Motorists spend £2m on new personalised number plates within 24 hours
Published 09/12/2015 | 00:11
Football fans and pet lovers were among the motorists who spent £2 million on the latest personalised number plates within 24 hours of them going on sale.
Chelsea and Manchester United have both struggled on the pitch in recent weeks, but two car owners appear to have backed the teams by securing the CH16 SEA and MA16 UTD registrations at £399 each.
Whoever picked up CB16 CAT is probably a feline fanatic as it came with a price tag of £799, while a dog lover looks to have got a relative bargain with BB16 DOG going for £200 less.
The first registration sold was JA16 UAR - believed to be for a Jaguar - at £1,299.
The data was released to the Press Association by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The "16" number plates went on sale last week but they can only be put onto a brand new vehicle from March 1.
According to the DVLA 3,576 registrations were sold at a cost of £2 million on the first day of sales, including £1 million in just the first 20 minutes.
People from around the world joined in the search for the perfect plate, with inquiries from countries such as Russia, the USA, Iraq and New Zealand.
A separate Freedom of Information request by the Press Association revealed that many of the potential "16" plates were not made available by the DVLA because of concerns they "may cause offence".
The banned plates included B16 GAY, PR16 CK, AM16 FKR, AM16 WAR, OR16 ASM and TA16 BAN.
Ahead of next year's in-out EU referendum, the DVLA also suppressed EU16 YES, EU16 NON AND EU16 OUT.
The list of potentially offensive number plates is updated every six months.
It became a serious issue for the agency after the release of H8 GAY in 2006 was met with protest because it was deemed offensive to gay people.
A DVLA spokeswoman said: " The vast majority of registration numbers are made available but we have a responsibility to ensure that the combinations used do not cause offence.
"We try to identify combinations that may cause offence and having considered the appropriateness of these registration numbers we have withdrawn them as they could cause offence or embarrassment on the grounds of political or racial sensitivities or are in poor taste."
The DVLA raised £87 million from the sale and auction of personalised registrations in the last financial year.
All of the money generated is passed on to the Treasury.