Number plate retailers could be benefiting from the slump in new car sales, according to Swiftcover.com.
Research by the online insurance company backs up the theory that motorists are spending money making over their existing vehicles rather than buying new ones.
While the number of new cars sales is down by about a fifth so far this year, just 4% fewer personalised number plates have been sold.
However, the price drivers are willing to pay for their plates has fallen significantly.
The average online price has dropped by 8%, while the average auction price has crashed by 17%.
But figures collated by Swiftcover.com suggest that it is still a lucrative market:
- 236k personalised number plates were bought in 2008/09 worth a combined Â£80.6m
- The average online selling price was Â£350
- The average price at auction was Â£2500
Tina Shortle, marketing director, said: â€œSplashing out on a flash number helps to lift the gloom a bit and make motoring more fun.”