do personalised number plates affect insurance

As an established provider of registration plates, from 3D, 4D, Private & show plates, we at Bespoke Plates are often asked ‘Do personalised number plates affect insurance?’

This is a valid and important question, as the last thing you want to deal with after receiving your very own personalised plate is being told it’ll affect your insurance. We will be addressing this and other helpful facts for you.

So, let’s begin with the regulations on private plates in the UK.

Private plates – The rules

You must ensure that your number plate meets the strict criteria of private plate rules otherwise you are eligible for a £1000 fine and failed MOT status.

The government outlines that all UK number plates must:

  • be made from a reflective material – for the purpose of 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
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • 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

It should also be noted that private number plates cannot be used to make your vehicle seem younger than it is. For example, if your car is registered in 2012 and has a 12 plate, you could not replace this to have a 22 plate to give the allusion that it was manufactured this year.

This is the case no matter what the legal registration is, and DVLA-approved manufacturers can only make such plates.

If you don’t intend on using your private for legal road use, though, the possibilities are much vaster as show plates don’t need to adhere to these private plate rules.

This is something we specialise in as we appreciate the art that goes into creating sleek number plates. If you have a PR event coming up or are looking for a unique gift, a custom private plate makes a great choice! Check out some of our designs here.

The regulations that ensure you adhere to the private plate rules are the following:

All private number plates must be supported by legal documentation

legal documents

Private plates must have either a V750 certificate or a V778 retention document to prove you have legal ownership and the right to use the bespoke design.

The V750 is the document that assigns the actual registration mark to the new owner. This document will be needed for assigning a plate and for selling in the future.

The V778 is the retention document needed to keep ownership of a private plate and to be able to use it legally on the roads. Valid for ten years, it only needs to be renewed if the plate is not currently assigned to a vehicle.

Private plates must always be legally assigned to your vehicle before they are used

If you are changing cars or have recently come into ownership of your private plate, you must legally process the change. Once you have successfully been approved to use the plate on a new vehicle, you must ensure you have the physical copy of the V778 retention document and V5C logbook before you can use the plate.

You can also only assign private plates to vehicles that meet the below criteria:

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

If you want to apply to change a vehicle’s registration, this will cost you £80. You must also update your insurance at the same time otherwise your coverage is not legally relevant.

Purchasing private plates

You are only able to buy legal private number plates from either DVLA auctions or from their licensed sellers. Private plates are all pre-approved and created by the DVLA. As such, they maintain a library of legally registered private plates that can be sold to dealers or customers, all supported by legal documentation.

You must always research where you are buying your private number plate from, as illegal plate sales are on the rise. Your dealer or auction house should always be able to provide you with a view of their documentation which approves them as a legitimate seller when you ask to see it.

You can also gain peace of mind if you book to attend an auction which has been listed on the DVLA’s official list of upcoming events as they all will be adhering to the private plate rules.

Once you buy your number plate, you will always be provided with the legal documentation, which is the V750. Another way to ensure that your seller is genuine is to ask to see a copy of this beforehand.

As with our own collection of private registrations, most resellers will only stock a selection of designs, so alarm bells should always ring if someone gives you a large selection.

As with any number plate in the UK, a strict set of rules must be adhered to, which make it legal for use on the roads. These private plate rules have been created following safety regulations to ensure that road users and pedestrians benefit from enhanced protection.

Do personalised number plates affect insurance?

It must be highlighted that insurance providers may have different policies in regard to this subject, so it is always best to check with your insurance provider directly before making any commitments with private plating.

That being said, in general, private plating should not affect your insurance as it is not considered a modification on the vehicle.

As soon as the DVLA confirm that your new registration is transferred to your vehicle then you must inform your insurer. This is so that the Vehicle registration held on the MID (Motor Insurance Database) matches that of the DVLA and the vehicle record itself which holds information relating to Road Tax and MOT Status of all vehicles.

Providing you have notified the DVLA that you have changed your plates, and received a new V5C vehicle log book, you have the legal right to display your personalised number plates.

Gel Plates

At Bespoke Plates, we offer the option of 3D plates and 4D plates. These are also known as gel plates.

In a nutshell, a gel plate refers to a number plate which has its characters altered to achieve a distinct 3-dimensional raised appearance on the words and numbers on the registration plate. This is achieved by applying industrial-strength long-lasting resin on top of the 3D characters.

The key difference between these plates is in their production and aesthetic. 3D plates are easier and faster to make than 4D plates, which also makes them cheaper. Both plates are made by hand using alignment bars.

The physical difference between 3D and 4D plates is in how raised the letters are and how they look. 4D characters are more raised and rectangular. 3D characters are less raised and more rounded for an understated look.

3D plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
  • Rounded-raised characters with a wet, gel-like look

3D plates are made from acrylic with individual raised letters. The raised letters are manufactured from polyurethane and get ‘stuck’ to the acrylic plate by hand. An aligner bar is used to guarantee perfect spacing.

The rounded and shiny gel-like appearance of 3D plates makes them a great choice if you want to add understated personalisation to your vehicle.

4D plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – acrylic letters (laser cut)
  • Rectangular and deep-raised characters

4D plates are also made from acrylic but instead of polyurethane characters, they use professionally laser-cut characters made from acrylic sheets. This allows the characters to be thicker and more rectangular for a more eye-catching look.

Want to see what we mean rather than read an explanation? head over to our website so you can visualize what your plate could look like. Do you like what you see? We have same-day collections and fittings available.

Order your plate today

We hope for anyone still wondering ‘Do personalised number plates affect insurance?’’ that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs. Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved licence 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 –
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,
M8 8NN

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