With a deposit fee of HK$5,000, car enthusiasts can submit their own personalized combination such as "COOLGUY", "U2FAN" or Hong Kong brands "PCCW" or "CHINA.COM". But since these are up for auction, it does not guarantee the proponents they will end up installing these fancy plates.
Of all the places I have been to, Hong Kong has the ugliest vehicle licence plates. The plain yellow piece, embedded with a black letter-number combination has nothing else to show. No state, country or city emblem.
But it does not matter. Hong Kong is such a small place that being too stiff in implementing licence codes that are sometimes more difficult to memorize than Hong Kong ID is unjustifiable. Being wacky a bit is definitely cool. And it gives the government more money while granting the wishes of car owners to bring out an identity that's truly theirs -- even if they use other brands, SMS shortcuts or hip mnemonics.
The bidding of catchy licence plate names could go to thousands of dollars but I think it's not gonna be as high as bidding for "8", "888" or any multiple combination of that lucky number.
I thought it was like in Davao in 1997 when I remembered NBC's 101.9 became "Danny", with no obvious reference to the assigned radio frequency it's operating. It gave the station a personality rather than just having call signs that sometimes don't relate to the stations at all. (I understand DWRR is for "Radio Romance" but I don't understand why DXMF is "Bombo Radio")
And as a search marketing person, it is easy to relate this with Overture and Google Adwords keyword bidding process, that whoever comes with the biggest bid gets to display the ads in the most prominent way (hence, own the licence plate and flaunt wherever you want).
Though the public is allowed to compose its own licence plate names, all suggestions must pass through certain standards (I believe this is highly subjective).
Read from The Standard:
When the scheme was first announced, the government specified that offensive, indecent or triad-related plates, or ones deemed confusing to law enforcement officers or a threat to road safety, will be rejected.
1. Confusing to enforcement officers - Does this mean plates that are hard to prunounce?
2. Threat to road safety - "HUGEHUMPS", "OILSLICK", "LOOK@ME"
3. Indecent plates - "****ME"
Just kidding, folks.