Four bidders vied for the number AP09 CR 7777, the hammer eventually going down for an astounding Rs. 2.22 lakh
Four-wheeler sales might not be very encouraging this year but the fascination for fancy vehicle registration numbers among new car buyers has not diminished. In fact, with each passing year, it continues to hit a new high in the city.
On June 11, a private company bid a jaw-dropping Rs.1.81 lakh for the number AP09 CR 6666 for its Rolls Royce at the Khairatabad RTO. The figure has been eclipsed in the space of less than a month.
This time, four bidders vied for the number AP09 CR 7777, the hammer eventually going down for an even more astounding Rs. 2.22 lakh. Banjara Hills resident Venkat Rao T. bid successfully for his Range Rover, Khairatabad Regional Transport Officer S. Chandrasekhar said.
The transport department’s coffers, meanwhile, has been overflowing with money from these auctions. Since January this year, the Khairatabad office netted over Rs. 37 lakh through auction of fancy registration numbers. The figure for the whole of last year was over Rs. 2.80 crore. Of all the numbers, the highest bid was for AP09 CM 9999, which fetched about Rs.8.50 lakh and AP09 CH 9999 and AP09CJ 9999 went for 8.25 lakh each. In 2011, the office earned close to Rs.2.20 crore.
Generally, vehicle owners try for a ‘9999’ number, irrespective of the series. At times, 10 to 15 owners bid for a single number, Mr. Chandrasekhar said, sounding confident.
“We have already earned Rs. 37 lakh this year and I am pretty sure we will cross the earnings of the last two years,” he said.
Though there are four other RTOs — Secunderabad, Malakpet, Mehdipatnam and Bahadurpura — in the capital, bidding for numbers is generally higher at the Khairatabad office.
After successfully bidding for a number, a vehicle owner has to register the number within 15 days from the date of bid closure. Otherwise, it would be cancelled and the number added to the leftover numbers list in the respective series. The bid amount will neither be refunded nor the number allotted to other vehicle owners.