Afzal Kahn has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds building up one of Britain’s most impressive private plate collections. And the most desirable of the registrations is his beloved 'F1', which currently sits on the front of his Bugatti Veyron supercar.
The entrepreneur caused a stir when, in 2008, he paid a staggering £440,000 ($765,300) for the cherished plate -- a British record. But it’s proven to be a savvy investment with the plate’s value increasing by more than ten times after one ultra-rich individual offered £6million for it.
Drivers in the United Arab Emirates are even more fanatical about personal registrations. The single digit ‘1’ sold in February 2008, for £7.25 million ($12.61m) , reportedly to Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Khouri, then 25.
Personal plates can be a good investment, if you make the right choice. VIP 1, which originally belonged to Pope John Paul II’s Popemobile, was bought for £62,000 ($107,840) in 2004 – two years later Roman Abramovich bought it for £285,000 ($495,730).
However, Mr Kahn, who runs A Kahn Design in Bradford, rejected the offer believing it is worth considerably more. Indeed, he has no pressing need for new cars, with our pictures also showing him posing with the plate attached to his Mercedes SLR McLaren. Mr Khan's refusal to sell the plate means that he still likely holds the record for spending the most money on a UK registration plate.
A spokesman for Mr Khan's company said: 'We have received a significant multi-million pound offer for the F1 plate which we rejected out of hand. Mr Kahn has no interest in selling F1, which is his favourite plate. Cherished number plates, unlike property or other investments tend not to fluctuate in value, they only go up. It really shouldn’t be a shock to people that the number plate is worth millions of pounds.'
The 109-year-old registration was on a modest Volvo S80 when Kahn bought the plate in 2008. It was used by the chairman of Essex County Council with the local authority using the funds from the sale to raise money for a charity which aimed to raise the standards for young drivers. 'F1' now makes up part of Mr Kahn’s impressive plate collection which includes the registrations ‘4HRH’ and ‘NO1’.