'F1' licence plate owner rejects £6m offer

A £6m offer for the private F1 number plate originally bought in 2008 for £440,000 has been turned down. Businessman Afzal Kahn's 'F1' plate is currently stuck on his £1m 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron.

The £6m offer made to Kahn represents more than a 1250% surge in value. Why is Kahn refusing to sell?


Kahn doesn't need the money. He's built up a highly profitable private plate collection over the years, supplementing his high-end Bradford aftermarket car design business (think Saudi princes, brash, extravagant detailing, despite a tie-up with Harris Tweed).

He's also soaking up the publicity over his refusal to let go of his favourite plate. The £6m offered would buy an additional six new Veyrons (Kahn already has three), or 1,000 Dacia Sanderos, Britain's cheapest car.

Originally the F1 plate was stuck on a mundane Volvo S80, some distance from its current 987 bhp/253 mph home. But Mr Kahn should be careful that he never writes off his Veyron. According to car advice site Honest John, UK drivers never actually own their private registration plate - they just have the right to use it.

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Write-off worry

Supplying advice in 2012 to someone who transferred 'their' plate following a write-off, HJ warned: "It should have been transferred after the accident," he said in the Telegraph, "but before the car was officially written off. The DVLA has taken it back and resold the right to use it."

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Private plate owners have been caught out before. If an insurance company writes off a car and agrees a pay-out with the owner, they subsequently own the vehicle - and the ownership of the registration plate is automatically transferred to the insurance company.

The private plate market is clearly highly profitable - provided you get the right number and letter combination (the shorter the better). Much of it is now in the hands of the DVLA themselves, holding at least 20m private plates.

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