Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

528619

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528619 is the registration plate on my car. I bought it new in December 2012 and now in May 2014 the current registration numbers are in the 600600s. I am assuming that this means that there have been just less than 80,000 new cars on the road since I started driving in Doha. Despite all the improvements, the road are certainly more crowded with cars than when we first arrived

There are no published figures that I can find on the number of vehicles that disappear from the roads each year, either through age or more often, I suspect, due to being written-off in car accidents, but the numbers appear to be growing in proportion to the expansion in population.

Amongst the 6-figure number plates like the one on my car, there are also many cars with 5 digits. I have also seen quite a few cars with 4 digit plates, fewer with 3 digit plates, but so far none with only two numbers.

Unlike the UK where the number and letter combinations on car registrations give various options for personalisation, a numeric-only number plate gives no opportunity for creativity. Low numbers are much sought after as well as higher numbers that have repeats or patterns such as 123321 or 121212 and so on.

55555 reportedly sold for $3.7 million in 2009, however 8310 is currently on offer for a more modest 75,000QR. These numbers are almost always on high-end vehicles, rarely on an ordinary car like mine and almost always driven by locals.

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