Are 4D Plates getting banned?

Private number plates appear in all sorts of styles, some with limited characters, whilst some have the same amount of characters a normal number plate has. So what is the ruling? Is it as simple as typing what you want on a private plate and getting it?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Can I make my own private number plate UK?’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker 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 require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is a private plate, and who can have them?

What is a private plate, and who can have them?

A private plate is a number plate that has a unique set of characters, this can be in the sense that it has fewer characters, or spells out something, and more. Private plates are completely optional, and serve no purpose other than adding a level of personalisation to the vehicle in question.

Private plates can be purchased by almost anyone. They are available to almost any vehicle, as long as they abide by the following rules set out by the UK driving authority.

  • The vehicle must be legally registered with DVLA in the UK and have a valid MOT certificate.
  • Only operational cars can be assigned private plates, so they must be able to move under their own power.
  • The DVLA reserves the right that you be available for them to carry out inspections on cars which have a private plate. This can be at any time, so it must always be available for inspection. Failing this inspection can lead to a host of consequences, which can include removal of the private plate.
  • The vehicle has been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years.

Can you get 3D private plates?

Yes. If you own a private plate, you have the option of legally customising it through modifiers such as Bespoke Plates. This means you can have a private plate that is in a 3D or 4D style, in addition to a hex plate and more.

As long as you provide proof of ownership of the private plate, and that it is registered to the vehicle it is attached to, we can provide a bespoke upgrade for your private plate.

Can a private plate affect my MOT?

There are limited instances in which your MOT can be impacted by a private plate. If your private plate has any of the following issues, you will fail your MOT.

  • A broken number plate.
  • An insecurely attached number plate.
  • A number plate that does not follow the legal requirements.
  • The plate has damages that prevent its readability.

Can I make my own private number plate UK?

Can I make my own private number plate UK?

Yes, to an extent, you can make your own private number plate. Just to avoid confusion, we don’t mean making it completely from scratch. We mean that you can have a say in the characters that appear on your new private plate.

Although there are many private plate options already on sale, you may be after an option that is much more personal to you. In this instance, you can browse through private sellers to find an option suited to you.

However, you can browse the DVLA personalised registration website that can find a plate relevant to your wishes, that does not impede on the legal requirements of plating in the UK.

So although you can’t make a private number plate that has all the characters you want in specific places, you can get options that are close enough, that are not illegal.

What happens if I make my own private number plate?

If you go ahead and make your own private number plate, either from scratch, or as an order from an unrecognised plate manufacturer, there can be legal consequences. This is only if you go on to sell the plate, or attach it to use on any vehicle. Otherwise, it could be considered as a show plate.

Because this plate has been created through unrecognised channels, it will not be on any system that makes use of the number plate database. This means you will be subject to points, removal of the plate and/or confiscation of the vehicle in addition to legal ramifications. Do attach an illegal plate to your vehicle.

Is a custom private plate legal?

Yes. Custom number plates, aside from show plates, are entirely legal. There is no stipulation on having customisations on your private plate, as long as your customisation follows the established rules.

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

You can find the full list of legal requirements here.

How much does a custom number plate cost?

Depending on the manufacturer you opt to use, the price of a custom number plate will likely vary between providers and the options they offer. Bespoke Plates custom plates range from just over £30, to £90 depending on what you decide to have on the custom plate. Here is the price list of options we offer.

  • 3D number plates – From £40.00
  • 4D number plate – From £50.00
  • Hex Plate – £15.00
  • Show plate
  • Plate tinting — From £4.99 to £15.00
  • Plate size options –  £6.00
  • Borders – £4.99
  • Side badges – £12.00

As long as legal specifications are not compromised, you can have more than one customisation option on your plate. However, rest assured, we are here to tell you what is legal and what isn’t. Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns with a plate you want to order.

How to spot an illegal plate seller

How to spot an illegal plate seller

Unfortunately, illegal plate sellers are out there. They take advantage of unsuspecting buyers who don’t know any better. The fact that private plates can be bought from individuals does complicate this matter, but there are warning signs you can spot to help you avoid disappointment.

  • The seller can not provide any documentation that proves they own the plate, and can therefore legally pass ownership to you upon purchase.
  • The plate being sold has inconsistencies in the characters, this can be the size of the lettering and the spaces between the lettering.
  • The plate is made from materials other than what they are supposed to be made from.
  • The plate is already damaged, or has had an obvious repair job.

Enhance your private plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you require in order to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘Can I make my own private number plate UK?’

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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