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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Kerala businessman shells out Rs 31 lakh for fancy car number

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

india Updated: Feb 05, 2019 13:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram
( Cesar Soto/Bloomberg)
         

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 Rs 31 lakh. Balagopal had paid more than Rs 1 crore for his imported blue Porsche 718 Boxter.

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

Balagopal later registered the number after paying Rs 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 Rs 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 Rs 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.

First Published: Feb 05, 2019 13:31 IST

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