Are 4D number plates the only plate modification?

A standard number plate can usually last the entire duration of someone’s ownership of a vehicle. But at some point, you may have noticed vehicles with number plates that look very different. Are they still made from the same material? And what are standard number plates even made from?

In this blog, we will be providing the key answers to the question ‘Are standard registration plates acrylic?’ In addition to critical facts, you need to know.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, 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 require. (The only exception to this is Show Plates).

Why aren’t all number plates digital?

Why aren’t all number plates digital?

In a sense, number plates are within the digital space. They are all part of the vehicle database that registers new vehicles, and any vehicles getting a change of number plates. However, the practice of having no physical number plate is dangerous.

In the instance of a car crash, without any number plates, how will you know the details you received are correct? A physical number plate helps you and other witnesses to have a clear picture of the vehicle that crashed with you.

This isn’t limited to car crashes, any instance in which you need to obtain a vehicle’s number plate or identity would be made extremely difficult with no number plate.

Despite this, there are still instances of drivers using fake plates, which can be spotted with police ANPR, the only problem with this, it can only be used if the police are in the vicinity of the vehicle to read its plates and cross-reference them.

How are false number plates obtained?

False number plates are obtained in two ways.

  1. Stealing the number plate of another vehicle and using it.
  2. Using plate-making machinery to make the plate.

You may think spotting a stolen number plate is difficult without ANPR. However, using the vehicle enquiry service can quickly tell you if the plate matches the car you saw it on. It can also tell you if the vehicle is taxed and MOT’d.

If you think you may be looking at manufactured false plates, there are signs you may be able to spot such as…

  • Incorrect spacing between characters.
  • Characters are not consistent in size.
  • The colour of the number plate is not white or yellow.
  • The colours of the characters are not black.

In some instances, you may be looking at a show plate. Although show plates are legal to own, it is illegal to use them to drive. This is because some have complicated custom designs that do not fall within plate regulations or characters that are not relative to their actual registered number plate.

Are standard registration plates acrylic?

Are 4D number plates the only plate modification?

Yes. Standard number plates, whether they are applied to the vehicle after manufacturing, or a replacement plate, are made from acrylic. The reason acrylic is chosen is mainly for its high level of reflectivity, which makes it perfect for other road users to see, particularly at night when their headlines are shining on it.

Furthermore, this increased level of visibility allows it to be easily viewed in instances of speed cameras in operation. Additionally, acrylic number plates have a level of rigidity and flexibility.

This means that, although they can break, they require sufficient force to do so. Acrylic is also relatively lightweight, this ensures that the additional weight of the plates is not a burden to the vehicle’s movement or its bumpers.

Can acrylic number plates damage over time?

As opposed to older number plates made from metal, which had the potential to rust over time, acrylic number plates face a different issue.

If your acrylic number plate has sustained damage that has caused gaps between the plating and the characters, at some point, you will discover faint black lines running through the number plate.

If left unattended, it can spread within the number plate, eventually making it difficult to read. Upon noticing this, you should see if it can be repaired. If not, replacing your number plate is the best option.

Are custom number plates made from acrylic?

Where to get a 4D number plate plus installation

Yes. Custom number plates are made with acrylic, but depending on the option you choose, they can be finished with a special gel resin which results in a glossy finish and additional durability. This is the case with 3D number plates, however, 4D number plates are finished with solid acrylic.

Hex Plates are a variation of the standard number plate shape, however, this too is made from acrylic.

The custom number plate options supplied by Bespoke Plates are all within the legal specifications set out by the UK government. That being said, we also have the option of creating showplates.

Where can I get custom number plates?

Custom number plates can and should only be obtained by legally certified platemakers. This ensures all the correct checks and balances are made before creating the plate, in addition to ensuring the platemakers are of the correct standard.

If your plate is not decorative and will be used, you should ensure that you do not buy it from any online seller that cannot verify its certification.

If Bespoke Plates is too far from you, we have delivery options available. However, if you prefer to physically visit a plate manufacturer, you can find one in your locality by following the link here.

How to order a standard registration plate

Bespoke Plates make the hassle of getting yourself a brand-new number plate easy and efficient. Whether it is a green number plate, standard, or Hex and Gel Plates, here is the process.

By following these steps, you will also 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.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want 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 the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Purchase a new number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘Are standard registration plates acrylic?’.

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

Bespoke Plates has 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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