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Most popular VIP car number in Delhi sells for record Rs 16 lakh in govt auction

The auction brings a windfall to the government’s exchequer and gratifies the people’s desire for special digits on number plates.

delhi Updated: Jun 23, 2017 10:40 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Car Number,License Plate,Registration Number
Representative image(HT Photo)

The hottest number in town is “0001” and it carries a price tag of Rs 16 lakh.

A private company in the hospitality sector paid as much during the Delhi government’s e-auction this month for fancy registration numbers for cars, breaking previous records in the national capital.

The sought-after “0001” series sold for Rs 12.50 lakh in September 2014 and fetched Rs 12.10 lakh in next year’s auction in the city.

The auction brings a windfall to the government’s exchequer and gratifies people’s desire for special digits on number plates — from date of birth to astrological and numerological numbers that are believed to bring prosperity.

“In just six months we earned Rs 54.70 lakh by selling 29 fancy registration numbers. Last year, we sold 151 and earned Rs 2.29 crore. The demand increases during winters and the festive season such as Diwali when car sales also peak,” said KK Dahiya, the city’s special commissioner of transport.

A Bond-style “0007” and a “0009” are equally preferred. The highest for “0007” was Rs 10.40 lakh in 2015 and Rs 8.50 lakh for “0009” the previous year.

These tier-two numbers were bought this year for Rs 4.10 lakh and Rs 3.90 lakh.

The base auction price for “0001” is Rs 5 lakh, while those from “0002” to “0009” start at Rs 3 lakh. In the third category, bids for numbers such as 0786, popular among Muslims as a talisman, start at Rs 2 lakh.

Officials said the demand for fancy figures on number plates, popular as VIP numbers, has increased over the years, especially after the auction was made fully online from application to payment.

“Most buyers are companies … like the one that bought the 0001. The second top bidder was a sugar company. Only nine 0001 numbers have been bought by individuals since 2014,” Dahiya said.

The Delhi government began the auction in 2014 to increase revenues. Earlier the allotment of such numbers was purely discretionary.

The number one, the starting digit, is the most fancied for varied reasons. But the craze stems from the numerological perspective, which gives the number an elevated spiritual symbolism.

For many people, it gives the sense of being No 1 and flaunting it too.

In 2010, Chandigarh’s Narinder Singh Shergill splurged Rs 10 lakh, half the price of his Toyota Fortuner, to become the proud owner of a “0001” number plate. His wife got angry, but he has no regrets.

The farmer was flush with money — a Rs2-crore compensation for land the government acquired to expand a national highway.

First Published: Jun 23, 2017 07:09 IST