We are urging motorists to check that their number plate is displayed correctly. If you have modified the plates in some way, you might unknowingly be at risk of a £1,000 fine and even a failed MOT.
All number plates should conform to the UK standards and should be clear and easy to read. Approx 15,000 number plate offences have been recorded over the last 3 years.
A few simple errors could make your number plate illegal and you may not even realise. Here we have 6 key areas for you to check, to ensure your plate is fully legal on the road.
It is crucial to have the digits spaced correctly. If you are unsure of the required spacing for your registration, you can check how it is displayed on your V5C logbook (or your V778/V750 if you are yet to receive your V5C). Spacing incorrectly makes your plate harder to read by others and also by the ANPR cameras (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), which is a criminal offence.
A quick guideline:
Dateless style spacing, for example ABC 123, has a space between the letters and the numbers.
Suffix style spacing, for example ABC 123A, has a space after the first 3 letters.
Prefix style spacing, for example A123 ABC, has a space before the last 3 letters.
Current style spacing, for example, AB12 ABC, has a space before the last 3 letters.
Placing of Bolts
If you are using bolts to affix your plate to your vehicle, then you must keep in mind where the bolts will be applied. Sometimes bolts can make a letter or number look like a different digit from a distance. This could make your registration look like a completely different combination, a combination that might be registered to another vehicle. You can affix bolt covers that are black, white or yellow, to help prevent this, or you can use the strong double-sided stickers instead of bolts.
The Wrong Font
There is also a specific font that is used on UK plates, which allows it to be clearly read and each letter and number to be easily identified. Again, if the incorrect font is used it renders you plate illegal. The standard font used is “Charles Wright”.
It is important to have the standard UK background on your perspex plates, so that the plate is reflective and the digits stand out appropriately and are clearly seen. It also helps drivers in bad visibility to identify which way a vehicle is facing. Applying non-standard backgrounds, colours or even stickers can interfere with this and will result in your plate being illegal. The front plate must be the standard white background, while the rear plate must be the standard yellow background.
You must comply to the standard colours for a number plate. As mentioned above, the front must be white and the back must be yellow. The letters and numbers must be black. Having different colour digits may make it harder to identify them, and could also mean it won’t stand out clearly on the standard backgrounds.
Some people like to add a flag to their plates which is completely optional. However, should you choose to add a flag it must be positioned correctly and must be a valid flag as only a set number of flags are permitted on a UK plate. These are as follows:
EU Flag *Please note; we suspect this might change in the future due to Brexit
St. George Cross
Red Dragon of Wales
Scottish Saltire (St Andrew Cross)
If you would like any advice or assistance with your plate, or if you are thinking of purchasing a personalised plate, then please do not hesitate to contact us.