They’re called vanity license plates, or custom plates, and in most places you can get them for under a hundred bucks. But I couldn’t believe the games they are playing in the UAE with these things. And for a minute we were discussing here in the Jackson household how much a million dollars must mean to them.
In Abu Dhabi, one of the places where we get our oil in this country, they are having fun bidding against each other for custom license plates. Ferrari S.p.A. says sales are brisk in this area of the world, as does Rolls Royce. Did you know that one of the guys over there paid $14 million for the license plate with just the letter “L”?
And the guy’s cousin bought the number “5” for $9 million!
You’re probably thinking what the normal price for a tag here is. It’s $95 according to the Wall Street Journal. And since these guys are into craziness, the low numbers, such as the same number as their car model, are considered prestigious.
For example, the brother of the cousin (I know, gets complicated) who paid $9 million for the number “5”, paid just over $120,000 for the numbers “430” which look classy on his Ferrari F430. Funny thing is, the Ferrari is listed at $180,000!
A guy that spent $14 million on the number “1” said it was a coup for his family. 25 year old Saeed’s family has the money. His brother is trying to get the number “494” which is included in his Hotmail address. His cousin already has “149”, for the Ferrari F149 set to come out next year.
And Ahmad Al-Ketbi showed up at the auction dead set on getting the number “29” which would match one his father has only in a different color. “I gotta have a plate,” he said. Ahmad is only 15 years old, three years away from the legal driving age. But he stuck to it, amidst guys twice his age, lifting his bidding flag time and again until he won… for $530,000. Go figure.