If you have ever tried to purchase a number plate for your car or motorbike, you’ve probably come across sites that sell “show plates.” Show plates can seem like a good idea to purchase, but do you know the difference between “show plates” and “legal plates?” Knowing the difference between the two can mean the difference between flouting traffic rules or not.
What Are Show Plates?
Show plate is a general term that is used to describe number plates that are not legal to use on the road under UK law. Even though they can’t be used on the road, there is a still a very thriving market for show plates since they can be very useful vehicles in classic car competitions or rallies. Classic cars that are collected and stored, but never driven on the road can also use show plates.
There are numerous benefits of purchasing show plates. They include the following;
• Because they don’t have to comply with the rules and regulations, show plates can be customized in a number of ways. You can choose whatever color, font and eve background you want on your show plates.
• You can also use creative fonts when creating a number plate. This means that they can be spaced out to look like they spell a certain word and since there is no limit to the number of letters you can choose to use, you are unlimited in possibilities.
• You can also use logos and images on a show plate. This gives you more ways to further customize the plate any way you want.
What Show Plates Are Used For
As the name suggests, most of the time show plates are used at car shows or competitions. They are means to identify a car at a show or even add that extra creativity to the general appearance of the car.
They can also be used by car show rooms to demonstrate what a car number plate would look like. They can also be used to advertise a certain special price of the car.
Some businesses and individuals will also purchase show plates to be used as signage. They can be great for displaying the name of a business and its services especially if the business is car-related.
What Are Legal Car Number Plates
Legal plates on the other hand are car number plates that are permitted for use on British roads. They are often subjected to strict rules and regulations, aimed at making it easier for the plate to be recognized. Some of the rules for road legal plates include the following;
• Characters have to be black in a particular font
• 11mm minimum top, bottom and side margin around the plate
• Characters must be 79mm high, 50 mm wide and with a 14mm stroke
• The spacing between the characters must be 11mm
• The space between two groups of characters must be 33mm
• The border around the number plate must not be retro reflective. It also can’t be colored and should be no thicker than 6mm.
• The name and postcode of the plate’s manufacturer must be displayed on the plate at the center of the lower section.
• The plate must be free of any images apart from the national identifier.
It is very important that each number plate complies with the rules above since they are meant to make driving safe as well as prevent criminal activity. Purchase plates from a manufacturer who already understands these laws to avoid fines and even the loss of your vehicle’s registration.