Aussie state brings back exclusive number plates after 'unprecedented demand'

A selection of six-digit Victorian Heritage number plates will be on offer for lucky Aussies hoping to cash in on the growing trend.

Two parked cars with black and white six-digit Heritage number plates.
VicRoads is releasing a batch of six-digit Heritage number plates in July following last year's 'unprecedented demand'. Source: Instagram/VicRoads

If you're hoping to join one of a few Aussie drivers sporting a one-of-a-kind heritage number plate, then now might be the chance to snap one up — but you have to have some cash to spare.

Previously, Yahoo News Australia explained the demand for heritage plates can see them fetch millions at auctions across the country. And now a selection of six-digit Heritage plates will be up for grabs with VicRoads releasing several to the public.

Heritage plates, sometimes referred to as numerical plates, are immensely popular among collectors and investors and it's become a booming market that's increased in popularity in recent years. Anything from 1 up to 285,000 is considered a heritage plate in Victoria — the state, along with NSW, driving much of the demand — with single digits the most sought-after.

They were the first number plates issued in Victoria and were available between 1932 and 1939. Heritage Plates are held by VicRoads and are drip-fed into circulation, and are only available to purchase via private sellers and auction houses.

A yellow lamborghini and grey Audi car with black heritage number plates
The exclusive plates are in high demand with only a select few seen on Victorian roads. Source: Instagram

Traditionally, six-digit Heritage plates have been available on the VicRoads Custom Plates website. Last year, six-digit Heritage plates became available for customers to order their selected combination, subject to availability.

But after three days, the release was paused due to the high level of demand — and based on that response, VicRoads is "anticipating high demand" once more, Giles Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, VicRoads Registration and Licensing Services said.

"The last time six-digit Heritage plates were available in July 2023, the availability had to be paused due to unprecedented demand," Thompson told Yahoo News Australia this week.

"We know customers will be excited by the chance to get their hands on a rich piece of Victorian motoring history — especially those who may have missed out on the opportunity last year."

Two Mercedes cars with Victorian black heritage number plates.
A selection of six-digit plates will be available for drivers who can request a combination of numbers within a range. Source: VicRoads

The average price paid for three-digit, four-digit and five-digit Heritage plates has more than doubled over the past three years, demonstrating the popularity of these plates. Ramy Attia, from Heritage Only, a premium marketplace for heritage plates, previously told Yahoo, "We've seen plates shoot up 200 per cent (in value) in a two to three-year period" — and that attracts more people to the market.

In February, Victoria’s “luckiest” custom number plate, '888-888' sold for an eye-watering $230,000 at auction, more than quadrupling the previous record for the state. While New South Wales number plate 'NSW 1', which had been "tightly held for decades," surpassed its $10 million estimate and sold for a humungous $12.4 million in January.

Victorian heritage number plate 110.911.
Some of the combinations available from July include 110.911, 111.050 and 111.060, but there'll also be others. Source: VicRoads

While single-digit plates are the most sought-after, and most difficult to come by, six-digit plates are just as much in demand. Some of the combinations available from July include 110.911, 111.050 and 111.060.

"The value a Heritage number plate has to a customer can be influenced by several factors, including rarity, low digits, unique character combinations, repeating numbers, mirrored sequences, and alternating patterns are always in high demand," Thompson said.

"Beyond the visual style, there is also the value that lies in the personal significance they hold for the owner, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or some other milestone."

The exact release date and all available plate combinations will be announced in the coming weeks. So too will their costs. Availability will operate on a ‘first in, best dressed’ basis. Anyone interested in these plates has the chance to order them, with no restrictions on eligibility.

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