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Carspotting: Hong Kong’s Obsession with Vanity Plates

Carspotting: Hong Kong’s Obsession with Vanity Plates

  • Culture
  • Life
When Porsches are a dime a dozen and a Mercedes is a poor man’s car, rich Hongkongers work harder to differentiate themselves.

From playful arrogance like “Too Slow” to so-called lucky plates with exceedingly high price tags, vanity car plates give them a chance to show off their wit (or poor taste).

 

Luxury cars routinely illustrate the visible gap between the rich and poor in Hong Kong. 

Ferraris, Mclarens and more obscure super cars auspiciously creep through Central, Wan Chai, and TST. The cheapest Mclaren runs at US $190,000, the most expensive, the P1 sold for 1.2 million US. The limited quantity P1 sold out in Asia Pacific and the US within five months.

The compact country boasts the highest number of Rolls Royces per person.

Last year the plate “28” set the new price record of 2.3 Million US. Numbers like 18, 28, and 9 are considered lucky because the Cantonese words for these numbers are homophones for words associated with wealth and prosperity.

 

The minimum price of a vanity plate in Hong Kong is HK $5,000, around US $640. The good news is, the department of Transportation auctions these plates off for a cause. Reportedly the profits go towards assisting Hong Kongers living in poverty.