Great service and plates arrived on time. Plates exactly as advertised. Would highly recommend.
Absolutely brilliant! Colourful, different, stands out with my personal plate & legal. The ordering service couldn’t have been easier.
I’ve ordered at least 4 times over the years from Show Plates Express. I can not fault the easy of ordering, quality and turnaround time. Will always order only through them. Highly recommended company
Ordered a set of plates, came exactly how I ordered in good clean condition with the personalisation I ordered. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Show Plates Express for a fast friendly service. Thank you
Exactly what I ordered. Good quality product, very professional and courteous service and a quick delivery. Highly recommended company.
Super fast delivery and with everything included to put my new plates on. I ordered Inline lettering and they looks great on my RS6! Plates exactly as advertised. Would highly recommend.
4D NUMBER PLATE FAQS
What are 4D number plates?You may have heard of 3D gel plates, 4D number plates are an extension to these in that the letters are laser cut and then bonded to the acrylic registration plate surface, they create a pop-out 3D look. 4D number plates are sometimes also referred to as 3D plus or a raised 3D font style.
Read: 4D Number Plates Guide
Are 4D number plates road legal?Yes, 4D number plates are road legal but there is often some confusion around this. The DVLA does permit 3D characters on number plates and because this is specifically stated in the regulations, motorists often assume that 4D is not therefore allowed. 4D is allowed because the plates are actually really 3D but with an added profiling, this is why some websites refer to them as 3D Plus so drivers can understand that they are both MOT compliant and legal for on road use.
How are 4D number plates made?The registration plate is made of standard reflective acrylic, yellow or white depending on the location of the plate. The characters – letters and numbers – are laser cut to the legal font style, Charles Wright 1, giving a raised, pop-out effect as opposed to the more rounded appearance of gel letters. Some companies offer variations within the 4D style such as ‘crystal’ which includes a layer of transparent acrylic underneath the black characters creating a unique look at night. Or you can stick with gel which gives a rounded effect to the characters.
4D Number Plate Guide
The regulations which govern the design and appearance of number plates were revised in 2001. The white for front and yellow for the rear design which was introduced in 1973 was retained but the law was tightened to allow only one font style, called Charles Wright 1. The layout and size of the characters are very specifically documented too.
Spacing between the letters and the central space are all defined, 11mm between each character and 33mm in the central space between the numbers and the three random letters. Characters must be 79mm high and 50mm wide and the thickness of the letters and numbers, commonly referred to as ‘the stroke’ must be 14mm. The surrounding margins, top, bottom and side of the plate must be 11mm. The white and yellow acrylic must be reflective and the British Standard Institute number plus the manufacturer’s postcode must also appear in a small script. You can also choose from a list of flags and emblems but again, these are tightly regulated in terms of size and appearance. With regulations like these, it is no wonder that keen motorists and plate makers are always looking for ways to personalise their number plates. If you can’t go for a private or personalised registration, then 4D plates will definitely make your car stand out from the crowd.
Regular number plates are flat and rather one dimensional, 4D plates are different because the characters are laser cut and then topped with gel resin once they are in place which is why they are sometimes called 3D plus as really they are 3D but with an added enhancement. The DVLA specifically state that 3D characters are road legal which is where the confusion arises with advertisements for 4D plates. If you research how 4D plates are made then it is easy to understand how they are compliant with road usage and current MOT standards – 4D is just a motor industry description.
4D number plates are made from super shiny black acrylic characters laser cut and then stuck to an acrylic plate with a high strength adhesive. The laser cut follows the legal specifications in terms of size and also the font style and you can add a different colour to fit underneath, sometimes described by suppliers as 4D Plus or, use fluorescent which is called 4D Neon which can look amazing when lit up at night in the headlights of other vehicles. Why not try 4D Frosted which is applied to the acrylic characters before they are cut by the laser?
4D number plates usually retail at around the £50 mark for a pair of plates but this would not include badges and borders or any additions like frosting or fluorescent. The 4D process can really make show plates stand out and optimise the look of a vehicle at a car show or rally or promotional event. Show plates can be produced using exactly the same technology for a fabulous effect but these plates are not road legal either because they simply represent a word or phrase rather than an actual registration or, the characters have been changed in terms of font and size, or both.
Always use a platemaker with a good reputation and knowledge of the current law or you could find yourself falling foul of a Road Traffic officer or the MOT if your car needs one. Reputable platemakers will use good quality materials which will stand the test of time and withstand all the challenges that a number plate is exposed to – dirt, stones and debris from the road which cause cracking and chipping and don’t underestimate the impact of car washes. Most 4D plates would not be wholly happy with a jet wash but you should check with the manufacturer.
If your vehicle is in the historic vehicle’s class so 40 years plus in age then you are free to do what you like with your number plate as the regulations do not apply to it. You must register the vehicle to be VED and MOT exempt and also apply annually for road tax even though the charge is zero, something that some motorists are not aware of. This is simply to keep track of the vehicles. You can choose any style of number plate for a historic vehicle and 4D can work well on the right vintage of vehicle particularly at a classic car show, event or even at a wedding.