Personalised number plates were once a common sight on the roads, but now it appears that the trend is dying out. Many people, for some reason, think that whacking your own name, or proclaiming that you're the boss or something else suitably humble, is slightly pretentious and somewhat tacky. However, there are still plenty of drivers up and down the UK that opt for this message when getting behind the wheel of a car.
Some particularly subtle and humble people like to splash as much cash as possible on this small bit of metal, just to make sure that everyone knows they are King of their own savannah. Unsurprisingly, current holder of one of the most expensive license plates in the world is Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich. Although the Russian tycoon is more used to authorising million-pound transactions for Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba or Eden Hazard, he shelled out an incredible £285,000 for his number plate.
The illustrious 'VIP 1' plate currently owned by Mr Abramovich has already had its fair share of famous occupants. It was initially made for Pope John Paul II for his papal trip to Ireland in 2004, but in 2006, he was outbid by the football philanthropist.
However, making Mr Abramovich's license plate cost look like the cash you'd find down the back of your sofa, is Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri. In 2008, the Abu Dhabi-based billionaire broke all records when he coughed up an impressive $14.6 million (£7 million) for his car accessory, claiming that it was "the best number".
You may be thinking, with all that money you could spell out anything you like, but Mr Khouri has gone for a more minimalist approach. Infact, it really couldn't be anymore minimal, as the Arabian paid £7 million for one number – 1.
If that wasn't bad enough, he reckons he got himself a pretty good deal as reports suggest he was willing to shell out $30 million for his number plate – twice what he actually bought it for. However, before you start heaving into the closest vessel, it is thought that this cash went to help victims of road accidents.
Now, we all know how much footballers, and other famous faces, hate being constantly followed around by the paparazzi. I mean, come on, it's pretty tough getting paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week to play a game, and then having to deal with people that idolise you and want to take your photo or have your autograph.
However, Welsh winger Gareth Bale opted for an unusual tactic to try and get the paps to leave him alone. The recent Real Madrid convert chose to pay to have his own name put on his license plate with the subtle GBII ALE. Though it's unclear how much he paid for the moniker, it's probably nowhere near the £85 million the Spanish club forked out for him.
Queen Sofia of Spain opts for a slightly less grand number plate, with SPA IN adorned on her vehicle. Now, we all think that, being the queen of Spain is enough identification when it comes to your nationality but obviously the Spanish royal has other ideas. Though the political implications would be dire if she was to accidentally get into Berlusconi's car after the next G8 conference, rather than her own.
If licensed number plates aren't your thing, then car leasing may be right up your street. It gives you the flexibility to change your model, and subsequent number plate, on a regular basis, making it easy for you to stay in control in your home life and at the office.
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