The car license plate “BMW-8888” yesterday sold for NT$890,000 (US$26,377) at an auction at the Taipei Motor Vehicles Office, the Directorate-General of Highways said.
However, the sale fell short of the agency’s expectations, as it had thought such a unique license plate would fetch at least NT$1 million.
The auction ended before noon yesterday after 71 rounds of online bidding which began on Tuesday morning.
With an abbreviation that is the same as the German luxury car brand and the No. 8888, which is considered a lucky number by many Taiwanese as the No. 8 in Mandarin sounds similar to the word for prosperity.
The highway authority also auctioned 14 other license plates containing “BMW” ranging from No. 0017 to No. 0031. No. 0024 was not auctioned, because the No. 4 sounds similar to death in Mandarin and is considered unlucky.
Last year, the agency held its first auction of license plates containing “BMW,” which ranged from No. 0001 to No. 0016 (No. 0004 was excluded). It also included the number BMW-9999, which was sold for the highest bid of NT$253,000.
Based on the bidding rules, the floor price of the plates having four identical numbers, such as 8888, was set at NT$6,000, whereas the floor price of the other license plates was set at NT$3,000.
The first auction generated NT$1.037 million for the Treasury, while this week’s auction reaped NT$1.125 million.
Agency records show that license plate “8888-88,” which was auctioned in 2011, attracted the highest ever bid of NT$3.589 million.
It was followed by the license plates “AAA-8888” in 2012 and “AKJ-8888” in 2014, which were sold for NT$2.001 million and NT$1.002 million respectively.
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