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Interesting Articles

Investment plates are certain Investments

Italians flocking to buy personalised number plates- 2008.

The Alternative Investment - 2009


KiwiPlates Resale Noticeboard

KiwiPlates have finally got a resale page on their site giving plate holders another option to sell their plates.


KiwiPlates Premium Plates

A PREMIUM PLATES page was brought to our attention. Have a look at it here. It is buried under 'MORE INFO' instead of the more logical page 'GET A PLATE', although they are shown as options on the 'DESIGNS' pages.

Those who currently own two and three letter/number combinations may be concerned at the low price, but if KiwiPlates starts advertising the fact they have and there are 'Premium Plates' it will be a good thing. You don't have to sell your plates at a discount.

There are a couple of generations of New Zealanders who don't know Investment Premium Plates exist. If KiwiPlates can get all NZders interested and looking again it must be a positive.


'Personalised Plates shuts up after losing NZTA Licence-Business-NZ Herald News 1/August/2016'

You can read the full article here

Still not sure if this is good or bad for Investment Plate holders but I'm figuring any change is good considering there has been no action/change for some time.

when we asked KiwiPlates what would happen if I wanted to buy one of the 9000 plus unissued plates from the Investment series this was their reply.

'Hi Keith,

A lot of investment plates that were not sold through Personalised plates are available for sale through kiwi plates.

Not as investment plates (blue colour ) but as regular personalised plates on the styles available on our website.

Currently there are no 1 or 2 character plates available for sale. There are some 3 character plates available however they cost $1200.00 in standard colour format up to $1600.00 for a branded euro style.

All 4-6 character plates should be available on our website at normal price.

Hope this helps. What plate are you after ?

Kind regards

Will' (William Cunningham)

So it appears all the requirements on issuing 'the next plate in the series' have gone and in theory KiwiPlates could now sell plate A for $1 if it was available. As stated in the E-mail the plates will not be BLUE. This is interesting as the last time we looked the legislation it gave the colour options as Black, Blue and Red. And an investment plate recently replaced because of damage was coloured Blue.

We're thinking KiwiPlates don't want Investment Plates to exist and the numbers to just become part of the available series.

This is not necessarily a bad thing because if plate A or 8 was offered on the open market in an auction there would be plenty of keen buyers, and NZ would be operating as every other market in the world operates. Like this recent example across the ditch

KiwiPlates have not got their 'Plates for Sale' page up on their website yet (6 months and counting) and we will be interested to see what is being offered when they do. They'd be mad not to excite the plate market with some interesting offerings.

Investment Plates, aren't they just blue personalised plates?


In 1987 through the amendment to the Transport (Vehicle and Driver Registration And Licensing ) Act 1986 the Government allowed the personalisation of number plates. 

The Government tendered the right to sell personalised plates on its behalf.  The private company, Personalised Plates Limited was the successful tenderer and acts under contract as the sole and exclusive agent of the Government.

The company offered two types of plates.  The first group with black or red characters on a white background, and the second group with blue characters on a white background known as Investment Plates.

Personalised Plate        Investment Plate


From its start in 1989 to early 1996 the results were fantastic.

1993 Returns

1995 Returns

Then the wheels started to fall off.


Why did a successful formula go wrong? Here is my opinion.

There were a lot of rules and restrictions when selling through Personalised Plates Ltd. For example they wouldn't sell if you hadn't held the plates for 12 months.  The selling price for a new plate was set in stone (by law). The commission was quite high, for example on a $45,000 plate the commission was $5,500 OUCH! So what did people do? Go to the secondary market.

The secondary market was where sellers sold their plates privately whenever and for whatever price they liked.  Because of the great returns up to that time, sellers could afford to drop their prices below set market prices and still make a good profit.

And as long as investors were prepared to sell their plates privately at below set market prices  there would be few investors willing to buy new releases at higher list prices.

As Personalised Plates were getting less and less of the cake promotional advertising dwindled. I remember large billboards in Newton Auckland with for example "INVESTMENT PLATE XXXX SOLD FOR $XXXXX 150% profit in 12 months!!   which was regularly updated with the latest sale........then absolutely no visible advertising almost overnight.

 Most Investment plates were unissued or locked away; few ever saw them on a car.

The internet was still in nappies and TradeMe did not exist. People did not have access to a national listing of plates for sale on the secondary market. There would be plates for sale in different regional papers throughout New Zealand with potential buyers in other regions not knowing they were for sale.

The market was not established enough to weather the economic and political changes at that time.

Other factors.

Talk about Déjà Vu Look at the date of this letter

The type and style of Government was changing, MMP was being introduced. It was a distraction.

In July 1997 Personalised Plates Limited changed hands. As stated in an update letter dated 11th August 2003, "The pricing formula upon which plates were offered to the market by the old company means that we are unable in law to offer plates to market either first time or resale at prices less than or equal to the last sale in a series".
Perhaps with the change of Government, a new approach by Personalised Plates Limited may be more successful in implementing a law change.

Only about 2,600 investors owning 3,700 plates are a very small proportion of the population having a direct interest in the plate market. Add to that many investors reside overseas and they don't have ready access to publications in New Zealand.

Experience with my plates tell me there is a generation of New Zealanders who don't know Investment Plates exist(ed).  This has been caused by a lack of promotion, advertising and information. 


Why should Gold be valuable - It is only useful  in fillings and coating electronic terminals- and there is plenty for that purpose? But it is relatively scarce and supply is regulated.

Why should diamonds be valuable - the only real use they have is in grinding applications where clarity, cut and colour don't matter? But they are relatively scarce and supply is regulated.

Aluminium is a much more useful product from which we all benefit daily. It should be very valuable, but it is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust. 

Scarcity.  There are only 13,000 Investment plates in total.  Only 3,700 of these have been released. They are scarce and their supply is regulated.

They are treated as an investment in 14 other markets worldwide that have been running for 30 plus years.  See examples throughout this site.

 Other benefits

The title remains with the legal owner-they are simply replaced if:

  • They are stolen
  • They are destroyed/damaged
  • They are lost 


  • The dumping of plates has stopped
  • The internet is mature and very useful
  • Most other investment options are struggling
  • People know where to look and have better access to information


We all need to promote curiosity and interest.

Potential investors need to know Investment Plates exist.

Get the plates on your car! That is why when you list with us we send you plate surrounds directing people to this web site.

Jaguar XKR8

Take advantage of any other promotional opportunities.

We will list the plate with your asking price.

We will get the website ranked as high as possible.

Examples Of Success In Other Markets...

Current WORLD record

YouTube-Emirates Auction Plate Number 1-2008-

Current UK record

YouTube- UK Plate number F1 record Jan 2009

 YouTube -UK Number Plate record!!! -2007

Current Australian record

YouTube -Australia. NSW plate number 6.-OCT 2007
 and June 2008  

 Hong Kong record

 Hong Kong Record Feb 2008

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