What Are Acrylic Number Plates

When it comes to number plates, replacing a damaged number plate can be a hassle. So what is the easiest way to do it? And how much damage does your plate need to have for it to need replacing?

In this blog, we will answer the question, ‘How to replace damaged 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.)

What can damage a number plate?

To be clear, a damaged number plate is not the same as a broken number plate. Although a broken number plate should be replaced immediately, a damaged number plate may not have to be replaced straight away. It is completely dependent on the damage at hand.

A number plate can be damaged by…

  • Impact from other vehicles or accidents.
  • Scratches
  • Purposeful damage, or attempted theft
  • Exposure to acidic chemicals

You don’t need to replace your number plate if…

  • The damage does not affect the readability of the number plate.
  • Your plate has scratches or scuffs that do not impact the plate’s readability.
  • It is slightly chipped on its edges.

When can I drive with one number plate?

No. Under not circumstances are you allowed to drive with one number plate. There may be exceptions in a case where your plate has been stolen, and you’re on the way to replace it, though this is not a legal excuse.

In any case, scheduling the delivery or installation must be done immediately, whilst also informing the relevant parties of the loss or breakage of your current number plate. If your plate has detached, simply placing it on your windscreen whilst you travel to have it reattached can be permissible.

How to replace damaged number plates

Are acrylic plates unbreakable?

When it comes to replacing a damaged number plate, it is a relatively simple process, depending on who replaces it. In a nutshell, replacing the number plates involves loosening the screws holding the plate to the bumper, and reattaching the new plate to the bumper. Of course, there may be differences depending on how your plate is attached.

If you have the necessary tools and facilities to perform a safe and secure replacement of your number plates, you can do it yourself. However, those with no experience can always see an expert for the fitting, such as Bespoke Plates.

Can a plate be replaced on a damaged bumper?

It depends on the damage on the bumper, and whether it is the front or back. Any superficial damage such as scratches or scrapes shouldn’t be an issue, however, significant dents in the bumper should be replaced or repaired before installing a replacement plate.

The reason the bumpers should be repaired or replaced prior to installation is due to the fact that installing a plate on a damaged plate may make the plate, or the bumper itself, more likely to dislodge. This is because the bumper is not as secure as it should be, neglecting this can mean losing a plate and a bumper at the same time.

How much damage does my plate need to be replaced?

Your plate must be replaced if the damage is significant. Significant damage can be recognised by the following indicators. If your plate fits one of these factors, you need to replace your plate.

  • The characters on the plate can not be read properly as a result of the damage.
  • The plate is severely misshapen.
  • There is a crack running through or beginning to run through the plate
  • The plate is insecurely attached to the bumper (This could be fixed by reattaching it properly).
  • The plate is broken into more than one piece.

The easiest way to replace a number plate

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.

Legal alternatives to standard number plates

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

Where to get a 4D number plate plus installation

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 replace damaged 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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