Can You Bend Acrylic Number Plates

Acrylic is generally the standard material for most modern number plates for a variety of reasons. But considering the fact that is a form of plastic, is it strong enough to withstand damage? Or even being bent?

This blog will answer the question ‘Can you bend acrylic number plates?’.

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 is acrylic used for a number plate?

Upgrade your number plate today

Acrylic is the chosen material for number plates in the UK due to their relatively cheap production cost. Despite the cost, they are durable enough to last through some damages depending on the intensity. Additionally, they are weatherproof and lightweight. However, it doesn’t stop there, acrylic number plates are less susceptible to fading and scratches.

What’s more is that an acrylic number plate is the perfect base to customise a number plate with. Whether you want a 3D, or 4D number plate, a hex plate and more, an acrylic plate can generally help to facilitate it.

Have number plates always been acrylic?

No, but interestingly enough, there wasn’t an official single day in which number plates were switched over to acrylic. Originally, number plates in the UK were made from aluminium. The transition to acrylic plates being more widely adopted was gradual, but became the standard for newer vehicles from the early 2000s.

  • In 1967, there was a conscious effort towards using what is known as a ‘retroreflective’ plate. This required number plates to use materials that would reflect light back to its source, which would greatly increase visibility at night.
  • As the 90s got underway, plates were still made from metal, usually aluminium, with its characters being painted or pressed onto the plate.
  • As of March 2001, the new British Standard (BS AU 145d) was introduced, which specified certain requirements for number plates. That being said, it did not ban or outlaw aluminium number plates, but it did ensure that an acrylic number plate would be much better suited to fulfil the new rules.

Naturally, as a result of this, newer vehicles being sold would already have an acrylic number plate.

Can you bend acrylic number plates?

Can you bend acrylic number plates?

Acrylic number plates have the potential to be bent, however, this should not be done on purpose. This is because acrylic plates are not malleable, once they are bent severely, they may not only stay in that altered shape, it would also leave a mark on your number plate. Both of which would invalidate your number plate, rendering it useless and requiring replacement.

Its limited flexibility can be beneficial in certain situations, for example if your vehicle is bumped at a slow speed, it would be less likely to break or have a permanent bend within the plate.

In some cases, a bent number plate can be moved back into its original shape again. However, this usually leaves a visible crease within the plate, and has the potential to leave openings in the plate. If this happens, your plate can easily develop dirt, grime, or even mould from the inside.

Can I stop my number plate from bending?

Yes, there are a few methods available that can help to prevent your number plate from bending. However, please remember that these methods are not entirely full-proof. Below are some examples of actions you can take to prevent your number plate from bending.

  • Purchase a number plate holder. A number plate holder places your number plate in a case-like cover. This protects the edges of the plate, preventing instances of general bending. Such as if someone tried to bend the plate by hand purposely.
  • Drive carefully. Of course, we can’t control how others drive on the road, but the way you drive is equally important. Be sure to give other drivers enough room, so you can prevent your bumpers from being hit, and your number plates bending.
  • Upgrade your number plate to a 3D or 4D plate. 3D and 4D plates have their characters appearing as 3D, as opposed to flat against the plate like regular number plates. As part of the creation process, there is a nominal increase of durability within 3D and 4D number plates.

Why can’t I use a number plate that is bent?

Using a bent number plate may not seem like a big issue. However, it creates difficulties for other road users who may struggle to identify your vehicle, and ANPR devices that require a flat surface to clearly and correctly read the characters of the number plate.

Additionally, a bent number plate may increase the risk of accidents. In terms of aerodynamics, a number plate that is not flat will generate a greater level of wind resistance, especially on motorways. This creates a chance that the plate in question can fall off whilst in transit, causing a potentially fatal hazard to other road users.

Where to buy a number plate

Where to buy a number plate

Whether it is a private plate, a standard plate, or a gel plate, 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.

Why should you get a plate installed by an expert?

Professional number plate installation results in the following benefits…

  • Your number plate will be attached securely, with attention to its placement, making sure it is not askew.
  • The method you prefer for installation will be provided depending on the installation service you use.
  • Superior installation prevents any issues down the line, unless there is an attempted theft of the plate, or an accident that damages the area.
  • You will be given guidance on how to keep the plate protected, and any additional things you may need to be aware of depending on your installation option.

Invest in superior number plates 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 confidently answered the question ‘Can you bend acrylic number plates?’

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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