Everything You Need to Know About Heritage Plates

You’ve asked questions and we’re here to tell you all you need to know about heritage plates! Heritage plates are a booming market that has increased in popularity in recent years, but sometimes it is difficult to determine what is a heritage plate and what isn’t one. Let’s dive in and answer all of the questions you might have about heritage plates.

What is a heritage plate and the significance of them?

Heritage plates are generally considered to be the first official number plates issued in each Australian state or territory. The plate will have the state prefix on it with a number. The lower the number, the more valuable it will be. They were the first ever number plates issued in each state and were available from the 1920s.

How do heritage plates differ from regular or personalised plates?

In Australia there are three different types of vehicle registration plates. The first is the standard plates issued by the relevant state or territory and consist of a combination of random letters and numbers, these do not hold any specific meaning or personalisation. The second is personalised plates, often referred to us custom plates. This allows the vehicle owner to choose a specific combination of letters and numbers and are subject to availability. The third is heritage plates which are the first official number plates issued in each Australian state or territory.

How much do heritage plates sell for? Are they all worth the same amount?

Heritage plates can range from a couple thousand dollars to multi-millions of dollars depending on the rarity of the plate. One heritage plate sold through Lloyds broke Australian records, selling for over $11 million, which was NSW1. There has also been Q1 which sold for over $5.6 million, and others have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their exclusivity and age make them highly valuable. Low-digit plates, especially single and double digits, can fetch millions at auctions due to their rarity. 

Why are they so popular?

There are a couple reasons why heritage plates are so popular. They are seen as a status symbol, and they also increase in valuable over time so are of high interest to many investors. Many of the rarer heritage plates are owned by high-net worth individuals or business and have got a lot of stories behind them. Some plates are seen to have increased up to 200% in value in a 2-3 year period which attracts more people into the market. Unlike other collectibles, heritage plates are considered a “theft- proof” investment because the value lies in the ownership title, not the physical plate itself.

How can I get a heritage plate?

While they are spotted regularly on the roads, they can be extremely hard to purchase, especially when it comes to the extremely rare plates. If you’re looking to purchase a heritage plate you can view our monthly heritage plate auctions held on the last Saturday of every month. If you’re looking to sell your heritage plate, contact us 1800 456 588.

Matt Kalinski

Head Of Valuations

Qualifications & Affiliations

American Society of Appraisers Candidate Member

Certified Practicing Valuer AVAA


Matt has been in the valuations space for many years and has extensive experience in the space across an abundance of various industries. He now leads the valuations teams for Lloyds Auctions with a passion for encouraging his team to set and achieve high goals and produce great results for the company whilst growing the team’s skills starting with a great culture and team mindset.