Bidding for personalised number plates in Cambodia to be capped at US$860mil

By THE STAR | 13 January 2020

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has launched a bidding system for the sale of personalised vehicle number plates.

Speaking during the launch last Tuesday, Chanthol said bidding would start at between two million and more than one billion riel (around RM2,000 to over RM1mil) per plate, and will be capped at 3.5 trillion riel (RM3.5bil).

He said the plates would be valid for life and customers can put a name or anything they want on them, but nothing ‘inappropriate’.

"These special number plates are not allowed to be engraved with sexually offensive words, names of temples, names of leaders or major institutions that many people know.”

He said the plates could be sold with the vehicle they were registered to, or transferred to another vehicle within three months of purchase. Failure to register the plate to the new vehicle would result in it being put up for rebidding.

Chanthol said the plates would include the word "Cambodia” in Khmer script on top and in English at the bottom. The middle of the number plates will compose of not more than eight characters or digits in English.

A QR code will be included on the right side of the plate, which would allow officials to ascertain the history of the vehicle and the name and address of its owner.

People can bid on a plate on an online automated car registration system on Bidding would be capped at 3.5 trillion riel.

Vin Chhun Heat, a villager living in Phnom Penh’s Kamboul district, expressed his interest in the new system but noted that the plates were unaffordable for low- and medium-income individuals.

It may pique the interest of high-income individuals as well, who may require the added security, he said.

"I think it is good for safety and we can order the letters or numbers we want. However, I currently cannot afford to buy one of these number plates for my car. If I am able to afford one in the future, I’d like to buy one to use.”

Institute for Road Safety acting director Kong Ratanak acknowledged that the plates are being offered to the affluent.

He said the technology used on the plates was state-of-the-art, but said he was unaware of the risks associated with losses or fraud.

"It is to collect national revenue. I think it is good that the government allows economic competition in line with demand.

"Considering the income level of the people, most are unable to afford (the plates). So they will just have to use their old numbers - unless the government considers offering them (the personalised plates) at a lower price.” — The Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia) / Asia News Network