The Enigma of HS 0 - Unravelling the Rare Council Plate

East Renfrewshire Council plans to sell the “HS 0” registration plate given to the former Eastwood District Council many years ago.


Single and double-digit registrations consisting of just one or two letters accompanied with a zero are very rare. They were created especially for local authorities for use on official vehicles and not issued as part of the regular registration’s releases.


As the use of cars became more widespread, those in prominent local government positions were deemed worthy of special treatment when it came to assigning registrations to their civic vehicles. Many councils displayed number 1 plates on mayoral cars, but some were too late and found that the number 1 registrations they wanted for their glorious leaders' cars had already been issued and snapped up by lesser mortals.


When the first system of motor vehicle registration was introduced in the 1900s, a one or two letter prefix followed by a number with up to four digits was used to indicate which local authority issued the registration mark.


Taxpayer Scotland may approve of East Renfrewshire’s Council plans to sell, but will be subject to HS 0's eligibility for transfer to a third party. Some sources that have published historical information about councils' zero plates have claimed that some were subject to restrictions preventing their sale.


What is particularly unusual in terms of the Council's number plate is the use of the number zero on its own. Most registration numbers will start from 1 and the fact that the council's registration number contains zero on its own makes it extremely rare.


Registrations with fewer characters attract a higher value, particularly those with an individual’s initials.


If the sale can go ahead, the starting price at auction would probably be around the £150,000 mark BUT with the rarity and publicity this one has received we could quite possibly be looking at the higher end of a six-digit figure.


It is hoping to attract a large sum for the registration plate, with potential interest from celebrities with the initials “HS”, such as Harry Styles, Strictly Come Dancing finalist Helen Skelton or England Rugby star Henry Slade.


If there's one thing we've learned in recent years it is that people are willing to pay extraordinary amounts for outstanding and rare plates, and HS 0 is certainly both of those things. In fact, £150,000 may well turn out to be a conservative estimate.


Looking to buy a private number plate?

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