Personalized plates a good idea for the Netherlands? They raised that much in Belgium

Free income for the state and happy enthusiasts, that sounds like a win-win situation

If there is one thing that is a no-brainer for the Netherlands, it is the personalized license plate. Also called vanity plates. As a government, you can increase taxes again and encounter a lot of resistance, or you introduce the funny plates and the residents voluntarily give you money. The state treasury receives some extra income and enthusiasts are happy again. Win win.

In Belgium you have been able to visit the RDW for personalized plates since 1994. At the beginning you could only choose three letters and since 2014 you can choose one to eight characters. The vanity plates are a nice source of income for the Belgian government. Anyone who wants to come up with their own record now has to fork over 1,000 euros. Drivers of BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Audi are the biggest customers, by the way.

How many vanity plates have been sold in Belgium?

HLN conducted research into the number of requested plates in Belgium. In 2021, the government sold the most personalized plates to date. No fewer than 11,021 sets of vanity plates were distributed, generating more than 11 million euros in additional income. The Belgian government can use this to build some route controls.

No less than 70 percent of the applications come from Flanders. Of the 6.8 million residents there, 7,714 people requested such a picture in 2021. If you were to calculate that back to the Netherlands with 17.6 million inhabitants, you would arrive at almost 20,000 personalized plates per year. If we use the same price, that would be 20 million euros in additional income per year.

Personalized plates do not solve all problems in the Netherlands

According to HLN, the Belgian RDW sold just under 8,000 plates in 2020 and around 6,500 plates in 2019. All in all, the personalized license plates generated approximately 58 million euros in the past ten years. This will not immediately solve all budget problems in the Netherlands (the SEPP alone costs 67 million euros per year), but those who do not honor the small...