When it comes to modernising your car, private number plates are one of the slickest accessories you can buy.

So high in demand are custom number plates, that people are prepared to pay huge sums for them. In 2014, the most expensive number plate ever sold at a public auction in the UK was ’25 0’, which fetched a staggering £518,000!

If you are wondering, ‘how do I pick a private number plate?’, then we have got you covered. We will outline a few pointers on how to choose the perfect personalised number plate.

How do I pick a private number plate?

So, how do I pick a private number plate?

There are a few things to consider when you are shopping for a private number plate, such as:

  • Come up with a budget

Custom number plates can run up a hefty price tag, so make sure you decide what your budget is.

Once you start researching the types of plates you like, you can get a better idea of how much they cost.

  • Think about the legal requirements for your number plate

You need to make sure your number plates are road-compliant if you plan on putting them on a vehicle which you drive regularly. Click here to find out what the Private Plate Rules and Regulations are.

If you are buying a number plate to put in your house as a keepsake, or for use on a show car, which cannot be driven on the road, then there is no legal obligation to stick to the legal requirements. You can be as creative as you want with the colour, style, lettering and number combination!

  • Make sure you have the correct documentation to support your number plate

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.

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How do I make sure my private number plate is legal to use on the road?

If you buy a private number plate for your vehicle, the plate must follow the guidelines set by the UK government.

The conditions that your number plate must meet 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
  • 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.

Your personalised number plates can also:

When it comes to 3D and 4D plates being illegal to drive on the road, it is only in the instance of a show plate being used.

At Bespoke Plates, our team will guide you in creating your plate, regarding what is legal to drive on the road.

Getting a private registration number from the DVLA

Several times a year, the DVLA hosts auctions, where people can buy a private registration plate.

This generates millions in revenue for the DVLA: in 2019, they revealed that they had sold nearly 6 million of them to motorists, which has generated around £2 billion for the Treasury.

Timed Online auctions take place virtually, so people can place their bids online.

Live Venue auctions are held three times a year at specific venues across the UK.

To purchase a private registration number from DVLA, find your desired registration here, and you can click ‘Buy Now’.

Where can I buy a personalised number plate for my vehicle?

You can buy a personalised number plate from us at Bespoke Plates!

We are a trusted supplier of number plates, offering options for your car, van, motorbike, or lorry. We also sell number plates for electric cars.

From 3D plates4D platesstandard number plates, and gel plates, our products are durable, weather-resistant, and eye-catching.

Customers are increasingly going for our 3D and 4D number plates, as these offer a sleek, three-dimensional appearance, which gives any vehicle an instantly contemporary finish.

If you need a road-safety-compliant number plate, then there’s no need to worry: at Bespoke Plates, all of our custom number plates are 100% legal for use on the road.

Looking for a decorative, promotional number plate instead? Well, our number plates are available in show form, so this is for you!

For each of our products, as a custom number plate maker, we have all bases covered as far as your customisation options are concerned. Our product pages let you choose the style, tint, border, badges, and type of plate, with choices for both legal and show plates.

How to buy a Custom Number Plate from Bespoke Plates

At Bespoke Plates, our process is very straightforward:

  • Head to our website, and choose between 3D or 4D plates under the ‘build your plate’ tab.
  • Enter your registration for a preview of the plate.
  • Specify whether this will be a legal plate or a show plate.
  • Choose your style.
  • Select whether your plate will be for the front and back of your car or just one of them.
  • Select your size.
  • Select additional customizable options.
  • Have it delivered to your home.

What is the difference between 3D number plates and 4D number plates?

Are you thinking of going for a 3D or 4D number plate? Both are attractive options, thanks to the eye-catching way in which the lettering and numbers stand out.

Let’s take a look at the difference between 3D and 4D number plates:

3D number plates

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
  • Rounded, raised characters with a wet, gel-like look
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4D number plates

  • Characters placed by hand.
  • Characters are thicker and more rectangular.
  • Acrylic plate – acrylic letters are laser cut and made from acrylic sheets.
  • Rectangular and deep raised characters.
  • You can also get 4D plates which have a ‘wet’ look, which are made in the same way as 3D letters, but with a thicker profile.
  • 4D number plates are more expensive than 3D plates.

At Bespoke Plates, each order can be made entirely customised to your requirements, with different finishes and depths available to choose from.

When designing your 4D plate, you can choose aspects of your 4D number plate, such as:

  • Style – Select from 4D 3mm, 5mm, or gel letters. All are applied using a high-strength adhesive. Check out our product gallery to see how our 4D number plates look.
  • Legal or Show Plate – Either a legal or a show plate. Show plates are not legal to use for daily driving, because they are for decorative or promotional purposes only.
  • Plate Type – Choose if you require both sets of plates, front & rear, or one side only.
  • Tinted – Add a tinted look to your plate by selecting this extra.
  • Border – Choose whether or not you would like a bordered design.
  • Side Badges – Choose if you would like a Union Jack or Scotland side badge.

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About Bespoke Plates

As one of the established number plate makers in the UK, we at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for. From 3D plates4D platesstandard number plates, and gel plates, we offer outstanding craftsmanship with every plate we produce.

We are an approved license vendor, so we can guarantee that your modification abides by the DVLA rules, whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our options today to get the plate that speaks to you, and speaks for you, with Bespoke Plates.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of our friendly team members by:

  • Email –
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store –36A Broughton Street, Manchester, England, M8 8NN.

We hope this article has answered the question ‘how do I pick a private number plate?’

Want to read more about all things custom number plates? Check out our blog here.

Follow Bespoke Plates on Facebook and Instagram here.

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