Ludhiana, touted as the biggest market for high-end sports utility vehicles and luxury sedans, is known for another fetish, that of, outbidding each other to acquire fancy or VIP numbers for their mean machines. However, this frenzy for fancy numbers seems to be dwindling, as the district transport office (DTO) which holds e-auction of vanity vehicle numbers in the first week of every month, has no plans yet to conduct the auction. The deterrent as per the DTO are the approximately 3,000 fancy numbers from the last 15 series which remain unallocated till date.
District transport officer Lovejeet Kalsi, who joined on November 17, said, “I observed there is a long list of fancy numbers that are still not allocated. So, there are no plans yet to auction the registration numbers from the new series as it will be better to allot the available numbers first. The public is invited on the first come first serve basis.”
It is generally believed that in wake of demonetisation, there would have been a few or no bidders for vanity numbers this month. Some automobile companies, requesting anonymity, mentioned that demonetisation has also affected the sale of cars. This craze for fancy numbers is fuelled by more than sheer vanity and instant elevation to the ‘riche rich league’. It’s also strongly influenced by numerology, anniversary and birth dates. An astrologer, Manoj Sharma, said that on an average around 10 people approach him in a month for selecting lucky vehicle number as well as its colour but, this month due to demonetisation the number of clients has reduced.
The waning trend of vanity numbers
As per the details of the last month auction of FA series, just 37 bidders came up to bid for 14 vanity vehicle numbers which were 0002, 0003, 0005, 0006, 0007, 0008, 0012, 0100, 1010, 1234, 1313, 7777,8181 and 9999.
After comparing the data of the last three series FA, EZ and EX it was ascertained that the bidders are coming up for the number’s 0002 to 0009 and there are no takers for 0001. Among the category of two digit numbers from 0010 to 0099, the numbers 0010 and 0011 usually get the bidder but the rest of the numbers in the series occasionally gets only one or no takers.
Similarly, in the category from 0100 to 0999 and 1111 to 9999 there are around two bidders for 0100, 1111, 7777 and 9999, the rest remain unallocated. Same is the case with other categories (0123 to 0990) and (1010 to 9898).
In the last three series, it was also observed that the fancy numbers 0002 to 0009 and 1313 got a bid of over lakhs, while the rest of numbers in the list were auctioned at their reserve price.
Rahul Verma, a traffic missionary, suggested that the government should initiate a scheme to allocate the old numbers if a lot of VIP numbers remained unsold. It can generate income for the government. The district transport authority can even eliminate those fancy numbers from e-auction list which are having no takers or are getting sold at their reserve price.
Once in trend, 0001 has no takers now, same is the fate of 6111
The vanity vehicle number 0001, which used to be auctioned for nearly ₹4 lakh, has no takers now. Since the government raised the reserved price for this number from ₹50,000 to ₹5 lakh, it remains unsold. Similarly, there are no takers for 6111 now. A few years ago, people with surname ‘Gill’ used to aesthetically modify the numerals 6111 on their vehicle number plate to make it resemble ‘Gill’ but after the high-security number plates were brought into use, this number became outdated.
Selection of vanity numbers as per astrology
Astrologer, Manoj Sharma, explained, “Many astrologers follow western astrology while some follow vedic astrology. In western astrology, the selection is based on the date of birth whereas in vedic astrology, everything like date and place of birth, and planetary position is taken into consideration and then an auspicious number is selected.”
“People mostly select odd numbers as it is believed to represent male energy while even numbers represent feminine energy,” he added.