My valuation of a plate is on the car. I can understand taking a good plate off for £1000s. But cover plates for a few £100? Often the cars loss of history and place is calculated at more than the value of selling the number. I deduct value for numberless, or dispossessed cars. But I would buy them, and did so from quite a few number plate traders. How does that work? The prices were right, as they knew they had raped the cars, my task was to rebuild an identity out of what was left. I was quite good at it.

I probably could have made a fair bit selling numbers on, but I rarely did so as my respect for the cars, and its history, was greater than my need for the small extra profit available. That is why I really value my 100% original cars. They will not win prizes but they have all their history and are bung right. Once fiddled with, 'restored' or otherwise messed about, they loose that integrity where I can remove a few panels at an event and prove that half the KR200 present are, in fact, wronguns. Including many prize winners, oh dear! Again I rarely bother, but I have been challenged more than once. It most amusing.

If folk want to trade plates, let them. I think it says all you need to know about our registration system, and the Governments relationship to the car owner. Not fit for purpose, save making money in complicated ways avoiding responsibility. Its no wonder folk from other countries do not understand our system.

So when offered a classic with description Car £500, plate £1,000, I will do a deal on the car. Thing of it is, generally the seller cannot get the plate off. Or if he can he does not want to put it on retention. So in fact the advert is wrong. Then we get to grips with buying the car intact for its correct price.

Lastly, numbers are a leasehold investment. They belong to the State and you agree to rent them. To me that is a poor form of investment, as it can be taken away by the sweep of a pen. If I owned number - well I do. I own numbers but I do not ever include there value in my statistical work, as they are an insecure form of investment, like so much else, ultimately only worth what someone pays for them. If I was after money I should sell of my numbers, save for my best cars to keep and bang the rest out abroad. Thus converting the numbers into cash to invest in something more tangible, like dog biscuits.

The whole topic of numbers is rather vexing.