‘Doris’, ‘Dave’, ‘Henry’, ‘Betsy’ and ‘Bumble’ were popular choices, with the largest proportion of those who said they named their car coming from the East Midlands (28%). The smallest proportion came from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (1%, 3% and 6% respectively).
Women were almost twice as likely to give their car a name as men (65% and 35% respectively), with the majority of people who said they name their cars aged between 55 and 64 (41% within this age group said they gave their car a name).
The make, model, colour and ‘general look’ of the car were the common reasons given for the choice of name, with Fords, Vauxhalls, Toyotas, BMWs and Hyundais being the makes of vehicle most frequently given a name.
With 87% saying they had bought a personalised registration to match the name they give to their car, this could explain some of the obscure personalised registrations seen on cars.
DVLA Personalised Registrations sales manager Jody Davies said:
We sold DOR 1S, DAV 3S, HEN 2Y and HER 81E in the past, as well as personalised registrations where the meaning and significance seems much less obvious. It’s no surprise to find that people want to say something about their car in this way – whether the name is something personal to them or a bit of fun that they want to share with others.
Personalised registrations can be sold at auction for varying – and sometimes very large - amounts of money, but online they start from £250 so getting the ideal plate for your car could be less expensive than you may have thought.
In the last financial year 2017 to 2018, the sale of personalised registrations by DVLA raised over £160 million for HM Treasury. With around 50 million personalised registrations for sale on DVLA’s website, motorists can find out if their car’s name is available with just a few clicks.
Notes to editors
The personalised registrations referred to in the text were sold by DVLA at auction as follows:
- DOR 1S - £6,800 September 1990
- DAV 3S - £9,100 September 1999
- HER 81E - £7,000 January 2003
- HEN 2Y - £6,300 June 2005
The prices quoted above do not include VAT on the ‘hammer price’ listed; the buyer’s premium (+VAT) and DVLA assignment fees.
For the financial year 2017 to 2018, the sale of personalised registrations by DVLA generated £161,902,560 revenue for HM Treasury, including VAT and assignment fees.
Names that appeared more than once were:
- The Beast
- Herb / Herbie
The personalised registration depicted in the image, BR17 NEY is available for sale at the next DVLA live auction, taking place at the Oxford Belfry Hotel, Milton Common on 18, 19 and 20 July 2018, with a reserve price of £700 (plus fees).
Quoted statistics are based on responses to a DVLA survey.