When delving into buying a registration plate you will have, at some point, invariably come across the term ‘show plates’. But many people don’t know the difference between legal plates and show plates – what are the legalities? What are they used for? Here I’ll clear up the differentiation so that you can make an informed choice on what you require.
What are Show Plates?
Show plates are exactly how they sound – they’re show plates – they’re not legal to be used on UK roads under law. However, there is a monolithic market for show plates especially at car rallies, competitions, classic car shows and various other events – adding that ‘wow’ factor to any car that uses them.
Show Plates – what are the benefits?
With Show Plates, the sky is the proverbial limit with what you can produce – people can really get creative and use a vast array of different types of show plates offered by reputable companies such as Show Plates Direct.
Show plates don’t have to follow the rules which is why they’re so sought after – there are no legal requirements regarding fonts and backgrounds for example.
Colours and logos can also be added meaning that show plates are great for sponsorship deals at events – you can even choose to adopt an italic look to make the show plate that bit more special.
Show plates can be personalised to an incredible degree which is why they’ll always continue to thrive in the UK market.
When would you use a Show Plate?
As mentioned previously, most people plump for show plates to use at car shows and competitions (show plates are incredibly popular at sound pressure level competitions – or SPL competitions). Classic car shows are also hit the demographic looking for show plates adding that little more class to their cars by flaunting a truly special plate.
Car show rooms may also use show plates to show pricing and offers – more and more dealers in the UK have adopted this over the past few years to help bolster sales.
Businesses also adopt the use of show plates for advertising at exhibitions and events. A show plate can really give the pizzazz needed to turn a head or twenty – making them a great choice than the standard plates that are road legal.
What are the difference between legal plates and show plates?
Legal plates as the name suggests are plates than can be used on the roads (unlike show plates). The rules surrounding legal plates are very stringent and if the criteria for a legal plate aren’t met you could be heavily fined.
The rules of a legal plate
- The border around the plate must not be retro reflective. It can be coloured but should be no thicker than 6mm.
- Characters must be black, in a set font
- Minimum top, bottom and side margins apply of 11mm
- A character height of 79mm applies
- A character width of 50mm applies
- A character stroke of 14mm applies
- The space between the characters MUST be 11mm
- The name of the manufacturer of the plate and manufacturers postcode must be displayed on a road legal plate at the centre of the lower section
It is crucial that you understand these fundamental differences between show plates and legal plates as you could find yourself in hot water if you’re spotted using a show plate on the road.
Stay safe and drive sensibly.