In Switzerland, registration numbers may be handed down from parents to children. Some plates have become part of the family heritage. The older the plate, the lower the number and, as in the UK, for example, the more prestigious it is. The similarity with the British system does not end there. In Switzerland, retired number plates are also for sale, the difference being that, here, it is the individual cantons who determine which ones will be offered for sale. Registration numbers are auctioned, with the most prestigious ones attracting bids in the hundreds of Swiss francs. The most expensive plate to date is ZG 10, which fetched 233,000 francs (EUR 215,000) in auction in 2018.
Besides traditional number plates, you can also come across special plates on Swiss roads, recognisable by their different colour scheme – the letters and digits tend to be black, but the background colour changes. For example, a number plate with a blue background indicates a construction vehicle or fire-brigade vehicles, while a green background is used for agricultural machinery. Only military plates have non-black letters and digits – they have white lettering on a black background and the number starts with the letter M rather than the canton code.