Upon recently encountering a highly inauspicious vanity car plate, I decided to re-visit the topic of Hong Kong license plates. (See my previous post, Vanity plates of the wealthy in Hong Kong or, I’ll take “18” for 2 million USD).
The improbably unlucky plate I spotted, read “XX 44.” As the number “4” is strictly avoided in the Chinese-speaking world (“4” being a homonym for death), perhaps the driver of the yellow sports car, to which this plate was attached, feels that money buys not only fancy cars, but also bullet-proof hubris?
If you own a car in Hong Kong and would like to dress it up with a specialized plate, prepare yourself for January 25th when the following “personalized vehicle registration marks” will be auctioned by the government (official source):
Each one of these plates was submitted by someone who seeks to have it adorn his/her car, but if you can outbid them, the plate is yours. If no one else bids, the person who submitted the plate gets it for HKD 5,000 (about USD 650).
Be warned that some plates sell for much, much more than USD 650. For example, at the last auction (October 19, 2013) these plates were sold for the following prices:
SD (USD 32,000)
BN (USD 30,000)
168168 (USD 18,500)
Unsurprisingly, these plates sold for the minimum bid or just above it:
If money is no object and status is the ultimate goal, then save yourself for the special Lunar New Year auction, where last year the following numerologically-blessed plates sold for around 260 times Hong Kong’s monthly median wage:
18888 (USD 388,000)
85 (USD 408,000)
75 (USD 490,000)
None, however, beating the “18” sold for USD 2 million that I found during a previous search of the auction records.
What would you submit for your personalized plate?
Or, a more interesting question, what plate can you dream up that someone in Hong Kong would bid big money to own? Might I suggest:
(The saving grace being that all proceeds raised by the government plate auction do go to charity.)