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Are 4D Number Plates Made From Gel or Acrylic? 4D Gel Plates

A 4D number plate is a stylish upgrade to any vehicle. They look trendy, sleek and modern, which is why they are so popular with car enthusiasts, young and old. The accessory is also a great investment opportunity, which will last for years to come.

A question we get asked a lot here at Bespoke Plates is this: are 4D number plates made from gel or acrylic?

We will answer this question below and explain more facts about 4D number plates, to help you understand them better.

What is a 4D number plate?

A 4D number plate is a 4-dimensional plate. 4D number plates are created by applying 3D characters to number plates and then surrounding them with a 4D gel to create a block finish that screams premium design.

The jet black characters come in 3mm, 4mm, or gel which provides a wet look.

What is the difference between 3D and 4D number plates?

Are Hex Plates Illegal in The UK?

3D plates are made with polyurethane gel resin, which provides a smooth finish, and a slick, raised profile due to the letters underneath. The characters on 3D plates are rounded-raised, with a wet, gel-like look.

The 4D plate is more pronounced, in contrast to a 3D plate, which is softer. 4D number plates are finished with a solid acrylic which provides a flat surface, with 3D letters beneath.

The individual characters on 4D plates are laser-cut, rectangular and deep-raised. So, the characters are thicker, sharper and more eye-catching, which is why 4D plates are more expensive than 3D plates.

Our experts at Bespoke Plates are proud to offer both varieties of number plates. Quality is also assured with both products, so it simply comes down to your personal preference in design. 

To view our selection of professional 3D Plates, click here.

Click here to read our blog article on ‘the difference between 3D and 4D plates’.

Are 4D number plates made from gel or acrylic?

In summary, both acrylic and gel are what 4D number plates are made of!

Here at Bespoke Plates, our 4D plates are laser cut from a strong acrylic, and the 3D characters (letters and numbers) are surrounded with a 4D gel.

Acrylic is the standard material for number plates- it is highly durable, yet flexible enough to be cut and drilled, without losing its strength and functionality. The synthetic plastic is also water-resistant and weather-proof, which makes it the perfect material to stick on the outside of any vehicle.

The gel from which 4D number plates are made from is polyurethane gel resin, which gives the mounted appearance and sleek gloss finish.

Where can I get a 4D number plate?

Here at Bespoke Plates, we sell 4D number plates of the highest quality, which you can customise to suit your preferences. Whether you want a rear plate only, or plates for one side only, or even front and rear plates, we can fulfil your order as per your requirements.

You can choose whether you want a legal plate or show plate, as well as choose optional extras like a border, tint, or side badges.

You can also decide whether the characters on your 4D number plates made from acrylic or gel are 3mm, 5mm or gel letters.

To buy a 4D number plate from us:

  1. Head to our website and click on ‘4D plates’ under the ‘Build Your Plate’ tab
  2. Enter your registration for a preview of the plate
  3. Specify whether or not this will be a show plate
  4. Choose your style
  5. Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car, or just one of them
  6. Select your size
  7. Select additional customizable options
  8. Have the plate delivered to your home

Alternatively, we can also install your plates for you, if you know what you want, and when you are able to have them installed, so contact us and we will be pleased to help.

As a legally recognised supplier and installer of custom plates, we can guarantee your plates will abide by the specifications of the law and will advise you if your design falls outside of the specifications.

How are 4D number plates made?

We have a professional, reliable manufacturing process for our 4D plates at Bespoke Plates.

We take great care and pride in the end-to-end manufacturing process of our 4D number plates made from acrylic and gel.

Firstly, you choose your design for your personalised plate, using our online ordering form.

Then, we produce a standard plate, as your customised 4D plate still needs to be the same colour and size. This also allows us to use the plate as a guide for your 3D letters.

We then mount the laser-cut 4D characters on to the plate using a high-strength, industrial adhesive. We then ensure the letters are entirely secure, and then leave the plate to dry and cure fully.

Finally, we coat the plate in clear acrylic and leave it to harden. Once ready, we smooth the edges and ensure your plate is ready for installation.

​Just like that, your new 4D accessory is ready to fit.

Are 4D number plates legal?


Yes, 4D number plates are legal for use on the road, as long as they meet the standard set out in UK law. 4D number plates have to be made to British Standard BS AU 145d, which is the standard that all new number plates on UK roads should be manufactured to by law. This standard has been effective since 2001.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) stipulates that number plates must display writing in an untitled font called Charles Wright New or Mandatory. The letters and numbers must comply with specific spacing and alignment.

By law, the DVLA requires the number plates on your vehicles to meet the following conditions:

  • be made from a reflective material
  • display black characters on a white background (for the front plate)
  • display black characters on a yellow background (for the rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021

The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

On your number plate, the law allows you to have 3D (raised characters), certain flags, symbols and identifiers. If you have a zero-emission vehicle, your number plate is allowed to display a green flash.

If you drive around with incorrectly displayed number plates, you will fail your MOT test and you could be fined up to £1,000.

Click here to read the UK Government guidance on displaying number plates– you should familiarise yourself with the rules so that you don’t incur any penalties.

What are the benefits of a 4D number plate?

Why Choose a 4D Number Plate

4D number plates are growing in popularity, thanks to the striking appearance and endless personalisation opportunities they offer.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in a 4D number plate:

  • You can customize your 4D number plate with your preferred coloured layers, designs and finishes, so it adds a trendy, personal touch to your car, van, lorry or motorbike. 
  • They are a great investment opportunity. Personalised number plates can sell for hundreds and thousands of pounds, especially if the plate features common names or phrases. If you don’t want your private plate anymore, there will be someone who is prepared to pay you good money for it.
  • The lettering of 4D plates stands out and looks very visible. This makes your car more visible on the road to other road users, pedestrians and cyclists, which increases your safety.
  • Did you know that personalised number plates can also act as a deterrent for thieves? This is because unique number plates stand out from ordinary registration plates and won’t blend into the background, which helps make your vehicle more traceable, should it ever be stolen.

Can you fail your MOT test if you have 4D number plates?

Here at Bespoke Plates, our 4D plates are 100% legal and comply with the British Standard for Number Plates (BS AU 145e).

As professional producers of bespoke solutions, we guarantee that every product is legal.

​With Bespoke Plates, we don’t want you to worry about whether your number plate is illegal after you purchase it from us.

We offer installation on all of our plates, guaranteeing you will pass your MOT. Self-installation may result in you damaging the plate, or not securing correctly, which is why we offer this service to you. The only exception to this is show plates.

Click here to read our blog post on ‘will 4D plates fail MOT?’

If you buy personalised number plates from elsewhere, you must do your research and make sure the products are legal for the road, as per UK law.

We hope we have provided the answer to the question ‘are 4D number plates made from gel or acrylic?’

To find out more about Bespoke Plates, which is one of the UK’s top number plate makers specialising in 3D plates4D plates and standard number plates, visit our website here.

Visit our blog to find the answers to frequently asked questions about custom number plates, including short number plates3D number plates and 4D number plates.

Click here to get in touch with us and discuss the full fitting service we offer.

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