In practice the term Cherished Number Plates is similar to the related terms private number plates and personalised number plates, however it does have a greater association with the more expensive end of the number plate market.
The prices of cherished number plates vary widely. In general foreward dateless number plates have the highest values. Foreward dateless number plates start with one, two or three letters followed by one to four digits. The fewer the letters and digits the more expensive the number plate. Reverse dateless number plates are the next most expensive plates. These plates begin with one to four digits followed by one to three letters. Again the fewer the letters and digits the more expensive the cherished number plate.
The next most expensive system of cherished number plates are suffix number plates. Suffix number plates start with three letters followed by one to three digits, followed by a letter denoteing the date. Prefix number plates are the next most expensive. These plates are a reversed version of the suffix plates. Current style number plates are the next most expensive cherished number plates. These number plates begin with two letters followed by two digits followed by three letters.
The cheapest number plates available are Irish Number Plates. These number plates are issued by DVLNI (Department of Vehicle Licencing Northern Ireland) and can be adopted for use on British vehicles. The number plates consist of three letters (which must contain an I or Z) followed by one to four digits.
Prices of cherished number plates vary considerably and the order of precidence illustrated above is a very general guide, with numerous exceptions.
The most expensive cherished number plate sold in the UK is "M 1" which was sold at auction by Bonhams for £331,000 in July 2006.
The cherished number plate VIP 1 was sold to Roman Abramovich for £285,000 in July 2006. The number plate was origionaly issued in Northern Ireland in 1979 to be used on Pope John Paul II vehicle during his visit.
Sold at auction by the DVLA in April 2006 for £254,000.
Sold at auction by the DVLA to the sultan of Brunei in 1991.
Sold at auction by the DVLA for £197,000 in April 2006.
Sold for £101,000.