A NUMBER plate with just the letter R has sold for an eye-watering £2.6million at auction.
The personalised plate went under the hammer at a government auction in Hong Kong on Sunday.
It is the second highest amount paid for a licence plate in the city as the letter is considered to be lucky.
The plate was one of 49 up for sale at the annual Lunar New Year auction held by the Transport Department, the Bangkok Post reports.
Bidding for the R plate began at HK$5,000 (£525) but the asking price quickly shot up with a dozen buyers all interested.
One bidder offered HK$2m (£210,000) but intensive bidding saw the price jump to HK$9m (£945,000).
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After about 60 rounds, the hammer eventually went down on the winning bid of HK$25.5m (£2.6m).
In March 2021, a plate with just W on it sold for HK$26m (£2.7m), around 5,200 times the original opening price.
The winning bidder, a woman, did not respond to media inquiries when she left the auction hall at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.
Registration plate dealers told the media before the sale that the R plate was expected to fetch around HK$10m (£1.05m) because the letter is associated with racing cars and a lucky number in Chinese fortune telling.
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Also up for sale at the auction was car plate with just 292 on it which sold for HK$850,000 (£8,900), the second-highest of the day.
A bidder, Ip, said he could not get his ideal car plate, indicating the fierce competition in the auction room.
Asked if he had bid for the R plate, Ip said he could not afford to buy it, and jokingly added: "I would buy it if the car plate was sold for HK$25.50.”
Another bidder, Ngan, an owner of registration number supplier Lucky Number Center, said he was not surprised by the R plate fetching such a large amount of money.
He said: "It's hard to estimate how much billionaires are willing to pay for a car plate. It would not surprise me if one were to be sold for HK$50 million in the future.”
Ngan added the rich see car plates as an investment and single-letter or single-number plates were highly prized by bidders.
During the first day of the auction on Saturday a licence plate with 10VE Y0U sold for HK$310,000 (£32,500).
A Transport Bureau spokesman said: "The sale proceeds of traditional vehicle registration marks, after the deduction of expenses, will go to the Government Lotteries Fund for charity purposes.”
In the UK, the largest amount ever paid for a plate – with just 25 O on it – was sold for £518,480 in 2014.
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