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Looking for a bidded car number plate? Here are the different types of Singapore license plates and why some are desirable and sought after.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice


If cars are an expression, their number plates are a badge of recognition.

We have different types of car number plates here in Singapore, but we can't have customised or vanity plates here. We only can bid for specific numbers that we fancy when the Land Transport Authority releases a new vehicle registration number series.

There are many reasons why you should bid for your next number plate. Single digits, double digits, repeated numbers or ones with meanings? We put out all the reasons why some car number plates in Singapore for private cars are so valuable.


Old and vintage plates

The E-prefix is a unique series that only existed from the 70s to the 80s
The most sought after plates are the ones which have very few numbers and letters. These are the single S-prefix denoting the first licence plates in Singapore, and the E-prefix which was introduced in the early 70s.

This is followed by the two-letter prefixes, after the single-prefix series was exhausted.

Some examples include S11T, SS3S, and E100T. There are only a few currently in circulation, and occasionally do come up for sale.

You can always hunt for them in the Vintage licence plate section. Who knows, there might be a plate that catches your attention!


Single digits

This Ssangyong Tivoli sports an exotic single digit number plate that's from 1991!
There's nothing like seeing a single digit licence plate. And many are currently available for sale under the single digit number list!

You really can't go wrong with a single digit number plate. It is easy to remember, and with a maximum of five characters - allows for a visually appealing number plate.

While they are easier to attain as long as you can afford bidding for them, you'll always be holding on to a rare plate, for only nine out of 9999 possibilities of each series are single digits!


Identical digits, identical letter

On this BMW X7, the 'T' and '7' appear identical, which adds to the repeated number appeal
Due to how licence plates are issued, you cannot choose what letters you'd like.

But there is a fixed calculation to assign the last checksum letter. Hence, scoring the same or similar letters and numbers is highly desirable.

For example, some desirable plates of this type include SGW777M (inverted letters and repeated numbers), or better, SDS6666S, where the numbers and letters appear identical.

Even better if you can score a vintage plate with repeated letters and numbers!


Repeated numbers

There are many repeated number combinations in every number plate series, with a reasonable amount of demand in every bidding cycle
While vintage number plates and identical letters might be hard to come by, repeated numbers are easier to attain.

Many of such number plates are available for sale, be it two-digit, three-digit or four-digit number plates. They're pretty common, so you can pick and choose.

You can also try your luck bidding for some of these numbers through current bidding exercises for newer plates, with a minimum bid of $1,000 through One Motoring's bidding exercise, here.

Whether it is 777, 111, or even 9999 you're looking for, they are some of the more attainable numbers available.


Anagrams, glyphs and model numbers

Particular numbers can compliment some cars, like this Ferrari 488 GTB on a 488 number plate
While number plates are issued in running order, you might find some interesting combinations that can spell out real words. An example would be EA5Y (EASY), and more recently, SMU680Y (SMUG BOY).

While some combine the exclusivity of vintage plates with single digits and similar lettering, anagrams can come in any shape or form - you just have to be creative. Some also choose to have their vehicle's model designations on their plates.

Of course, don't be moving numbers and letters around to spell out the words better. There are very strict rules for number plate formats in Singapore.


Q-plate company car scheme

Is it a police car? Or a foreign vehicle? Nope, its the rare 'Q' number plate!
The most obscure, unique plates are those that don't start with the S-prefix. It is none other than the Q-prefix.

It is a result of an old scheme, which required company cars to start with a Q-prefix. Since 1998, the Q-prefix was abolished. Company cars registered now come with the standard S-prefix.

But it doesn't mean you have to convert to an S-prefix if you already have a plate with the letter 'Q'. They can be converted to private use, and have been transferred over to newer cars.

This legacy system results in some rare combinations - such as QSR888K and QEQ931P, still in circulation today. A notable Q-prefix plate – Q69M - was once put up for sale with an asking price of a whopping $1 million!


Numbers with meanings

Depending on your own interpretation, some number plates can have auspicious meanings behind them
While the numbers we mentioned are more of a visual treat, some numbers carry on meanings on their own.

In Cantonese, '8' and '3' are considered lucky numbers. Some popular numbers are '8' (Huat, or prosper in Hokkien), and '168' (Huat all the way). Depending on how these numbers are pronounced in different dialects, you probably can have a plate with an auspicious meaning to it.

And if you're feeling devellish, perhaps a '666' plate might be something right up your alley?


Here are some number plate related articles that you might be interested in

Types of car number plates in Singapore

6 reasons you should spend money on a bidded number plate

Six obsessive-compulsive car plate rules


Looking for that special number plate? Check out sgCarMart's list of bidded car number plates for sale here.
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