The Number 1 Plate Maker in the UK: Bespoke Plates

Are you looking to add a distinct and unique statement to your car? Do you want your number plate to be a refined finishing touch that adds an extra edge to your vehicle? Or are you just looking to replace, or personalise a standard number plate?

Whatever you are looking for, you need not look any further than the number 1 plate maker in the UK: Bespoke Plates.

Specialising in 3D plates, 4D plates, regular number plates, electric car plates, accessories, personalised plates, and show plates. From delivery to installation, we are here to help.

Are your plates legal?


This is a common question we face regularly, the answer is yes!

With show plates being the only exemption, our gel plates, both 3D and 4D are fully compliant with the specified legalities that should be observed when making a plate, as the number 1 plate maker, we have standards to stick to, and one of them is to keep our customers stress free!

As long as your number plate follows the guidelines highlighted by the DVLA,  it is 100% legal for gel plates to be used on your vehicle. Customised license plates that fall outside of the rules of the DVLA are still legal to own and can be used as decoration or given as a gift. However, if they are used on a car you can face legal consequences.

The new rulings highlighted by the DVLA are as follows:

  • The plate must be made from a reflective material. This is for road safety, to make sure other road users and authorities such as the police can see your license plate.
  • Black display characters on a white background (front plate)
  • Black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • No background pattern on the plate, to avoid any distortion in the readability of the plate.
  • Having markings that indicate the number plate supplier. To assist with any sourcing queries or incidents of theft.
  • Be marked with a British Standard number – for plates fitted after September 1st 2021, the British Standard number is ‘BS AU 145e’.
  • Numbers and letters on the plate must not be removable or reflective. From September 1st 2021 all fitted plates must have a single shade of black within the numbering and lettering.

Additionally, custom plates must also display:

  • 3D raised characters
  • Display of certain flags, symbols and identifiers
  • If your vehicle is a zero-emission vehicle, it must display a green flash on the side of the plate.

As of March 2022, further changes have been made to the law regarding number plating (including gel plates) and are as follows:

  • 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.

As a legally certified license plate vendor, we can guarantee that the options you choose for your plate will be within all of the legal parameters outlined by the DVLA, as a result, you will pass the MOT and receive official paperwork to show any time it is requested.  If your customisation falls outside of the previously stated legal parameters, you will fail the MOT and not be legally allowed to use the plate on your vehicle.

For information by the DVLA on private (personalised) number plate registering, buying and selling and other processes, click here.

Our standout option – 4D plates

Sample plate

As the number 1 plate maker in the UK, we only offer the best. That’s why we offer 4D plates. 4D plates come under the distinction of 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.

The unique aspect of our 4D plates is that:

  • Characters placed by hand
  • Acrylic plate – acrylic letters (laser cut)
  • Rectangular and deep-raised characters

The 4D plates we offer are available in several styles:

  • 4D 3mm
  • 4D 5mm
  • 4D Gel

4D plates and MOT

4D plates are legal as long as they follow the previously highlighted stipulations, however, does this mean they will pass an MOT? It is not as simple as a yes or no.

We already know registration plates will be checked during an MOT, so what aspects of the plate are they actually checking?

  • condition
  • secure attachment
  • colour
  • characters correctly formed and spaced

As long as all of these conditions are met, you will pass an MOT.

At Bespoke Plates, we offer installation on all of our plates, guaranteeing you will pass your MOT. Self-installation may result in you damaging the plate, or not securing correctly, which is why we offer this service to you.

The difference between 3D and 4D plates

Are Hex Plates Illegal in The UK?

As we mentioned before, we sell 3D and 4D plates, but what is the difference?

The key difference between these plates is in their production and aesthetic. 3D plates are easier and faster to make than 4D plates, which also makes them cheaper. Both plates are made by hand using alignment bars.

The physical difference between 3D and 4D plates is in how raised the letters are and how they look. 4D characters are more raised and rectangular. 3D characters are less raised and more rounded for an understated look.

3D plates are made from acrylic with individual raised letters. The raised letters are manufactured from polyurethane and get ‘stuck’ to the acrylic plate by hand. An aligner bar is used to guarantee perfect spacing.

The rounded and shiny gel-like appearance of 3D plates makes them a great choice if you want to add understated personalisation to your vehicle.

4D plates are also made from acrylic but instead of polyurethane characters, they use professionally laser-cut characters made from acrylic sheets. This allows the characters to be thicker and more rectangular for a more eye-catching look.

You can also get 4D gel characters which have a ‘wet look’. These are made in the same way as 3D letters but have a thicker profile.

In terms of cost, 4D plates carry a premium over 3D plates by up to 20%. The reason 4D plates cost more is that the individual characters are laser cut, or they are of the thicker gel variety. In the case of laser-cut, the characters are also made to order in-house.

Regardless of what option you end up choosing, our gel plates are more reinforced than a standard plate, giving you peace of mind against all the hazards that could come up against your plate on the road.

Show plates and legalities

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.

Due to the level of customisation offered for a show plate, the colour, or character spacing and formation (and non-compliance of plate coding) will likely be the factors that contribute to it failing an MOT as well as it being illegal to use on a public road.

The number 1 plate maker

We hope to have provided all the options for all of your plate modification needs. If you choose to purchase and install your 4D plates through Bespoke Plates, we can guarantee your registration plate will be MOT compliant, as the number 1 plate maker in the UK, we have a reputation to uphold.

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:

  • Email –
  • Phone – 0333 006 7878
  • Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,
M8 8NN

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