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Top 3 Benefits of Promotional Plates - Show Number Plates UK

What is a show plate?

A show plate, or promotional plate, is a number plate which is for the show, only, rather than for use on the road.

Promotional plates are NOT legal to use on the road in the UK. They are used on non-road vehicles, which are not being driven on the road.

Show plates cannot be used as a substitute for a legitimate number plate, because they do not conform to DVLA guidelines.

You often find features on show plates that are not legal for actual number plates used on the road, such as personalised text at the bottom, tinted acrylic, or different fonts and spacing of letters and numbers.

Where can I buy a show plate?

At Bespoke Plates, we are proud to offer 3D, 4D, standard, and electric vehicle plates all via our website. Each product is available with full customisation and offered in both legal and show plates, giving you the ultimate choice.

We fully believe that the sky should be the limit when it comes to customising your vehicle. That is why we offer full personalisation for plates in both legal and show forms.

No request is too much for us. Whether you want a legal plate with a special finish, or an extreme show plate, as a number plate maker with creativity flowing through our business, we can fulfil any order. 

What are the best 3 Benefits of show plates?

There are many benefits to having promotional plates or show plates. Below we have listed just three ways in which these promotional plates are utilised.

Used for decorative purposes

A show plate is the perfect personalised gift for the car enthusiast in your life. It looks attractive as a wall hanging, framed keepsake or even screwed to your door, to remind everyone whose bedroom it is!

Show plates are also popular Father’s Day gifts for dads, as they can be inscribed with a lovely message from the children.


Used in car shows and track days

Car shows and track days bring like-minded people together, so it is no surprise that they attract thousands of attendees every year. At these events, people showcase classic cars and new models, and they also enter their cars into a show in a bid to earn prizes.
So, show plates are popularly used at car shows for display purposes, to grab attention and reflect the car’s personality. It is perfectly legal to put a show plate on a car which is being entered in a car show, as long as that car isn’t driven on the roads at all.

Can be used as a promotional plate

Have you ever seen competitions advertised on television, in the media, or in shopping centres, where you can enter to win a free car? Well, you will probably see a promotional plate on that car, to grab people’s attention and promote the company which is giving away the car.

Additionally, promotional plates are also used on cars in car showrooms. Car showrooms are brimming with cars that need to look fancy and enticing to customers. So, show plates are often displayed on the cars, to attract customers and promote the car dealer’s business.

Moreover, promotional plates are used in films, television shows, advertisements and photoshoots, when actors and models use a car onscreen. Show plates are ideal for this because they can be personalised according to what the director needs for the characters.

Will police pull me over if I am driving with a show plate on my car?

Yes, the police can stop you and issue you a fine for driving with incorrectly displayed number plates.

Under UK law, you can be fined up to £1,000 and your vehicle will automatically fail its MOT test if you drive with incorrectly displayed number plates.

If you are buying a private plate, make sure the plate complies with the DVLA’s requirements.

If I post a picture of my car online, do I have to blur the number plate?

It is better to be safe than sorry. So, it is a good idea to blur or pixelate the number plate of your car before posting a picture of your car online. This is a way to protect your privacy from car theft, identity theft and stalking.

An expert thief or hacker may be able to access all your personal details simply by knowing your car registration number.

How do I keep my number plate safe from thieves?

  • Secure your number plate with tamper-resistant screws.
  • Always lock your car doors, windows and sunroof.
  • Never leave tools in your vehicle overnight- or keep them out of plain sight.
  • Always park your vehicle in residential areas with plenty of street lighting, where suspicious activity can be noticed.
  • Report any suspicious activity if you see it.
  • Install CCTV cameras on your driveway or garden.

What 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 letters and numbers. This is achieved by applying industrial-strength long-lasting resin on top of the 3D characters.

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

Read our blog post on ‘are gel number plates legal?’ here to find out more.

What is a tinted number plate?

A tinted number plate is a darkened number plate. It is legal to have tinted promotional plates or show plates if you are not driving the car.

But if you have a tinted number plate and you plan on driving the car, then this will break the rules of the DVLA.

By UK law, number plates must be made of reflective material and the characters need to be black. The front plate needs to have a white background and the rear plate needs to have a yellow background.

What is a 4D show plate?

A 4D number plate is a 4-dimensional plate. It is created by applying 3D characters to number plates and then surrounding them with a 4D gel to create a block finish that screams premium design.

The 4D plate is more pronounced, in contrast to a 3D plate, which is softer.

At Bespoke Plates, each order can be made entirely customised to your requirements, with different finishes and depths available to choose from.

Check out our product gallery to see how our 4D number plates look.

Read our blog post on ‘why choose a 4D number plate’ here to find out more.

Is there such a thing as a 5D number plate?

In short, 5D number plates do not exist- they are a name given by some plate manufacturers to upsell their existing number plates.

A 3D or 4D number plate will do just the job to give your vehicle a stylish, personalised upgrade.

Read our blog post on ‘5D plates- are they real?’ here to find out more.

What is an EV number plate?

An Electric Vehicle (EV) number plate is used on electric cars. These number plates feature a vertical green stripe (known as a flash) on the left-hand side of the plates.

Licence plates explained

Cars, vans, buses, HGVs, motorcycles and taxis can all use green plates if they produce zero emissions.

Green number plates were introduced by the UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to increase awareness of environmentally friendly vehicles and pave the way for the UK to become carbon neutral by the year 2050.

At Bespoke Plates, we sell electric car number plates, as show plates, or for legal use on the road.

What are the DVLA guidelines for displaying personalised number plates?

Read our blog post on ‘private plate rules and regulations here to find out more.

All standard number plates on-road vehicles must:

  • Meet the British Standard
  • Have the correct spacing, font and format, as specified by DVLA
  • Be strong and durable to withstand destructive material on the road (such as debris, road salt and dirt)
  • Be supported by legal documentation
  • Be legally assigned to your vehicle before they are used
  • Be marked to illustrate the supplier of the number plate

For number plates used on the road, which aren’t show plates, you must NOT:

To find out more about Bespoke Plates, which is one of the UK’s top number plate makers specialising in 3D plates, 4D plates and standard number plates, visit our website here.

All products are also manufactured in-house using state-of-the-art equipment by our team of talented technicians. The quality that this provides is outstanding, with our detailed checking process and craftsmanship resulting in one-of-a-kind solutions.

Visit our blog to find the answers to frequently asked questions about custom number plates, including short number plates, 3D number plates and 4D number plates.

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