How Long Does a Gel Number Plate Last?

As the UK’s number 1 3D & 4D number plate supplier, we at Bespoke plates are often asked a myriad of questions when it comes to the plates we offer. In this article, we will be answering the question ‘How long does a gel number plate last?’

In this article, we will be addressing how long gel plates last, along with their legality, tips for you to take care of your plate, along with different gel plates we offer.

But first, we should address what a gel number plate is, so read on to find out all you need to know about gel number plates.

What exactly is a gel number plate?

What exactly is a gel number plate?

A gel number 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.

Our gel number plates come with the option of 3D plates and 4D plates.

The outlay of the gel characters provides a modern easily readable finish, along with a durable top layer of resin which ensures that the characters are durable as well as readable.

It’s important to mention that as of September 2021 new rules have been implemented to number plating in Great Britain as a result of England’s dissociation with the European Union. Here are the new rulings directly from the UK Government. We know that seems worrying especially if you’re considering personalising your number plate, however, at Bespoke Plates, we thoroughly advise you on what plates can be put on your car legally.

Gel plates are a sought-after accessory which personalises your car, and offers a sleek and refined finish to your vehicle. The main difference between 3D and 4D plates is essentially the styling of the characters.

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.

Are gel plates legal?

To clear up any confusion, gel plates are 100% LEGAL if you stick to the outlined rules from the DVLA.

The latest update to UK number plate rules was released in 2021. The DVLA created these outlines to improve road safety, minimise the number of illegal vehicle activities, and clear up any confusion drivers were expressing. The industry is worth £2 billion in the UK alone, so it’s not like the government wants the trade to just come to a stand-still.

As a DVLA-certified producer of number plates, we were thrilled to see these changes come into effect as it added that extra layer of legality supporting trusted businesses like ours. The legal terms that a number plate must adhere to 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.

As well as these outlined conditions, custom plates must also display the following:

If the rules have been adhered to, you will be fine. Number plates must also have either a ‘BSAU 145d’or a ‘BSAU 145e’ code applied to them, which can only be completed by a legally certified licence plate vendor. These regulations all work to ensure that number plate modifications still make certain that cars are legally compliant on the road so as not to cause issues for other road users.

How long does the Gel number plate last?


Gel number plates can last just as long if not longer than traditional number plates, especially with adequate care and being fortified along with a number plate holder.

Our 3D gel plates and 4D gel plate options offer superior resilience compared to a standard registration plate due to the industrial strength, long-lasting resin we apply over the characters creating a slightly more reinforced top layer on our 3D and 4D registration plates.

Although there is no set date for how long your gel plate will last, it is definitely worth being aware of what we will shortly mention, in order to keep your plate safe and undamaged.

  • Use a number plate holder to reinforce the border of your plate, along with adding an extra layer of security from thieves and keeping your plate securely attached.
  • Try to avoid rural roads or debris on the road.
  • Make sure your plate is tightly secured to your respective bumpers.
  • Be mindful of your car’s suspension when approaching high pavement.
  • Avoid parking next to open flames, or areas of concentrated heat expulsion.
  • Have your plate installed by a professional

Further to the release of new standards in September 2021 that we previously mentioned, in March 2022, more rules were added. These amendments to number plate production reflect not just legal requirements but also have been designed to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and safer for longer.

These rules mean that all number plates, including 3D and 4D designs, must be:

  • Additionally toughened to ensure they can withstand hits and destructive materials that can be found on UK roads.
  • Only single in colour as two tones are deemed to cause issues when dealing with different light sources and bad weather. Acrylic and gel lettering is still approved, it just needs to be a single tone to be a legal plate. Show plates can, of course, still have more creative designs.
  • Location identifiers, including the address and postcode of the supplier, also need to be included.

These additional rules, specifically regarded plates being toughened only further serve to reassure you that traditional number plates are now stronger than they were. So with our gel plates, reinforced with resin, that durability only increases.

Show Plates

A show plate is a number plate made for display purposes with mild to extreme modifications on characters, spacing and more. The plate owner has complete freedom when designing a show plate, so much so that we even offer accessories that can be used for your show plate such as a number plate holder

Novelty Plates offer a variety of uses and functions including:

  • Being a thoughtful gift for a car enthusiast.
  • Can be used as a prop for a film of any production value.
  • A unique and personal decoration for a home, bedroom or office.
  • A deterrent for thieves, replacing your plate with a show plate (When on private property) can deter thieves from taking your vehicle, as the likelihood of them getting stopped whilst in the car with show plates on is very high.
  • It can be a perfect compliment to a car you or someone you know have put a lot of time into customising.

Whilst we provide show plates we must disclose clearly that show plates are illegal to use on public roads. Using a show plate on any public road could lead to a fine of £1000 and can also get points added to your license, however, using a show plate on private property is perfectly legal. We make mention of this with every purchase and/or installation of show plates.

With show plates, you have more freedom in personalising your plate, the reason it is illegal to use whilst driving on a public road is due to some designs being harder to read for other road users, whilst alternative backgrounds, spacings and character raising can make technologies such as speed cameras and ANPR’s struggle to recognise the plate. Driving a vehicle from public to private land with show plates on is also illegal.

Our blog page has more details regarding show plates, you should take a read by clicking here.

Want a gel plate today?

We hope for anyone still wondering ‘How long does a gel number plate last?’ that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs. We at Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved license 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:

36A Broughton Street,
M8 8NN

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