An automotive expert has sounded the alarm about lesser-known number plate rules that could result in drivers facing fines of up to £1,000.
Jon Kirkbright, the sales director at Platehunter, specializes in the buying and selling of private number plates. With 11 years of experience in the industry, he remains up to date with the ever-changing rules and regulations concerning number plates.
The expert warns that some individuals attempt to rearrange the letters and numbers on their plates to form desirable words. However, he strongly advises motorists against doing so, as they could face significant penalties.
According to the government, “Number plates (also known as licence plates) must display your registration number correctly. You cannot rearrange letters or numbers or alter them to make them difficult to read. Failure to comply could lead to fines of up to £1,000, and your vehicle will fail its MOT test if you drive with improperly displayed number plates.”
The current vehicle registration number format was introduced in 2001 and consists of:
- 2 letters (representing the region in which the vehicle was first registered)
- 2 numbers (indicating the issuance date)
- 3 randomly chosen letters
Jon explains, “Occasionally, people alter the spacing on their number plates in an attempt to make it resemble a word or name more closely than before. By doing this, drivers risk incurring costly fines.”
For those seeking number plates featuring specific combinations of numbers or letters, there are legal options available. Personalized number plates can cater to individual preferences.
Platehunter, with its 11 years of trading experience, currently offers over 56 million personalized number plates for sale. The automotive expert highlights that Platehunter prides itself on being an affordable number plate supplier, with plates starting from just £39 plus VAT and transfer fees.
However, rearranging the letters and numbers is not the only factor that can lead to fines for drivers. There are other regulations that must be adhered to, including the color of the characters.
As per guidelines, the number plates on vehicles must:
- Be made of reflective material
- Display black characters on a white background (front plate)
- Display black characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
- Not have a background pattern
- Indicate the supplier of the number plate
- Bear a British Standard number (‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after September 1, 2021) The characters should not be removable or reflective. If number plates were fitted after September 1, 2021, they must also be a uniform shade of black. Additionally, number plates can:
- Have 3D (raised) characters
- Display certain flags, symbols, and identifiers
- Feature a green flash for zero-emission vehicles
To stay on the right side of the law, Jon advises drivers to purchase their number plates only from reputable dealers. He emphasizes, “All drivers should ensure they buy number plates from an approved DVLA seller who adheres to the strict rules regarding font, color, spacing, and character size. We offer this service for just £25, including delivery, and plates can be dispatched on the same day, depending on the order time. This gives our customers peace of mind that the plates they install on their vehicles are legal and compliant.”
For drivers seeking private number plates that resemble names, initials, or meaningful words, Platehunter’s website is a recommended resource. Jon adds, “If customers cannot find what they are looking for, they can provide us with their specifications, and we will notify them if it becomes available. We can also facilitate auctions for any number plate from the DVLA, as long as it is legal and has never been issued before.”
For further information or assistance with purchasing or selling a private number plate, please visit PlateHunter‘s website. Alternatively, you can follow and reach out to them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.