Monday, October 08, 2007

And You Thought Your Local DMV Was Shady

Imagine if you had a favorite sports team. Now imagine if you wanted to get a custom license plate depicting your allegiance to said team. If no one else had that tag, then it would be yours to proudly display on the back of your vehicle forever and ever. Or at least until some asshat rips it off.

If you live in London however, that wouldn't be the case. No, across the pond you might have to bid on the tag in an auction if you really want it, and you better bring your nickels, dimes, shillings, whatever because it probably won't be cheap. Especially if it has anything to do with soccer.

It's the ultimate status symbol for a West Ham fan with a fat wallet and an ego to match -- the personalised car number plate "WE57 HAM".

The plate is up for auction later this month with a reserve price of 4,000 pounds, small change for most premier league players.

"We know what a large and passionate support there is for West Ham," said Damian Lawson, of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the auction's organiser.

"Because the number reads so well we think it stands a real chance of topping the table of football plates."

Ok, so a reserve of 4,000 pounds puts it at roughly $8,155. That's pretty damn expensive for a license plate, but what's this about "topping the table of football plates"?

Bidding will have to be fierce to beat the current record for a football-themed plate. The DVLA sold "AR53 NAL" for 36,000 pounds in 2004.

Private sales of plates such as "1 UTD", for Manchester United, have reportedly fetched even bigger sums.

36,000 pounds? That's a little over $73,000. That's a lot of money for a piece of metal on the back of your vehicle. Don't they have those window flags, or magnetic signs in England? You could buy a few thousand cases of those for that type of money. And it's not like this is an individual auctioning off the plate. It's the government office in charge of licensing vehicles that's sanctioning this.

Oh well, I guess if someone is willing to pay that kind of money for it, then more power to them.

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