Five Common Mistakes With Private Number Plates That Could Get You Fined

Private number plates offer motorists the platform to express themselves creatively as well as to make a personal statement. However, even private regs must still comply with the rules set out within the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001. If the rules are not adhered to, motorists are liable to be penalised in the form of a fine of up to £1,000. For repeat offenders and serious transgressions, the DVLA reserves the right to revoke the vehicle registration completely.

Alas, despite that, many vehicle owners continue to try and tempt fate by skirting around the edges of the law. This has resulted in over 15,000 vehicle owners across the country being fined over the last three years. Many motorists appear not to realise that tampering with number plates or ignoring regulations could compromise the visibility of the alphanumeric characters on the plate. In light of that, we have highlighted below five of the most common mistakes made by motorists in the hope that it will serve as a wake up call.

(i) Displaying wrong character and background colours

The law requires that front plates must have a clear white background with black letterings, while rear plates must have a yellow background and inscribed with similar black letterings. The combination of contrasting colours is believed to offer the highest level of visibility to the human eyes, even in poor lighting conditions.

(ii) Uneven spacing

DVLA stipulates that the only spacing allowed on the alphanumeric sequence of number plates is after the two digit age identifiers. Unfortunately, some vehicle owners tamper with the spacing recommendation to create new words and acronyms.

(iii) Embellishments and Decorative elements

The use of stickers, glitter and other form of artwork on number plates can serious impact visibility, even at short distances. They can also cause inaccurate reading of number plates, which could lead to innocent motorists being hauled up for offences they did not commit.

(iv) Typography

To guarantee consistency, DVLA requires that all letterings and numbers inscribed on number plates to use the Charles Wright typeface. Similar to True Type fonts on computers, this font provides a perceptible increase in visibility.

(v) Flags and Country Codes

For UK vehicles, they are required to display the flags of their country of origin as well as the country short code. However, some motorists replace the flags and short codes with religious and political symbols, among others.


Ellie Ford

130 Mendalgief Rd, Newport NP20 2NE, UK

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