Cars with personalised numberplates are 50 per cent more likely to get broken into than those with conventional registration numbers, and Mercedes models are the ones most likely to attract the wrong kind of attention, according to research from price comparison website moneysupermarket.com Approximately one in 10 cars in the UK wears a cherished plate, but approximately 12 per cent of those (around 375,000) are Mercedes models, making the brand the marque most likely to carry a cherished number, ahead of Porsche, Lexus, Jaguar and BMW.
The researchers believe that cars with private plates are targeted in the belief that they have the wealthiest owners, and are therefore likely to contain the most valuable items in ‘smash and grab’ thefts.
“If you do choose to get a cherished number, there are a few things to consider,” explained Kevin Pratt, at MoneySupermarket.
“Firstly, you need to ensure that your insurer is aware of your new plate details, so it can be reflected in your policy – your cover could be invalidated otherwise.
“Owners of a personalised plate should also be conscious that in the event their vehicle is written-off or stolen and they make a claim on their insurance, the car will become the property of the insurer, along with the plate.
“To avoid this happening, it’s vital the driver tells the DVLA and also the insurer that they wish to keep the plate. If they don’t do this and the car is sent to the scrap yard or the plate is sold on, they’ll lose all rights to use the personalised plate in the future,” Pratt added.
Despite the high number of people who own a cherished number, data reveals that a large portion of Brits feel they send out a negative message.
A third automatically class someone with a personalised plate as a ‘poser’, 27% believe they are an ‘attention seeker’, and one in four think they have ‘more money than sense’.
British motorists spent over £111 million on personalized number plates in 2017.