ACT number plate with just one letter fetches almost $150,000 at auction

A single letter ACT number plate has sold at auction for almost $150,000, leaving its seller “thrilled”.

The plate, which simply read ‘X’, was otherwise a traditional ACT number plate with blue text on a white background.

The online auction was held over two weeks with a Victorian bidder snapping up the ‘X’ plate for $147,200, setting a new record for the selling price of a Canberra number plate.

ALL BIDS general manager Ben Hastings hosted the auction and said the rare item sold for more money than he had expected.

“That’s obviously the perks of going to an open auction where the market gets to dictate the price and sometimes it can just absolutely blow things out of the water,” Mr Hastings said.

With only 26 single letter plates existing in the territory, he said it had been difficult to estimate the price of the plate and had “conservatively” set the cost at $40,000.

A close up of an ACT number plate with the letter X.
The ‘X’ number plate recorded the highest known purchase price for a plate in Canberra. (ABC News: Geo Donaldson)

The online bidding was open to local, interstate and even international prospective buyers.

“All the top bidders were Victorian, which was surprising, and they sort of priced out the Canberrans quite quickly,” Mr Hastings said.

“If that plate was a Victorian number plate, it could have been worth four times, five times [the amount] or maybe more.

“So, for [the buyer], it was a bit of a bargain really.”

Despite the hefty price tag paid for the plate, Mr Hastings said it was unlikely the new owner would be showing it off on the roads.

“They will likely just put it in storage with Access Canberra and keep it as a private collection and investment,” he said.

Mr Hastings said he recalled a mass sale of ACT number plates in the territory in the 1990s that saw the ACT Government auction dozens of words in alphabetical order.

He said at the time, bidders had not realised that the single letters of the alphabet had also been available. 

But once people cottoned on, all 26 letters were quickly snapped up.

Mr Hastings said perhaps the only number plates that were more valuable were the ones that featured single digits.

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