Every year or so, Texas’s custom license plate vendor, MyPlates, gathers together a collection of unique vanity plates that somehow do not belong to anyone, assembles them online, and places them up for auction. Sometimes the results are hilariously off-color—in 2015, the auction, which places a premium on short identifiers, listed “AF” without recognizing that the two-letter combination was internet slang for something unprintable on a family website. Others are merely lucrative ways for the state to raise some money by auctioning off a one-of-a-kind item. No one is going to force anybody to pony up $7,250 for a license plate that reads “DALLAS,” but if that’s something you need in your life and on your truck, that’s your call.
The 2018 version of the auction went live on November 5, and while it doesn’t have anything unintentionally NSFW, it does have plenty of intriguing options. Some of them are bound to bring in big bucks (although the $115,000 record set by the king of Texas vanity plates, “12THMAN,” is unlikely to be broken), while others will likely speak to just one special individual. Here are some of the highlights of the auction, which is currently live:
There are a few reasons a person might want “AA” as a vanity plate. Maybe they’re your initials. Maybe you work for American Airlines and want to show your company loyalty. Maybe you’re a proud member of a twelve-step program. Whatever the reason, the AA license plate started the day with a $500 minimum, but it’s already shot up to $800 as of press time.
According to MyPlates, only nine single-digit plates exist, which is surprising—does “0” not get one? Regardless, one of those scarce plates is currently for sale: “8.” As numbers go, it’s nice and symmetrical, but with a starting bid of $6,250 (and an unlisted reserve before a bidder can actually win it), it’s pretty clear that the “8” license plate isn’t for hobbyists—this is obviously bait for retired Cowboys great Troy Aikman, who wore number 8 for his entire career in Dallas. Good luck at the auction, Troy.
It’s unfortunate that MyPlates couldn’t put a hashtag in front of it, but the seven-character limit is strict. Whoever wins this auction, which rocketed up to $1,600 in the first few hours of bidding, must be #blessed—their car certainly will be.
Whether you’re a University of Houston booster, a mountain lion enthusiast, or a fan of a certain mid-aughts slang term for women who seek out younger men as sexual partners, there’s a reason to want “COUGARS” to be your license plate. That’s probably why bidding shot up to $1,000 quickly—faster than bidding for “40ACRE” or “GIG3M,” despite the larger attendance of the universities in Austin and College Station.
The bidding on this one quickly went from $500 to $750 within the first couple hours. We don’t know who placed the leading bid, nor do we know who he is bidding against, nor who will be the eventual winner of the auction. We do know one thing, though: The guy who wins (and it will definitely be a guy) is likely a jerk.
This was likely intended for a UT grad who plans to emblazon the word “Exes” underneath the word “Texas” on the license plate on their F-150, but we’re going to hold out hope and root for George Strait to get this one, since he no longer hangs his hat in Tennessee.
The copy on the MyPlates website suggests that “91” might appeal to a class of 1991 graduate—or maybe you were born in 1991? That makes a little more sense. Or perhaps you want to put this on your beloved 1991, uh, Ford Taurus, the top-selling car of that year according to Car & Driver. This one is just weird, but somebody already bid $1,000 to get it. Maybe it was long-tenured Cowboys long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur, who’s worn number 91 on his jersey for fourteen seasons with the team.
Ah, yes, the famous BATCAR, which legendary superhero BATGUY drives back to his BATTUNNEL in GOTHAM CITY after foiling the nefarious plot of the evil JOKESTER. We know Texas license plates only go to seven characters (eight in some situations) but to whoever buys this, here’s a warning: Everybody who sees you on the road is going to think you went for the Hydrox cookie version of “BATMOBILE” because you were too cheap to buy the real thing, which is the exact opposite of what a vanity plate should do.