When Should You Renew Your Private Registration?

When your number plate breaks, naturally, you would need to order a replacement immediately. But what do you do with your plate? Should you throw it in the bin? Does it need to be recycled? Should you keep it for your own records?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘How to dispose of broken number plates’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, and 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.)

How do number plates break?

How do number plates break?

Number plates can break in a variety of ways. Accidents, both small and catastrophic, can damage your number plate to the degree that it breaks. Forcible removal of the number plate can also cause it to break.

In some instances, damage over time can lead a number plate to become damaged or broken. Common methods of this develop are driving on poorly maintained roads, or being off-road altogether.

Can I drive with a damaged number plate?

Of course, driving with a broken number plate is not allowed, but what about damage? How much damage is required before you have to replace your plate? Thankfully, the answer is rather straightforward.

Any damage to your number plate that prevents the plate from being readable would be reason enough to seek a replacement. Examples of a damaged plate that requires replacement are…

  • Plates with scratches or scrapes that remove any part of the characters on your number plate.
  • Plates that have been bent as a result of damage. The bends and dents prevent readability of the plate characters.
  • Plates with large cracks running through any area where the characters of the plate are formed.
  • Irremovable discolouration that is over any area of the plate characters.
  • Erosion of the plate and its characters.

How soon should I get a replacement number plate?

Immediately after losing your number plate, you should contact the police if it has been stolen or criminally damaged. In the instance of it breaking or becoming lost, you should contact your insurer and/or lease provider to see if they can source the replacement. That being said, if you feel that the loss of the plate or plates is suspicious, contact the police.

There is a chance that you would be asked to get replacement plate. In that instance, that’s where the incredible craftsmen at Bespoke Plates come in. But before we tell you about our services, how exactly do you dispose of a broken number plate?

How to dispose of broken number plates?

How to remove old number plates

The easiest and safest way to dispose of your number plate is by taking it directly to your nearest recycling centre by yourself or by a trusted individual. But you may be wondering if it can be recycled, why not just put it in the recycling bin?

The answer is due to the fact that if your plate falls into the wrong hands, regardless if it is broken or damaged, there is a possibility it can be used to aid criminality. Criminals are known to used forged or stolen plates on vehicles they use to commit crimes, essentially framing you to delay the authorities efforts in catching them.

Can I keep my old number plate?

Yes, you can keep your old, broken, or damaged number plate. Whether it be for your own records or as a memento. That being said, we strongly advise that you place it in a secure area where it can not be taken by anybody.

Where and how to get replacement number plates

Bespoke Plates make the process of getting yourself a brand-new number plate easy and efficient. Here is the process.

By following these steps, you will also have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. 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.

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

Do replacement plates have to be the same as before?

No, there are replacements you can get that alter from the traditional number plate, whether that be the shape of the plate, or the look of the plate characters.

Gel Plates are a legal alternative to a standard number plate, essentially, the main difference is aesthetic. As a result of additional materials used, Gel Plates have a distinctive ‘3D’ look, guaranteed to add a subtle yet eye-catching addition to your vehicle.

In addition to this, the additional materials and processes that are undergone to create a Gel Plate, adds a nominal upgrade in regard to the durability of the plate.

Gel Plate options

Our options are 3D, 4D, and Hex Plates. As long as you follow the highlighted rules from the DVLA, you will be legally compliant to drive with the aforementioned modified plates.

Using the government gateway to find licenced, and approved platemakers is the best option for peace of mind and finding platemakers close to you. Enter your postcode on the government gateway website.

The legal requirements of number plates

The legal terms that a registration 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 registration 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
  • Characters must not be removable or reflective. If your registration plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

You can find the full list of legal requirements here.

Replace your plate today

How to fit 4D number plates

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘How to dispose of broken 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:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

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