockingly seen on a Tesla Model X! In Dubai, the way to tell if a license plate is special is based on the number of digits it displays. Normal plates are 5 digits long and are standard issues, whereas 4-digit plates already come with a cost of around a few thousand bucks. Then comes a place where money talks, number plates with three digits or fewer.

Expect to pay a few hundred thousand if you want 3 digits on your plate, and if that’s not enough, you’ll spend north of $1 million for a number plate with 2 numbers. Then, there’s the upper echelon of all license plates, reserved only for the wealthiest of the wealthy, with multi-million-dollar price tags sit license plates with a single digit.

Who Owns Dubai License Plate Number 1?

dubai-plate-1 rolls royce cullinan
TikTok / gotauts

Back in 2008, billionaire businessman Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri won the auction for what was formally considered the priciest plate of all time. He dropped a whopping 52.2 million UAE Dirham or $14.3 million USD for the single-digit plate, which featured only the number one. This is still considered one of the most sought-after plates in the world. It was last seen this year on a brand-new Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

There was also a case of a rare “MM” California license plate also selling for $24.5 Million. But the unique aspect of this license plate purchase is that it is accompanied by an NFT. And so, the NFT, along with the physical plate, has been put up for 5,888 units of Ethereum cryptocurrency on The combination of physical plate and NFT could certify longevity for this investment.

RELATED: 15 Terrible License Plates People Got Away With At The DMV

Why Do People Buy Custom License Plates?

The $24.5 Million

License plates are something of a show of personality. They can be something as simple as a single digit to show wealth, a nod to the car you are driving, or even your name. They are often bought with the intention of adding the finishing touch to your car, and sometimes it can make a world of difference to the street presence of whatever you’re driving.

One reason that many buy vanity or custom plates is to be funny. They are an opportunity to troll other road users. This is something very common with Tesla owners reminding us all that they don’t use gas or something along those lines. Another reason, and one which seems to be most common, especially in the Middle East, is that of investment.

Number plates are issued once. There can only be one of each making them impossible to copy and completely unique. As with anything that is one-off, whether that be a Picasso or a coach-built Ferrari from the 60s, it will hold its value so long as there is a market for it. Luckily this record-breaking sale will benefit those in need, but it will also financially benefit the new owner if he wishes to sell in years to come.

Sources: Insider, Emirates Auction,