Gladstone: A million dollars in plates at roughly $700 a go

WE'VE forked out almost $1 million on personalised number plates over the past few years.

Gladstone region drivers spent an average $704 on 1361 of the signature edition plates for their cars in four years.

That adds up to a whopping $958,144.

Biloela, Calliope and Tannum Sands lead the sales figures.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the average price of plates bought in the region was $703.93.

Sales had spiked in 2012, with 512, almost double the 2011 amount.

Figures from 2013 and this year indicated plate sales had remained strong, as local drivers looked to put a more personal touch on their beloved vehicles.

It is estimated about 590,000 personalised plates are in circulation in Queensland since 1999, with almost 300 varieties available in the personalised plate range.

Starting at $445, drivers can expect to fork out significant dollars the rarer they want their plates to be.

"Prices range from just $445 right through to $5000 for the rare two-character collector plates," the TMR spokesperson said.

"Once a plate is bought, it's yours for life.

"From humorous and clever, to meaningful and just plain smug, there's no doubt that personalised plates can make a big statement from a small space."

While increasingly popular in Gladstone, the plates weren't for everyone, as local Kimberley Paroz pointed out.

"I think they're a bit pretentious," she said.

Anderson's Auto City general sales manager Paul Klease said he'd seen an increase in personalised plates of late, estimating about a quarter of the cars that left his caryard had new or existing personalised plates.

"Yeah, we always get people that like to individualise," he said.

"People like to have number plates to suit their cars, like HSV and the build number."

Mr Klease said certain things associated with certain cars could increase value due to their uniqueness.

"We had an HSV client from Rockhampton a few years ago and his number plate was 'HSV BOY'," he said. "A lot of people also get personalised plates to make it easier when having to quote registration numbers for different things."

The local car dealer said it was not uncommon for his company to arrange personalised plates for clients, so the car rolled out of the saleyard with ready-made individual plates.

"It's (personalised plates) a popular present for young girls," he said.

The Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said personalised plates were not that difficult to acquire.

"Personalised plates are easy to order and attach; plates are manufactured and delivered within 10 business days from ordering," the spokesperson said.

"The ownership details of your personalised plates need not match the registration details of the vehicle, provided both parties have authorised the attachment."