It is illegal to drive a car which has a number plate that is cracked, broken, faded or can’t be read due to marks on it and due to their location number plates are quite often the first part of a vehicle to get damaged during an accident. In fact even a very minor bump while parking can damage a number plate and result in prosecution if it isn’t quickly replaced.
Of course damage isn’t the only reason someone would want to change their number plate. It might be for more aesthetic reasons. Personalised plates are popular and some are surprisingly affordable, with many websites allowing a customer to enter just a few letters to be shown any plates that might appeal to them. If a vehicle is to be driven on the road it is really important that the plates are road legal. Any company that makes number plates should be able to advise on the legality of a particular number plate but ultimately it is up to the driver of the vehicle to make sure that the number plate meets the DVLA criteria or face a fine of up to £1000. The number plate must be easy to read, with an approved script type, for example it must not contain italics. It must also black lettering on a white background at the front or a yellow background at the rear and the characters have to be a specific size.
A number of companies who make number plates specialise in making show plates. These are plates for vehicles that are not to be driven on the road and so are not subject to the same regulations. The design options on this type of number plates are much wider, and many websites allow the customer to design them online so that they can look at a huge variety of options before deciding on the number plate they wish to order. The customer can choose from a variety of fonts, colours and borders before deciding what background or badges they would like to add and many companies that make number plates allow the customer to design a completely unique plate by sending their own design to be incorporated into the plate. Once the design has been finalised the number plate will be made to order and delivered ready to apply to the vehicle.
Of course not all show plates are ordered with the intention of being fixed to a vehicle. They can also be used as general signs, with a slogan added or a company name in the style of a car registration. They are also popular as gifts and used as decorative items. The style and shape of number plates are almost universally recognised, which is why they are such a powerful way of delivering a message, as well as having a great visual impact they are also seen as fun way of displaying information. It is this that can make number plates a good method of communication, rather than just a legal requirement for on the road vehicles.