The deal with car plates: explained !!

  What's the big deal with car plates??  

Of course, cars and plates go together. But not everyone really understands the "meaning" of plates and what they represent. What I'll try to do here is to explain what the fuss is all about, according to me. What kind of plates are we talking about? Just browse down and take a look at the pictures, plates such as : 11111, G 55, 77177... I think you get the drift. Those kind of plates are usually a good way for the authorities to make a quick buck : they're very expensive. Sometimes, worth millions of dollars (numbers such as "1" or "5", for example). Attention : although this article is all about arabic plates, the special plates phenomena is not exclusively arabic : countries such as the UK allows car owners to choose their number plate (in exchange of a certain sum of money): 2 BE, F1ANCY, BUL 5, VI...

First of all, the "special" explanation.
Having a plate like "1" is amazing. It makes the car special in a way random plates wouldn't, simply because like I just said, the plate isn't random, it was obviously chosen to be this way. Considering not everyone gets to chose what to put in their license plate, it's always an amazed feeling you get when you see a special plate. You're bound to think that this isn't a simple coincidence (a plate such as 1111 is obviously rare and on purpose). The simple fact of not being like everyone else, of being different in a good way, being unique... that's the definition of special. And like I said, people pay a big deal of money to have these plates, making them even more special considering now everyone can spend 10 million dollars on something as meaningless as a number plate (in a strictly objective and exterior point of view). On another matter, some plates are just extraordinary as in they're customized and personalized : they can either be a family emblem, a fancy sculpture or whatever the owner wants them to be. That's especially true for royalty in their OWN country : for instance, the sultan of Brunei has customized and personal plates on his +5000 cars).
Most of the time (although it's not an absolute rule), special plates come with special cars, not some random low-budget car : Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes SLR, Lamborghini LP670-4 SV... This helps to make the point: an amazing car with a very unusual plate makes the whole sight "special". When you see such a plate on a car, you can't help but think about the owner. Most of the time, you're also probably thinking that he or she must be an important person. But that's more part of the next explanation.

Second of all, the "social " explanation.
Having a special plate makes you a special person. Like I said, when you see a nice car with a nice plate, you obviously think of the owner as some rich and powerful person. It shows everyone what kind of person you are (or what kind of person you want people to think you are), and gives the owner some sort of social status. That's especially true for people in the middle-east. I'll take the most complex example, but the also the best: the United Arab Emirates (UAE). For example, in Dubai, plates are as follow : " Letter + number from 1 to 99999". A few years ago, a rumour said that the closer you were to the letter A, the closer you were to the royal family and the higher your social status was.
That's not exactly true nowadays, considering the royal family is rather known for having "rare" and "unseen" letters such as M, O, S, U, X ... When it comes to the numbers, the shorter the better. Or all the same number (8888) or number combinations (7799, 1110, 6363...). Some examples of what is considered to be a special plate in Dubai: A-7, O-55, B-7777, G-5959 ... You get the drift!

Finally, the pictures.
Sources of the pictures:
Internet and FlickR (I just cropped the plates to show them).

Some arabic plates:

But the arabs aren't the only ones to have cool plates! The english have amazing plates too!

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