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What You Need to Know About Personalised Car Number Plates

Personalised car number plates can be quite confusing for the uninitiated. Is it legal? How much can I customise my plate? Can anybody get it done? Without the right guidance, you could find yourself in trouble without even intending it.

That’s why the team here at Bespoke Plates has you covered. This blog will show you what you need to know about personalised car number plates.

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

Why do people personalise number plates?

Why do people personalise number plates?

People personalise number plates for the same reason people personalise their home, their office, or even their car keys. Personalisation is a way of adding your stamp of individuality to anything.

The difficulty with number plates is that there are established rules in place that are designed to optimise the visibility of the number plates by both ANPR and other people such as other drivers, pedestrians and other camera systems.

Installing a number plate that does not follow these rules can result in a few issues, including…

  • Distracting other road users
  • Not being identifiable by ANPR etc.
  • The number plate material may be weaker than it should be.
  • Can be a hazard depending on the level of customisation
  • You are committing a punishable offence which can result in fines, points on your license and more.

What you need to know about personalised car number plates

Will There Be No Non-Electric Cars in 2035 UK

For the uninitiated, navigating the rules and regulations can be tiresome and somewhat confusing. So we have decided to share with you the key points that you need to know about personalised car number plates.

After understanding these points, it becomes easier to navigate the custom number plate market.

Not all of it is legal

There are specific legal requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for your number plate to be legally compliant and useable on your vehicle whilst driving. This applies to your standard and private number plates.

If you customise a plate beyond the legal specifications, your custom plate becomes a ‘show plate’. Show plates are illegal to use on a vehicle and are only available to use as a decoration, or for show, hence the name.

Here are the legal requirements for number plates. As long as your custom plate complies with the following rules, it is completely legal. As per the legal guidance, the ruling on number plates is as follows…

The number plates on your vehicle must:

  • be made from a reflective material.
  • display black characters on a white background (front plate).
  • display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate).
  • not have a background pattern.
  • be marked to show who supplied the number plate.
  • be marked with a British Standard number — this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021.

The characters must not be removable or reflective. If your number plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

Your number plates can also:

  • have 3D (raised) characters.
  • display certain flags, symbols, and identifiers.
  • display a green flash, if you have a zero-emission vehicle.

So now we know the legal parameters, how can we ensure that they are fulfilled when you get your plate customised? It starts by visiting a legitimate plate manufacturer.

Filter out the fraudsters

Our second tip is just as important as the first. There may be many plate manufacturers out there, but it is the government who has the final say on who is a recognised plate manufacturer. As a result, you can find your local legal plate manufacturer through the government gateway.

If you choose to visit an unrecognised plate manufacturer, you run the risk of your number plate being illegal. Legal plate manufacturers will always provide the guidance so you are totally aware when your plate is passing the legal threshold. Plate manufacturers who aren’t legally recognised will generally not bother to tell you, as they are more interested in making the most money from you.

The rules can change at any time

This is a crucial factor to keep in mind. The guidance on number plating and what is legal and illegal has the potential to change at any time. Usually, enough notice is given until a law is enforced in order to make sure people comply.

With advances in technology, and innovations in customisation of number plates, there is always a chance that new laws may need to be created in order to keep up with them. Although all number plate related changes won’t be headline news, keeping up to date by checking the government gateway is the best option to stay ahead of any changes.

How can I get a personalised car number plate?

Is number plate customisation legal?

Getting your own bespoke custom number plate is relatively simple. In most cases, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! If you opt to use Bespoke Plates, you can order a custom number plate directly from our website.

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.
  7. Confirm your order!

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

Can any car get a personalised number plate?

A personalised number plate is available to any vehicle provided the appropriate documentation and express permission (if required) is obtained. Cars that are being rented or leased may be exempt from getting a personalised number plate, depending on the stipulations of your agreement.

A private plate can be customised, and as a result can be used on a leased vehicle, granted that you have obtained permission first. Private plates can only be customised once it is under your ownership, and only applied to the vehicle once you have been given clearance by the relevant parties.

Where can I buy private plates?

Private plates can be purchased from DVLA auctions and other legally recognised plate manufacturers such as Bespoke Plates. Individual sellers are also allowed to sell their private plates as long as they have the legal documentation.

Personalise your car number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options and the information you need to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have shown you what you need to know about personalised car number plate. 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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