With plate modification becoming an ever more popular option for those looking to add a unique look to their car, gel plates (both 3D & 4D) are becoming the go-to customisation option. But there may be those who are wondering ‘Will Gel Plates fail MOT?’
Bespoke Plates is here to answer that question, whilst providing you with information that will make you realise the value that this affordable customisation option can grant you.
So let’s start with the basics, what is a gel plate?
Gel Plates Explained
A ‘gel plate’ refers to a licence plate with slightly exaggerated characters that differ from a standard licence plate. Gel plates can come in the form of 3D, or 4D plates.
For those looking to add character, impact and a sleek appearance to their car, 3D & 4D plates have seen a surge in popularity as car modification has become common. Their popularity is not only because of their unique and Bespoke look but also their increased durability.
As an approved licence vendor with years of experience, Bespoke Plates offers this sleek plate upgrade, so for those who are curious, here is a brief description of 3D & 4D gel plates.
- Characters placed by hand
- Acrylic plate – polyurethane letters
- Rounded raised characters with a wet, gel-like 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.
- Characters are placed by hand
- Acrylic plate – acrylic letters (laser cut)
- Rectangular and deep raised characters
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.
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.
The 3D and 4D plates we offer are available in several styles:
4D plate options
- 4D 3mm
- 4D 5mm
- 4D Gel
- 4D Glitter Gel
- Carbon 4D Gel
- Krystal 4D
- Krystal Gel
3D plate options
- Carbon Brickwork
- Carbon Galaxy
- Glitter Gel
It’s important to note that with all these different styles, the only thing that changes is the texture and appearance of the characters.
Want to see what we mean rather than read an explanation? Head over to our website so you can view an example of your ideal gel plate. And if you like what you see, we offer same-day collections and fittings!
Are Gel Plates Legal?
The latest update to UK number plate rules was released in 2021. The DVLA created these outlines to improve road safety, minimise the number of illegal vehicle activities, and clear up any confusion drivers were expressing.
The industry is worth £2 billion in the UK alone, so it’s not like the government wants the trade to just come to a stand-still.
The legal terms that a number 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 number 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
- 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.
As well as these outlined conditions, custom plates must also display the following:
- have 3D (raised) characters
- display certain flags, symbols and identifiers
- display a green flash if you have a zero-emission vehicle
If the rules have been adhered to, you will be fine, as long as your custom plate is created and installed by a legally certified licence plate vendor.
These regulations all work to ensure that number plate modification can still take place whilst making sure cars are legally compliant on the road so as not to cause issues for other road users.
What is checked during an MOT?
An MOT is a legally required test for your vehicle to ensure it is safe to drive on the roads without being a danger to the driver or road users. Brand-new cars do not need to be booked for an MOT until it is the 3rd Anniversary of their registration.
Before buying a 2nd hand car, check its MOT status before purchasing, which you can do through the official government gateway.
Driving a vehicle with no valid MOT can lead to a £1000 fine. Driving after a failed MOT test in which your car is deemed dangerous, can result in a £2500 fine, 3 points on your licence and being banned from driving.
What do they check on an MOT?
What is checked during an MOT? Here is the list of some of the areas assessed.
- Body, vehicle structure and general items
- Fuel system
- Exhaust emissions
- Exhaust system
And more. For a full description of what these components are checked for, please click here.
External damage to your car does not mean it will fail the MOT. It will only be the case if the external damage affects the performance or functionality of the previously highlighted components.
An MOT does not check these parts of your vehicle:
To have these things checked and fixed on your vehicle, you must take it in for a service.
In certain instances, some vehicles are exempt from having an MOT, for a full list of exemption criteria follow this link
Will Gel Plates fail MOT?
As we’ve established, gel 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 checking?
- Its condition – must not be broken
- secure attachment – It should not be loose or stuck on by crude methods
- Colour – Does it adhere to the plate rulings?
- 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 only exception to this is show plates.
Order a gel plate today
We hope for anyone still wondering ‘Will gel plates fail MOT?’ that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.
Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved licence 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:
Phone 0333 006 7878
36A Broughton Street,