The last thing you want to deal with is losing your brand-new custom plate if the number plate fitting has not been executed properly! Without a number plate, your car is classed as illegal, meaning you are not allowed to use it on any roads. It is also important that number plates are secured well, as more than 25,000 are stolen each year in the UK.
Whether your plate has fallen off due to not being properly installed or has been stolen without your knowledge, the situation can be prevented with a reliable installation. At Bespoke Plates, we favour both a screw fix and sticky pad installation as both offer extreme durability and simple installation.
Want to know more about how number plates are attached for a risk-free finish? Continue reading!
How are number plates attached to cars?
There are a few options that you can consider when fitting your number plate, but we would recommend either screw or sticky pad methods. Both methods are, however, simple, so you do not have to be a motoring expert to make this easy change. Whether you need to change your plate as it is damaged, because you have purchased a custom design, or you are swapping your vehicle registration, the process is designed to be straightforward as it is a legal requirement.
The first stage of the process is the same for whatever form of number plate installation you have chosen. You must ensure that the area underneath the plate is clean and debris free. This is because having anything underneath the number plate could cause it not to be fitted as securely as possible. For sticky plates, this could cause the adhesive strength to be lessened, and for screwed ones, the plate may stand out too far, making it a hazard.
Once your car is prepped for its shiny new number plate, you can choose from either of the following fixing methods:
Screw Installation for Number Plates
If you decide to screw-attached your number plate, you should only purchase a high-quality screw pack, such as ours. This is because if the screws are not made from durable materials, they risk rusting over time and becoming loose. Titanium screws should be used for number plate installation.
Your car will have the screw holes already located behind where the plate is designed to sit. Depending on the number plate that you purchase, you may need to screw your holes into the plate to allow it to be installed. To make this simple, you can use your old plate as a template and always drill from the rear side of the plate to ensure no spilling happens on the front. You should also use moderate pressure so as not to cause any damage to your plate, as that could result in an expensive mistake!
Once you have a clean hole for your screws, you can attach them to your vehicle. Be sure to tighten these securely, as the motion of a moving car is enough to knock plates loose if they are not tightly fastened. You should then use screw cap covers, which are included within our screw fix number plate kit, to give a clean finish. This also provides extra security to your number plate, as the flush caps make it harder to tamper with.
Sticky Pad Installation for Number Plates
If you are unsure of using a drill or want more of a hassle-free way to install your new number plate, then the sticky pad method may be for you!
Whilst you won’t need to pick up any tools, you will need an incredibly steady hand as the high-strength tape is not forgiving once it meets the vehicle’s bodywork. Once the surface has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, you should attach your sticky pads to the back of the number plate. Be sure to keep one side of the tape secure, so the pads are not wasted. You should press down firmly to ensure a secure connection before moving forward.
Once you have placed your pads on the rear side of the number plate, you can remove the protective backing from each of the stickers, being sure not to let them encounter any other surfaces. You can then line up the plate with the position on the vehicle and, once happy, push it firmly into place. You won’t be able to remove and add on again unless you use new pads, so be sure your plate is in a perfect position before doing this final step.
Want to elevate your number plate game even further? You can also use a number plate holder to give your plate a more pronounced finish. These slick accessories provide a professional finish and can be easily screw-fixed for a quick installation.
What happens if your number plate falls off?
If for any reason you lose your number plate, you must replace it as soon as possible. As well as receiving a fine of £1000, under new rules announced in early 2022, you will always receive 3 points if caught driving without both of your number plates.
You should therefore replace your plate as soon as you notice it is missing. That is why it is also important to check the security of your number plate during regular vehicle checks. Just like making sure your headlights are all working, and your warning lights are off, checking that your number plate is securely fastened contributes to your vehicle being legally allowed on roads.
Another factor to consider is where you purchase your new product from, as you cannot make your own number plate. Instead, you will need to show your proof of ownership and purchase your place from a DVLA-registered manufacturer.
How do I attach 3D and 4D custom number plates?
3D and 4d custom number plates can be installed in the same way that standard plates are applied. Due to the nature of these custom designs, you will most likely want to get a professional to install them to ensure that the design and finish are not compromised. 3D number plates are thinner than their creative counterparts, so both methods are easy to use. You may just find that when using the screw fix method, a more specialised drill part is needed to ensure a clean finish. Again, by drilling from the back, you will protect the front from showing signs of splitting.
If you know what 4D number plates look like, you will surely have a question about how they can be installed. 4D custom number plates can also be mounted using both methods, but again, due to the thicker nature of the acrylic and resin, you will likely want to secure them with the sticky pad method or get some professional help.
At Bespoke plates, we offer a full number plate fitting service so that you can start enjoying your new plates as soon as they are ready to use. Our team are highly experienced, fitting hundreds of plates every month!
How can I remove a number plate?
Number plate removal can be a bit tricky, but that is because they are designed to be fixed and not come loose. If you have the right tools, this is sure to be a simple task.
For sticky pad number plates, place your fingers or a flat tool under the edges of the plate. Be sure to pull all parts of the plate with an equal force so as not to damage the plate or the vehicle. If you are finding this hard to remove, you can use some force of non-abrasive wire or string, which can be used to lift the sticky pads from the surface gently. Never use anything that will scratch your vehicle.
Screw fixed number plates can simply be unscrewed. You should be careful not to let the screw sheer off, as a bit of extra force will likely be needed to remove the screw itself. Using a drill and a sufficient attachment will allow you to manoeuvre the screw more carefully. If you plan on then reattaching the same plate, you should ensure that any debris is removed before replacing it.
Do you need a new number plate or require support with number plate fitting?
At Bespoke Plates, we specialise in all things to do with custom and standard number plates. Whether you are looking to have an everyday plate replaced or are looking for a slick show plate that will be removed and replaced frequently, our collection has got you covered. It’s not just as simple as removing and reattaching a plate. Our number plate fitting guide proves that you must carefully handle the task if you want a secure, road-legal plate. By not following these outlined steps, you not only risk losing your plate and facing a fine, but you could also damage your vehicle.
To find out more about how our services can get you on the road in no time at all, get in touch with us today.