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.
Number Plates Top FAQ’s
Are your number plates legal?
Yes. If you select the ‘legal plate’ option under plate type on our custom number plate maker, your plate will only give options that are considered road legal by the DVLA.
How number plates work in the UK?
The requirement for registration or number plates to identify individual vehicles has been enshrined in UK law since the Motor Car Act of 1903. Increasing numbers of cars over the decades has meant the system has had more than one revamp. The current format provides the area of registration, the date of registration indicated by two numbers and then finally, three random letters.
Which number plates are illegal?
A number plate is illegal if it doesn’t follow exactly the specific regulations laid out in the legislation. There are very precise requirements for font, character sizing and spacing. A number plate is also illegal if it is obscured by dirt and essentially illegible or cracked or chipped. Failure to clearly display a legal plate can result in a hefty fine of £1,000 and may constitute an MOT failure.
Why are number plates yellow and white?
The standard issue in the UK is white on the front of the vehicle with black characters and yellow to the rear, also with black characters. White and yellow backgrounds are the clearest distinguishable options for black lettering allowing them to be easily read and at distance. It is also illegal to show a white light to the rear of a vehicle at night which is why the yellow plate goes on the back of a vehicle, the definition of ‘light’ does include reflectors.
Are Private Number Plates a good investment?
Spot a rising trend or bag yourself a popular name and a private number plate can be something of a goldmine. As with many things, a private number plate is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it but get two keen parties in the same room and who knows where the bidding will end up. Plates with a universal appeal will have a broad marketplace but there are niche plates which can sell well too, after all, you only need one buyer.
How to fit your number plates
Number plates can be attached to the vehicle with screws but more popular now is the use of adhesive tabs which are double-sided and very sticky. These are easier to use and quicker. There is also the option of number plate surrounds which are great if you are alternating between a standard registration and a private plate.
Our Definitive Number Plates Guide
The rules regarding the construction and appearance of number plates were all revised in 2001 when the format for registration plates underwent another change. The white and yellow facade with black lettering which dates back to 1973 remained unaltered and the key amendment is that there is now only one permitted typeface and that is called ‘Charles Wright 2001’ so italics are not allowed and neither are multiple stroke characters.
The size of the characters is all pre-defined at 79mm high and 50mm wide and even the width of the stroke is stated. The spacing between the letters and numbers is also pre-determined. National emblems or badges are permitted within a defined list, essentially the individual flags of the Union – England, Wales and Scotland – plus the Union Flag and the EU Flag.
The colours – white on the front, yellow on the back – and the reflectivity of the plates all adhere to a designated British Standard and the identity of the plate maker plus postcode must also be visible.
Interfering with the appearance of a number plate is not permitted and risks an MOT failure or a ticket from a passing Road Traffic Officer. The desire to stray outside the rules and personalise just a little bit is almost irresistible for some people. Common adjustments include not using the required typeface, changing the spacing between the characters or blocks of characters on replacement plates, placing the fixing screws in such a way as to create a different effect – perhaps the appearance of a word, the dot over an ‘i’ – and adding badges, emblems or symbols which are not on the permitted list.
A reputable plate maker will be aware of all the precise legalities and will not produce a plate that fails to comply with them. Even perfectly legal plates can fall foul of the law inadvertently. A plate which has cracked or chipped due to debris or accident may be illegal, even a registration plate that is not readable due to dirt from muddy winter roads and the coating that can occur with rock salt which leaves a white layer obscuring the characters, is also a potential offence. A defective number plate is an MOT failure so plates need to be kept in good repair and checked regularly.
But what is the situation with older vehicles? The DVLA have, since 2015, permitted vehicles of 40 plus years in age to display the traditional black and silver plates. This date is a rolling calendar so now vehicles dating from 1979 and earlier will fall into that category. The system updates each April.
A vehicle of that vintage must also be registered in the ‘historic vehicles’ tax class and this will usually be accompanied by an exemption from paying road tax and the end of the requirement for an annual MOT although the car must be kept in a roadworthy condition. Black and silver plates may look fabulous on your 1952 MG Midget but might not be quite the look for your vintage Ford Sierra but you will have the freedom to replicate a plate that is faithful to the age of the vehicle and avoid the stringent DVLA requirements.
Private plates or personalised registrations, one in the same thing, are subject to the same rules about presentation and construction as standard plates. There are specialist plate sellers who source and acquire interesting number plates and offer them for sale and the DVLA also sell directly to the public via their website and auction facility.