How to fit 4D number plates

An MOT can determine whether you can legally drive on the road with your vehicle, so you have to be certain that everything in the vehicle is up to the correct standard, but what about the number plate?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Can my car fail MOT with a broken number plate?’

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 need. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is an MOT?

An MOT is a legally required test for your vehicle to ensure it is safe to drive on the roads without being a danger to the driver or road users.

Driving a vehicle with no MOT can lead to a £1000 fine. Driving after a failed MOT test in which your car is deemed dangerous, can result in a £2500 fine, 3 points on your licence and being banned from driving.

If a car never gets an MOT, issues, and faults with the vehicle won’t be addressed, meaning you are putting yourself and other road users at risk.

When should you get an MOT?

Brand-new cars do not need to be booked for an MOT until it is the 3rd Anniversary of their registration.

Before buying a 2nd hand car, check its MOT status before purchasing, which you can do through the official government gateway.

Components checked during an MOT

What is checked during an MOT? Here is the list of some areas assessed.

  • Body, vehicle structure and general items, including the number plate.
  • Tow-bars
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Exhaust system
  • Seatbelts
  • Seats
  • Doors
  • Mirrors

And more. For a full description of what these components are checked for, please click here.

An MOT does not check these parts of your vehicle:

  • Clutch
  • Engine
  • Gearbox

To have these three areas checked and fixed on your vehicle, you must take it in for a service.

In certain instances, some vehicles are exempt from having an MOT, for a full list of exemption criteria follow this link.

Does external damage make you fail an MOT?

No. External damage to your car does not always mean it will fail the MOT, if the damage is superficial. It will only be the case if the external damage affects the performance or functionality of the previously highlighted components.

What causes a number plate to break?

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There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a number plate breaking, here are the most common causes.

  • Significant impact, from a crash or intentional damage.
  • Incorrect attachment to the bumper.
  • A thief attempting to steal the plate.
  • Road hazards getting caught against the plate.
  • Driving off-road, or in environments not designed for your vehicle.

Can my car fail MOT with a broken number plate?

Yes. Attending an MOT with a broken number plate will result in the MOT being a failure. Number plates don’t impact a vehicle’s functionality at all, so why would a broken number plate make you fail?

As we highlighted previously, an MOT determines whether your vehicle is functional and not a danger to other road users. Having a broken number plate does make you a danger to other road users.

The reason a broken number plate makes you a danger to other road users is because your vehicle can not be easily identified by ANPR systems and other road users in instances such as a collision.

In addition to this, driving with a broken number plate means there is a likelihood of the plate breaking completely as you drive, creating a road hazard which can cause an accident.

What does a broken number plate mean?

A broken number plate is a term used to define number plates that have extensive damage on them that results in one or both of the following…

  1. The plate is misshaped and dented to a degree where the characters are difficult or impossible to read.
  2. The plate has broken into two or more pieces.

Does my number plate have to break for me to replace it?

You can replace your number plate at anytime, you can do this through purchasing a standard replacement plate, a 3D or 4D number plate, or a Hex number plate.

In these instances, the characters must be the same as your vehicle’s original number plate, unless you have your own private plate.

The best way to replace your number plate

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Whether you want to replace your registration plate because of physical damage or loss, or you just want a different style of plate, we at Bespoke Plates make the process easy and efficient. 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.

Is a new number plate better than my old one?

This depends entirely on your old number plate, but the answer is generally a yes. Especially if your old number plate was just a standard plate. Legal replacement options such as Gel Plates offer a nominal level of additional durability to your plate.

Although this additional durability won’t protect against high-velocity impact, it can serve to benefit the longevity of your plate for general driving.

Does superficial damage mean I have to replace my plate?

No, superficial damage can be categorised as anything that does not affect the readability of your number plate, so slight scuffs and scratches shouldn’t be an issue. However, if the damage prevents one or more of your plate’s characters to be read coherently, then it is strongly recommended to replace your plate immediately.

Get an MOT worthy number plate today

Get an MOT worthy number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to add our stylish customisation option to your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘Can my car fail MOT with a broken number plate?’

We hope that we provided 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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