Ferrari North Europe to sell 25 personalised press car registration numbers at a charity auction Saturday 18 May 2024

FNE number plates indeed: Famous Ferrari-related registrations to go under hammer in charity auction

One careful owner...

Ferrari North Europe (FNE), which includes the UK, is to hold an auction for some of its press cars’ most famous number plates. Yes, a number plate can be famous, especially if it’s one that’s been fixed to the front of a searingly fast Ferrari which has been photographed and featured on the pages of the UK’s best and biggest newspapers and magazines. 

The one you’re most likely to recognise is 458 FNE which appeared on a whole series of cars — both the standard Ferrari 458 Italia and the even more driver-focused 458 Speciale — between 2011 and 2014. Also being sold off is F1 CAL, which was used in the UK for Ferrari California press cars between 2009 and 2016.

  • Ferrari 458 powerslide
  • Ferrari California
  • Ferrari F8 Tributo
  • Ferrari F12berlinetta (handout)

Or you could buy F8 TRB, from an F8 Tributo naturally, or the brilliant V12 SFT, which you’ll not be surprised to hear was used for V12-engined 812 Superfast models from 2018 and 2019.

Actually, there’s a lot more than just those to choose from — these are very much just the highlights as Ferrari is letting no fewer than 25 cherished registrations go to auction, via Iconic Auctioneers.

Number plateRelated meaning and press car use
458 FNE458 Italia / Ferrari North Europe (appeared on four FNE press cars between 2011 and 2014)
C1 FWEConvertible / Ferrari West Europe (car registered in France)
C8 EDFConvertible / 8 cylinder / Electronic Differential (EDF)
F1 CALF1 / California (appeared on six FNE press cars between 2009 and 2016)
F1 FWEF1 / Ferrari West Europe (appeared on a press car registered on behalf of Ferrari West Europe in Paris)
F11 TALF1 / Italy
F12 ALUFerrari F12berlinetta / Aluminium construction
F12 HYKFerrari 12 cylinder / Hybrid KERS
F12 SFTFerrari F12berlinetta / Superfast (bodystyle and transmission)
F8 SFTF8 Tributo / Superfast (appeared on two FNE press cars in 2018 and 2019)
F8 TRBF8 Tributo (appeared on the F8 Tributo FNE press car in 2020)
FF12 BERFerrari F12berlinetta
FF12 FNEFerrari F12berlinetta / Ferrari North Europe
HY12 KERHybrid 12 cylinder / KERS
SF69 HYBScuderia Ferrari / Hybrid
V12 HGTV12 / Handling GT
V12 HYKV12 / Hybrid KERS
V12 OTOV12 / One to One (prior to Atelier Personalisation)
V12 SFTV12 / Superfast (bodystyle and transmission)
V6 FDEV6 / Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer
V6 YAWV6 / Yaw Control
V70 LAF70th Anniversary / LaFerrari (appeared on the very limited series LaFerrari Aperta produced to celebrate the company’s 70th Anniversary, which was the lead car in the 70th anniversary UK tour)
V8 EDFV8 / Electronic Differential (EDF)
V8 PFNV8 / Portofino
V8 SCUV8 / Scuderia (appeared on a 430 Scuderia FNE press car in Avio Metallic, which won several 2008 Car of the Year tests)

The auction will be part of a larger sale of Ferrari cars due to take place at Sywell Park on the May 18, as part of Supercar Fest. 

Ferrari F8 Tributo

This isn’t about Ferrari trying to prop up its press garage budget, as all of the proceeds from the registrations sale will go to the motor industry benevolent charity Ben.

The money raised will go to “life-changing support for families in the automotive industry, including additional educational needs for children and young people, tackling issues such as digital poverty, increasing access to technology to aid learning, provision of additional mentoring and tutoring to help narrow attainment gaps for those struggling at school, as well as meeting basic costs associated with primary and higher education.”

Personal plates are big business

Expensive number plates are big business these days, and even the government gets in on the act with the DVLA holding back registrations with number and letter combinations which it thinks might be valuable for sale at a later date. There are specialist plate-sourcing companies that snap up the DVLA-issued plates as they come out and sell them on, often at a considerable profit. 

The matter of which is the most valuable number plate in the world is something of a constantly moving target, but a good bet must be ‘7’, which was recently sold to the owner of a Bentley Flying Spur saloon in Dubai for a cool £12 million. 

Back in the UK, the DVLA’s most valuable plate sold in 2023 was H1 NDU which went for £112,010. According to the DVLA, it’s the letter O that really tends to drive up the value of a plate, with most of the top-ten most valuable plates that it sold last year featuring that letter. Having the number 1 also helps, no doubt partly as it can also be viewed as the letter “I”.

Recently, Hollywood-themed number plates have been hitting the headlines, with BAR 8IE being put up for a whopping £1m, while AU1 — the actual number plate used for Goldfinger’s gold-bodied Rolls-Royce in the 1964 James Bond film — was put on sale for more than £300,000.

Other Ferrari plates do exist

Of course, there’s an ultimate Ferrari number plate that Ferrari doesn’t own. That would be 25 O, which of course works perfectly for any Ferrari with the classic 250 number, including the immortal 250 GTO, which was — before Mercedes sold off its museum-piece Uhlenhaut coupé — generally considered to be the most valuable car in the world; any of the 18 or so still surviving from the 1960s is generally worth around £45 million. 

The 25 O number plate was bought in 2014 by the owner of Talacrest, a renowned Ferrari dealership. It was valued at a cool £400,000 at the time. 

Vanity plates such as this have moved way beyond being mere symbols of wealth and personalisation — last year, the private number plate industry in the UK was reckoned to be worth more than £2 billion and the plates are now starting to be considered a good an investment — perhaps even better than the cars themselves, considering the lack of upkeep costs. There have been suggestions that canny investors can double their money in as little as 12 months if they buy the right plate at the right time. 

However, as with all investments, values can go down as well as up so it’s usually best to buy one you like and any gain in value is then a bonus. On that basis, we’ll take V8 EDF from the Ferrari plate sale — the EDF stands for electronic differential, and that seems suitably nerdy for us. 

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