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    Feb 25, 2016

    Bidder pays $335,000 for car plate S 32 H

    IT COSTS more than an average car and is worth as much as a new five-room flat in Sengkang.

    Vintage vehicle registration number S 32 H was sold for a cool $335,000 at a public auction held by Knight Frank at Amara Hotel on Feb 17.

    The bidder who won is a local businessman.

    Car dealers The New Paper spoke to said the plate number was able to fetch the high price because single-S plate numbers are extremely rare.

    Car dealer Ivan Lim said: "The market value for a single-S car registration number is priced around $300,000. So I am not surprised by the amount the plate number was sold for."

    A vehicle owner is allowed to keep a licence number as long as the fees and paperwork are in order, and the number is registered to a vehicle.

    Mr Lim, who has over 30 years' experience in the industry, said the S 32 H plate is the 22nd licence plate to be registered in the private vehicle market in Singapore.

    He added that the single-S vehicle numbers from one to 10 are being used for government or official vehicles.

    Bobby Chng, 50, a car dealer with Eurospeed Auto, said: "Once (such plate numbers) come out in the market and are bought, they will not come out again."

    He estimated that there are only 20 single-S registration plates left in Singapore, with just five up for sale.

    The rest from that era are probably discontinued because most people back then would not have chosen to pay extra to retain the licence number, he added.

    Director and head of Knight Frank's auction department, Sharon Tan, said the seller of S 32 H was happy with the outcome of the auction.

    She added that the seller is a prominent person in Singapore but declined to reveal more.

    Ms Tan said the starting bid for the licence number, which was first commissioned about 70 years ago, began at $280,000 and saw three active bidders in the auction.

    A local businessman in the aluminium industry eventually won with the final bid of $335,000.

    A check on the Land Transport Authority's OneMotoring website showed that the licence number is registered to a Mercedes Benz C180.

    Mr Chng said: "Singaporeans don't look only at the car, they also look at the car number.

    "For the super rich, their $1.5 million sports car can't just have a normal plate. They need a nice or unique number to go along with it because it is symbolic of their status.

    "For other people, they might buy a 'lucky' car plate number to change their luck."