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Styles of number plates for UK cars

The rules regarding the construction and design of number plates were revised back in 2001. The white and yellow backgrounds with black lettering remained unaltered, but the significant new rule was that only a single typeface would be permitted (Charles Wright 2001), with no italics or multiple stroke characters allowed. Similarly, the character size is pre-defined at 79mm high and 50mm wide, with standard spacing between them.

In other words, there are many standard rules that must be adhered to for a number plate to be legal. However, this hasn't stopped number plate designers from finding ways to add a touch of style to perspex plates.

Experts in cutting-edge design

A reputable plate maker will know all of the precise legalities and will never produce a plate that fails to comply. But there are design features that can be included to make a licence plate stand out from the crowd. One example is the honeycomb design for perspex carreg plates.

This involves adding a subtle honeycomb pattern to the background of the plate. The pattern gives the plate a more deluxe feel without interfering with the strict colour or lettering requirements. A personalised plate is an investment and you want it to look as good as possible, so adding an attractive pattern to replace the plain yellow and white background has emerged as a popular trend in the industry.

Another growing trend is the use of 3D or 4D lettering on the plate. The 3D idea involves having the letters moulded and added to the plate with a dome-like appearance that projects off the plate in 3-dimension. These are perfectly legal and MOT-compliant, as long as the lettering and spacing are correct, and they have a striking look that enhances your car's aesthetic. With regards to 4D plates, these are really a different spin on the 3D idea (some manufacturers call them 3D Plus). Instead of moulded plastic gel with a domed shape, you get laser-cut plastic lettering for a more edgy 3-dimensional presentation.

Exceptions for older vehicles

Since 2015, the DVLA has permitted vehicles that are 40+ years old to display classic black and silver plates. Any vehicle with that sort of vintage must be registered in the 'historic vehicle' tax class, which usually includes an exemption from road tax.

Black and silver plates look fantastic on something like a 1952 MG Midget, but perhaps not so much on an old Ford Sierra. However, if your vehicle is more than 40 years old, you may be able to sidestep the stringent DVLA requirements for your number plates.

Make the most of your personlised plates

Personalised CarReg plates are subject to the same rules and requirements as standard number plates. However, specialist plate sellers can provide interesting spins on the typical perspex plate to make your car truly stand out from the crowd. Whether you qualify for the classic plate colours or have an interest in honeycomb, 3D or 4D plates, there are ways to move beyond the boring standard of car number plates. Search for something more personalised