RTA plate auction
From a few thousand dirhams to millions, there are several options for car owners who want to get a special number plate. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Looking to get a unique number plate for your Dubai-registered car? You could get one for as low as Dh1,000.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) conducts regular auctions, both online and at auction halls, where unique number plates are on offer. From a few thousand dirhams to millions, there are several options for car owners who want to get a special number plate.

If you want to know more about how you can participate in the auction online, here are the details.

What is the online number plate auction?

RTA conducts regular number plate auctions – both online and at auction halls – where hundreds of number plates are made available.

Three-, four- or five-digit number plates are on offer at online auctions. The more limited ‘super number plates’ – like ‘AA90’ or ‘M73’, which went on auction in March this year – are auctioned in live auctions that take place at auction halls.

While the super number plates can have bids that are in the tens of millions, online auctions with four- or five-digit number plates can be more affordable for car enthusiasts, with the base value of some plates starting at Dh1,000.

How do I know when an online auction is taking place?

RTA provides details of upcoming online auctions on its website - https://www.rta.ae/wps/portal/rta/ae/home/auction

The page provides the following details:

• The date the next auction starts.
• The total number of plates that will be up for auction.
• List of all the number plates and the base price or ‘face value’ for each.
• Registration fees, including the security deposit (Dh5,000 for online auctions) and the participation fee (Dh120).

How can I register for an online auction?

Firstly, it is important to remember that to participate in an online auction, you must either have a vehicle registered in Dubai or a driving licence issued in Dubai.

If you do fulfil the requirements, follow these steps to register for an upcoming auction:

1. Create an RTA account - All online auction participants should have an account on www.rta.ae. To create an account, you will need to provide your email address and mobile number and then link your traffic file.
2. Once you log in using your RTA account, you will be redirected to your personal dashboard, where you will see a list of RTA services you can apply for online.
3. Click on ‘plates’ and then on ‘Subscribe to Auction’.
4. Under identity verification, first choose the option for registering as an individual.
5. Next, enter your Emirates ID number and expiry date.
6. Enter the mobile number registered with your account. You will receive a one-time password (OTP) to verify your identity.
Once you enter the OTP, the system will then provide you details of the upcoming online auction.
7. Click on ‘register’. You will be redirected to the payment portal, where you can pay using a credit card. You will need to pay both the security deposit (Dh5,000) and the participation fee (Dh120).
8. Once you have registered successfully, you can then start bidding on the numbers of your choice.

How the bidding process takes place

Online auctions can stay open for a few days. So, it is important to keep track of the top bid on the number plate you are looking to win.

If a number plate you have bid for received a higher bid, you will be able to see that on the plate details when you click on it.

If you wish to increase your bid, you will need to keep in mind the minimum increment that has been set for that number plate. So, if your plate has a minimum increment set at Dh100 and the current bid is for Dh2,000, you would need to make your bid at a minimum of Dh2,100.

If you do have the final winning bid for your preferred number plate, you are required to pay the bid amount within 10 days after the auction has closed. You can make the payment online or through any of the RTA customer happiness centres.

Once the auction closes, the plate will be delivered to you or you can collect it from an RTA customer happiness centre.

If you do not take the number plates at the end of the auction, an amount of Dh500 will be deducted from the security fees, according to the RTA website.