1 September 2017

You could have a house on Sydney's waterfront OR this numberplate

By Iain KellyIain Kelly

We’re used to seeing people spend ridiculous money on cars, but one Sydneysider blew us away when he paid $2.45 million for NSW Heritage-series plate “4” at Shannons’ recent Sydney Winter Classic auction.

The buyer, Peter Tseng, already has “2” on a red Ferrari 458 along with a collection of desirable cars, properties around Sydney and wine.

Could think of worse cars to bolt a several-million-dollar investment to. Could think of worse cars to bolt a several-million-dollar investment to.

Bidding opened at $1 million and skyrocketed from there, as it is many years since a single-digit NSW plate hit the open market. Given there are only nine single-digit plates interest had been huge but the result demolished Shannons’ guiding range of $1.2-$1.5 million. Interestingly, apart from Victorian number plates (which are reported to be worth approximately 10-20% less than a NSW plate), the market for numberplates from other states is non-existent.

You might think it is crazy to spend so much on a piece of tin, but heritage-series numeral-only numberplates do not attract Capital Gains Tax yet are a bona-fide investment that grows at least 10% year-on-year. In the case of “4”, the last reported sale was in 2015 for $800,000-$900,000, meaning the seller netted a near-$1.5 million payday.

What do you think - savvy investment, or just madness? Tell us in the comments.