Customisation in the automotive industry has long been a way for enthusiasts to express their individuality and style, transforming their vehicles into unique, personalised statements—and it’s not just limited to paintwork, wheels, or interiors but also extends to bespoke and distinctive number plates.

4D number plates are becoming increasingly popular due to their eye-catching appeal and the ability to make your vehicle stand out. But how do you get a 4D number plate that doesn’t just look great but is also legal? Show Plates World will show you!

What Are 4D Number Plates?

4D number plates represent a leap forward in customisation, providing a visually striking alternative to conventional plates. Unlike their 2D and 3D counterparts, 4D plates use laser-cutting technology to create a layered effect that adds depth and dimension to the characters on the plate. The plates typically have two variations: the 3mm and 5mm laser cut, but for a truly unique and eye-catching effect, some 4D plates incorporate a gel overlay.

Why Do Car Owners Get 4D Number Plates?

4D number plates offer something beyond what traditional plates can provide, including the following:

  • Personalisation: 4D number plates allow for a high degree of personalisation.
  • Distinctive Appearance: The layered design of 4D plates creates a unique appearance that stands out on the road.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: The use of laser cutting and gel overlay enhances the aesthetics of 4D plates, adding a level of sophistication and visual appeal to the overall look of the vehicle.
  • Reflecting Individuality: Many car owners appreciate the ability to customise their plates to reflect their individuality, making their cars truly one-of-a-kind.

2D, 3D, or 4D Number Plates?

Before the rise of 4D number plates, car owners had the option of 2D and 3D plates. 2D plates are the traditional flat licence plates that have been in use for many years, are typically made of a single layer of material, and feature a simple, straightforward design.

3D plates introduced a new dimension to traditional flat plates by adding raised characters for a more textured appearance. This design element provided a subtle upgrade from 2D plates. However, for some car enthusiasts, 3D plates are still not as visually striking as 4D plates.

With the evolution of technology, 4D plates have taken personalisation to a whole new level.

Choosing between the three options comes down to the following:

  • Costs: 2D plates are the least expensive option, followed by 3D and 4D.
  • Personal Style and Preference: Those who prefer a classic and simple style may choose 2D plates, while those who want more flair may opt for 3D or 4D.
  • Durability and Maintenance: While all plates are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, some can potentially last longer due to their layered design and use of high-quality materials.
  • Legal Requirements: Specific rules around number plate designs and formats vary.
  • Vehicle Compatibility: While most types of number plates are universally compatible, there may be fitment issues with specific models or older vehicles.

The Rules for Number Plates

Personalisation or customisation refers to the ability to modify the appearance of the plate. You can find number plates in different styles, colours, and designs, allowing car owners to make their vehicles unique. However, in the UK, number plates are subject to strict regulations enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) under the British Standard BS AU 145e.

Since the purpose of number plates is to enable easy identification of vehicles, any modifications that make it difficult to read the registration number are illegal. Generally, all number plates must be reflective, ensuring visibility under various light conditions. The front plates should exhibit black characters set against a white backdrop, while the rear plates must display black characters on a yellow background. Most importantly, the plates should not feature background patterns.

The supplier’s identity mark and the British Standard number, specifically ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates attached post-September 1, 2021, are mandatory markings. Moreover, the characters must be fixed and non-reflective,

All these rules make 2D number plates the most common type. However, the British Standards also permit the use of 3D characters, specific flags, symbols, and identifiers. Therefore, 4D number plates are legal, but car owners must ensure they meet the above-mentioned guidelines.

Customising Legal and Distinctive 4D Number Plates

The concept of 4D number plates is already unique since it uses raised characters and designs that 2D number plates cannot achieve. To maximise this distinctiveness, follow these two tips:

Choose Between 3mm and 5mm Laser Cut or 3mm With Gel

When deciding between 3mm laser cut, 5mm laser cut, or 3mm with gel 4D number plates, consider your desired level of prominence. The 3mm laser cut option offers a subtle yet distinct enhancement to the plate’s depth. If you’re looking for a more pronounced effect, the 5mm laser cut will provide greater depth and a more noticeable 3D appearance.

Alternatively, the 3mm with gel option offers both depth and a glossy sheen. This plate type incorporates a resin gel coating over the characters, adding tactile dimension and a high-end finish. When choosing between these options, you can consider your vehicle and your aesthetics.

Work With a Reputable Number Plate Provider

Once you’ve decided on the type of 4D number plate you want, working with a reputable and licensed number plate provider is crucial. A good number plate provider will also offer various customisation options, guiding you through the process of creating your unique 4D plates, and will use high-quality materials and advanced technology to ensure your plates are durable and long-lasting.

You can also benefit from expert advice and assistance regarding adhering to legal requirements for 4D number plates.

Show Off Your Plates From Show Plates World

As you customise your 4D number plates, remember to strike a balance between creativity and compliance. At Show Plates World, our commitment to quality, adherence to legal standards, and wide range of design options make us the go-to choice for car enthusiasts looking to enhance their vehicle’s aesthetic. Get your legal 4D number plates now and show them off on the open road!