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Why and how do people clone number plates?

Private plates are an eye-catching and personal touch to any vehicle. In some cases, a private plate can introduce you before you step out of the car! But what if you’re leasing a vehicle and already own a private number plate? Can it be attached?

This blog will answer the question ‘Can you add a private number plate to a lease car?’

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.)

What is a private plate?

What is a private plate?

A private number plate is a variation on the standard number plate. The key difference is the characters that form the plate vary from the traditional method used to create the code on a number plate.

Private plates can have fewer characters, or they can purposely spell something by combining both letters and numbers.

Private plates are completely optional and are designed to add a level of personalisation to the number plate without compromising the potential for identifying the number plate and who/what it is assigned to. As a result, private plates are only available from legally approved sources.

Who can buy a private plate?

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 the removal of the private plate.
  • The vehicle has been taxed or had a SORN in place continuously for the past 5 years.

Can you add a private number plate to a lease car?

Can you add a private number plate to a lease car?

Technically, your private number plate can be attached to a leased car. However, this is subject to gaining permission from the lease company themselves. If you do not have their express permission, there will be legal consequences due to swapping the plates.

The penalties can vary depending on the situation, but the likelihood of your lease ending earlier than scheduled is high.

When returning the vehicle, the vehicle should be as pristine as possible, with any issues being mentioned beforehand. If you’re aware of issues the vehicle has experienced, or damages, and failed to notify the lease company, this could result in further costs being paid.

Do you have to add a private number plate to a leased car?

No. This is entirely optional if you have the permission to do so. If you are leasing a vehicle long-term, it would make more sense for you to want to customise the vehicle within reason. A private number plate is a simple yet effective way of doing this.

Can leased cars be customised at all?

Yes, it just depends on what the customisation is. Any option should be discussed with the lease company beforehand. However, any customisation that is not permanent or can be removed would usually be allowed. This can include things such as a clear vehicle wrap, a private or custom number plate, and more.

Please note that the stipulations of lease companies are entirely their own. Whilst some may be lax with customisation, others may deem it to be strictly prohibited. If customising your vehicle in any way is something you want to consider, make sure to assess your options amongst lease providers first.

Can you customise a private number plate?

Yes. If you own a private plate, there is an option in which you can receive a customised version. You can do this by visiting a legal plate manufacturer such as Bespoke Plates.

All you need to bring is all of the relevant documents of ownership, in addition to the corresponding identification, after that, you just tell us what kind of customisations you want!

Can I order a custom number plate online?

Yes. Getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

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.
  7. Confirm your order!

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

Are custom number plates legal?

As long as your custom plate complies with the following rules, it is completely legal. As per the legal guidance, the ruling on number plates is as follows…

The number plates on your vehicle must:

  • be made from a reflective material.
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate).
  • display black characters on a yellow background (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.

Your number plates can also:

  • have 3D (raised) characters.
  • display certain flags, symbols and identifiers.
  • display a green flash, if you have a zero-emission vehicle.

Any customisation that breaches these rules will result in your plate becoming a show plate. Show plates are number plates made specifically for decoration, they can have a much more extravagant customisation than a legally-compliant custom plate.  Show plates are illegal to use on a vehicle.

Any reputable plate manufacturer such as Bespoke Plates will tell you immediately when your customisation has crossed the legal threshold.

Customise your private number plate today

The 10 most expensive private number plates ever sold in the UK

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 confidently displayed everything you need to know regarding the question ‘Can you add a private number plate to a lease car?’

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:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

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