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Thursday, December 8, 2022

You can buy a $20 million California ‘MM’ vanity license plate

This may (or may not, really) come as a surprise, but it turns out some drivers in the United States may be willing to pay more for a personalized license plate than they are for a car to attach it to. According to a recent article from Fox 26 Houston, the most expensive plate ever sold in Texas last changed hands in 2013. The plate, which features “12THMAN” text on a custom Texas A&M-themed plate, sold for $115,000.

That’s a lot of money for a license plate, especially considering that a regular plate in Texas is included in a $51.75 fee (plus a few more expenses). But it’s nowhere near the most expensive plate ever sold in the world. That unique distinction goes to a driver in Abu Dhabi who paid $14.3 million for the number plate “1“. And that’s not terribly uncommon in some countries. But even that princely sum probably won’t stand as the pinnacle of plate prices for much longer.

Plate collector and seller (yes, that’s apparently a thing) Michael Modecki currently has a plate up for sale at ThePlateBroker.com that’s listed for 5,888 Ethereum (a digital cryptocurrency). At current exchange rates, that puts the plate at $19,955,432.96 in official U.S. currency. That sum is liable to change as the exchange rates fluctuate, and we can’t say whether a very wealthy buyer will actually materialize, but no matter how you slice it, that’s a huge asking price for a license plate.

While that’s the priciest plate currently for sale by the broker, it’s not the only one. “This one here, the word CASH,” Modecki told the Fox station, “We’re asking $2 million for it … and we think it’s a reasonable price for it.” Clearly, “reasonable” means different things to different people, but compared to the “MM” plate, “CASH” is, well, something of a deal. 

In an effort to further entice wealthy drivers into wanting expensive vanity plates, Modecki’s most expensive plates are sold with non-fungible tokens. If you’re not sure what that means, here’s the Wikipedia explanation. A code is screened on the back side of the physical license plate, contributing “added value to a physical asset,” according to EpicPlates.com.

Other plates up for sale in California include several depicting the names of exotic vehicles and energy drinks. If you want one of those, you’ll have to inquire because asking prices aren’t listed. You can bet they won’t be cheap.

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