That’s the equivalent of six Bugatti Chirons and $2 million worth of change

The “F1” license plate has had an interesting life. It’s been around for 114 years where it was first registered to a 15-horsepower Panhard Levassor back in 1904. The Essex City Council owned the license plate until 2008, when, after 104 years, it was sold to Afzal Kahn of Kahn Design Ltd for a staggering £375,000, which converted to around $880,000 at that time. Kahn has owned the plate for the last ten years, but now it seems that he’s ready to part with it, provided that someone is willing to meet his asking price of…$20 million.

The “F1” license plate was first registered to a 15-horsepower Panhard Levassor back in 1904

Has there ever been a vanity license plate that has grabbed headlines by the neck through the years? I suppose the “5” Abu Dhabi license plate had its run in the sun when it reportedly sold for $6.75 million in the Middle East back in 2007. The very next year, another Middle Eastern millionaire won the “1” Abu Dhabi license plate after bidding $14.75 million in an auction. But, neither of the two have carried the history that the UK’s F1 license plate has.

Afzal Kahn has owned the “F1” plate since buying it from the Essex City Council. Over the years, it’s been reported that he’s had some incredible offers from other people who wanted to purchase the plates from him. Depending on what you believe, offers for the “F1” plate reached as high as $10 million, a staggering amount that Kahn still refused because, in his mind, the math didn’t add up to a “suitable sum.” All this for a license plate, folks.

Fast forward to 2018 and the vanity plate is now reportedly on sale for £14.4 million, taxes and fees included

Fast forward to 2018 and the vanity plate is now reportedly on sale for £14.4 million, taxes and fees included. That converts to $20.3 million, or the equivalent of buying seven Bugatti Chirons. If you’re scratching your head why something as trivial as a vanity plate could fetch that kind of money, there is some context to it.

The “F1” license plate is registered in the U.K., which means that, unlike in the U.S., citizens actually own their license plates and the contents that come with it as long as they pay the one-time and yearly fees attached to them. So if you have an “interesting” name, number, or message attached to it, that plate could be worth its weight in quid in the future. Knowing that gives us a clearer picture of why Khan’s “F1” — it’s short for “Formula One” — license plate costs so much.

There’s no word yet on whether someone’s going to bite the bullet and fork over that kind of money. Pray that it happens because it’ll only increase the aura surrounding the “F1” plate. Who knows, in 10 years’ time, it could be worth nine figures.

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