Can I replace my registration plate anytime?

Most if not all vehicle owners may have once considered one form of plate modification or another in the past.  Hex plates are slowly rising along with 4D gel plates as being extremely popular. But which is better?

In this blog, we are here to tell you all you need to know regarding 4D vs Hex plates: Custom registration plates styled the way you want.

As an established registration plate maker, we at Bespoke Plates know how to add a unique and distinctive finish to your vehicle registration plate, further stating a level of individuality that can be the finishing touch to a vehicle you have already customised.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration plate maker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D plates, Show plates, and regular / electric vehicle plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a private plate, gel plate, standard registration plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you need. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is a Hex plate?

A Hex plate is a registration plate that is shaped with six sides, as opposed to the regular 4-sided rectangular shape. The shape of the Hex plate is an elongated hexagon, hence the name.

There are alternate versions of Hex plates in which the points on each side can be higher or lower, along with other shaped registration plates.

Hex plates don’t have a specific benefit aside from their distinct aesthetics. However, we at Bespoke Plates can provide a Hex plate in conjunction with gel characters, which nominally reinforces the durability of your plate whilst adding a further layer of style to your registration plate.

What is a 4D plate?

A 4D plate comes under the category of a gel plate. A gel plate refers to a registration plate with slightly exaggerated characters that differ from a standard registration plate. Gel plates can come in the form of 3D, or 4D plates.

For those looking to add character, impact and a sleek appearance to their car, 3D & 4D plates have seen a surge in popularity as car modification has become common. Their popularity is not only because of their unique and Bespoke look but also their increased durability.

4D plates are made from acrylic, but instead of polyurethane characters, they use professionally laser cut characters made from acrylic sheets. This allows the characters to be thicker and more rectangular for a more eye-catching look.

4D plates carry a premium over 3D plates by up to 20%. The reason 4D plates cost more is that the individual characters are laser cut, or they are of the thicker gel variety. In the case of laser-cut, the characters are also made to order in-house.

4D vs Hex plates: Custom registration plates styled the way you want

Upgrade your registration plate today

Now that we’ve highlighted the main points regarding these styles of plates, let’s compare them. Below are all the benefits provided by both 4D plates and Hex plates.

4D plates

  • A small extra level of reinforcement for your plate through the application of the gel characters.
  • A distinct yet understated level of customisation.
  • Fully legal
  • Affordable

Hex plates

  • Also fully compliant with plate laws.
  • its overt level of customisation makes it stand out instantly.
  • Also affordable considering its unique shape.
  • Applicable to any vehicle with a traditional registration plate holder (front and back bumper) and possibly more.

Reading these benefits may make you struggle to decide which one to go for. But did you know you can get a Hex plate with 4D gel characters? (and 3D too!) Understandably, this will affect the price. On the other hand, you’ll be accessing all the aesthetic benefits of both plate styles, on one plate!

Legalities of 4D and Hex plates

To clear up any confusion, plate modification, whether that be hex plates, or gel plates (3D & 4D) are 100% LEGAL if you stick to the outlined rules from the DVLA.*

*Please do your due diligence and research, some unverified registration plate providers may not be making their plates to the legal specification, which could become an inconvenience for you. Visiting Bespoke Plates is the best way to avoid this trouble.

Alternatively, using the government gateway to find licenced and approved plate makers is the best option for peace of mind and finding plate makers close to you. Enter your postcode on the government gateway website.

What are the legal requirements for a registration plate?

The legal terms that a registration plate must adhere to are:

  • be made from a reflective material – for road safety
  • black display characters on a white background (front plate)
  • black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
  • be marked to show who supplied the registration plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • Characters must not be removable or reflective. If your registration plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

You can find the full list of legal requirements here.

How to order your preferred plate

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With Bespoke Plates, you can order a gel (3D/4D) plate as well as the Hex plate together if you so choose.

By following these steps you will have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

Ordering a Hex Plate

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the “Hex Number Plate” option under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all of the modification options you have selected.)
  4. Choose between having a regular plate, or the 3D/4D options, and whether or not you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Choose if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

Ordering a 4D Plate

Ordering a 4D registration tape follows a similar process to Hex plates, the difference being you can select whether your plate will be on the front or back bumper. Click here to order a 4D plate without the Hex shape.

Please contact us if you have any further questions or difficulties with your order

Order your customised registration plate today

Order your customised registration plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our Hex plates and 4D plates, and all the information you need in order to add this stylish customisation option to your vehicle. We aim to have provided everything you need to know regarding 4D vs Hex plates: Custom registration plates styled the way you want.

We hope that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,



M8 8NN

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