Kerala businessman shells out 31 lakh for fancy car number

Updated on Feb 05, 2019 01:39 PM IST

The regional transport authority said this is the highest amount bid for a fancy number in the state and even in southern India.

(Cesar Soto/Bloomberg)
(Cesar Soto/Bloomberg)
Thiruvananthapuram | By

What’s in a number? For KS Balagopal, there is a lot.

The Thiruvananthapuram-based businessman has paid a fortune to win a fancy registration number for his sports utility vehicle by luxury carmaker Porsche in a closely-contested bid.

In the open auction held at the transport office in Kerala’s state capital on Monday, pharmaceutical distributor walked away with the number, KL-01CK-1, after coughing up 31 lakh. Balagopal had paid more than 1 crore for his imported blue Porsche 718 Boxter.

There were three contenders till the last round which began with 500. A Dubai-based non-resident Indian (NRI) quit the bid when it crossed 10 lakh but the second bidder came close with his offer of 25.50 lakh. But when Balagopal hiked the bid by 5 lakh at 30 lakh, he too left the scene.

Balagopal later registered the number after paying 1 lakh for the application and other formalities.

The regional transport authority said this is the highest amount bid for a fancy number in the state and even in southern India.

Balagopal, who owns a fleet of luxury cars, still holds the record in Kerala for paying such a huge amount of money for the numbers of his cars. In 2017, he paid 19 lakh for his Toyota Land Cruiser to get the number KL-01CB-01.

He says his latest collection is a record - the highest amount paid for a fancy number was 26 lakh in Haryana six years ago.

Balagopal said “number addiction” was his childhood obsession and he never regrets spending big on his favourite numbers.

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