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Home News Swiss number plate breaks auction record

Swiss number plate breaks auction record

Published on 22/02/2017

Would you pay CHF150,000 ($148,000) for a licence plate? A bidder made the record offer for “VS 1” on Tuesday – still three weeks before the auction ends, so the record could rise further.

Very Special? Vain Show-off? Victoria’s Secret? In fact, the VS represents canton Valais. Swiss vehicle registration plates comprise a two-letter code for the canton followed by up to six digits. The plate on the back of the vehicle also shows small shields representing the flags of Switzerland and the canton.

Until now, the Swiss record was CHF135,000 for “SG 1”, bought by a driver presumably from canton St Gallen.

Valais began the month-long auction of sought-after number plates last week. In future, the plan is to auction 60 car plates and 36 motorbike plates a year. Over the next decade, the canton expects the auctions to generate around CHF1 million, which will go towards the cantonal structural deficit.

Although CHF150,000 might seem a lot for a number plate, it’s small change compared with the world record of 52.2 million dirhams (CHF14.4 million) paid by an Emirati businessman in 2008 for the minimalist “1”.