AN auction of personalised number plates in Oxfordshire has already netted the Government nearly £1m, with this registration ‘17 O’, expected to attract bids of at least £5,000.

The three-day sale at the Oxford Belfry Hotel in Milton Common, near Thame, started yesterday and continues until tomorrow.

A total of 1,500 personalised plates are going under the hammer and the first day raised £986,860 for the Treasury.

Jody Davies, DVLA personalised registrations’ events manager, said: “The Oxford Belfry Hotel is a new venue for us and has been specifically chosen for its central location and for its convenience to the M40.”

Callum Whitby, 51, from Castle Douglas, Scotland, was looking to buy CA11 UMS plate. He set off from home at 1am yesterday to get to the auction in time for the 12.50pm lot. Mr Whitby put in a few bids but pulled out at £19,400. The plate finally went for £26,000.

He said: “The plate would have been a late 50th birthday present to myself. It was a long way to go for nothing.”

Today’s top lot is expected to be the 17 O plate, which has a reserve of £5,000. Bidding starts at 6.10pm.