Government auctions raise millions for charities and give the victors bragging rights.
At a charity auction in Dubai, a licence plate fetched an unbelievable 55 million dirhams ($15 million), setting what the auction’s organisers, Emirates Auction, claim is a world record price.
The vanity plate, which simply reads “P7,” broke the previous record held by Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, who paid 52.2 million dirhams ($14.2 million) for a licence plate in February 2008 in an auction held by the same company.
Guinness World Records has been contacted by CNN for confirmation of the new record, but a response has not yet been received.
The auction house said that the money raised from the sale will go to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s “One Billion Meals” initiative, which seeks to assist underprivileged communities worldwide during the holy month of Ramadan. Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai and the UAE. This month’s sale happened sooner.
At the auction conducted at the Four Seasons Hotel Jumeirah, licence plates also brought 2,950,000 dirhams ($800,000) and 140,000 dirhams ($38,000) in bids.
According to the UAE state-run media WAM, the auction generated a total of over 71 million dirhams ($19.3 million) for the campaign.
Although they vary from state to state, vanity licence plate costs are often much lower in the United States.
A personalised licence plate costs $10 annually in Virginia in addition to the cost of vehicle registration and special plates, whereas in New York it costs $31.25 annually in addition to a $60 setup fee.
However, there are still certain plates that cost a similar amount, such as a Delaware licence plate that sold at auction in 2018 for more than $400,000. A “New York” licence plate and the Volvo it is affixed to have been on the market for more than two years with a $20 million asking price.