Show Plates Auction Tips

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You’ve got the car you want, you’ve adjusted the spec so it’s perfect. You’ve added all of the individual touches you wanted and the only thing missing is the perfect show plate – the final piece in the jigsaw that makes the car characteristically yours.

You find a suitable plate and it’s about to be auctioned. You know you want it, you’ve got the cash and you get yourself ready for the auction. You steel yourself and feel in control.

Then the auction starts. You’re excited, it’s frantic and you make decisions you perhaps wouldn’t – decisions that could be potentially disastrous.

It’s important to go into a show plate auction prepared, so follow our simple tips to make sure you don’t do anything stupid at the show plate auction and still walk away successful…

Assess your options

You’ve found a show plate and it’s going up for auction, but could you find something similar or perhaps more suitable elsewhere? Maybe a site has a plate that is close to what you want, or perhaps even better.

It’s important to do really, really thorough research before you commit to the auction. Prices can really escalate and you may get carried away, so check it’s something you really want before you jump in with both feet.

Spend time looking around and trying variations of the show plate you’re after. You may save yourself a packet! For some inspiration, check out Show Plates Direct

Set a budget

Unless you’ve got some seriously deep pockets, set a budget you’re willing to spend and make sure you stick to it religiously.

Research shows that during an auction adrenaline rises and people get carried away, making decisions they later regret. Don’t be one of them – it’s an easy trap to fall into.

Remember, UK law states that if you bid in an auction, you’ve entered into a contract to buy. When the hammer drops on a purchase, you’ve got to follow through on it. You can’t go back later and say you made a mistake, so stick to what you can afford.

Don’t get carried away

In the speed of an auction, you may lose sight of what something is actually worth.

If the bidding reaches the top end of what you can afford, question if it’s really the exact plate for you? Is there an alternative that you could buy for a fraction of the price? Something that you’d be just as happy with?

There’s a case of the rose-tinted glasses when we see an item we like, but remember, this isn’t an impulse purchase from a shop that you can take back if you change your mind – this is a car registration plate, it’s something you’ve committed to.

Stay calm, stay rational and stay in control.

Know Yourself – and Prepare For it!

Some of us are impulsive and in an auction, that can be a disaster! In a fast-paced environment where prices can rocket, keeping your impulsive nature under wraps is hard.

With that in mind, a good tip is to invite a close friend/partner/spouse/sibling who is rationale and not in love with the plate you’re after to stay with you, keeping you calm and in control. They’re completely objective in this environment so may be the sensible voice in a sea of chaos!


Keeping your head is vital to success in the auction – you don’t want to make a decision you later regret, so follow these tips and you’ll always leave the auction a winner, either with the plate or with your credit score in tact!