Where Are They Now – Movie Star Cars And What Became Of Them

We all have a favourite fictional vehicle – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Herbie; Optimus Prime – there are dozens of famous movie cars of various shapes and sizes. But what happens to these movie star cars when they reach the end of the road?  We’ve tracked down a few of our favourites to find out where they are now. Continue reading “Where Are They Now – Movie Star Cars And What Became Of Them”

Venetian Gondolas Start Wearing Number Plates

When you think of Venice you probably imagine moonlit canals, floating along in a vintage gondola while a stripy-shirted gondolier sings Italian classics while guiding you under ornate bridges.

Now imagine that gondola with a licence plate attached to it. Doesn’t quite have the same romance, does it? Yet Venetian gondoliers have recently been ordered to fit their vessels with GPS and personalised numberplates, following a series of complaints of bad behaviour.

But don’t worry, we’re not talking about glaring white EU-standard show plates here. In typically Venetian style, the gondola plates take the form of elegant little metallic numbers which are subtly affixed to the side of the craft. And as there is a strict limit on the number of licensed gondoliers in the city (currently 425), the licence plates will never exceed three digits in length. Continue reading “Venetian Gondolas Start Wearing Number Plates”

How to make sure your number plates will never be stolen

Number plate theft may not seem like a big deal, but it can wreak havoc on innocent drivers. Plates are usually stolen in order to be used in criminal activities – anything from ram raiding and drug trafficking, to driving away from petrol forecourts without paying. The onus is on the owner of the original plates to prove that they are innocent, but in the meantime the fines and court summons will just keep on stacking up.

The AA has been warning about the dangers of number-plate theft for years, and there are now a whole host of great products and services out there to help ensure that your normal plates or even your show plates stay attached to your car. Here are five of our top tips to make sure that your number-plates are never stolen in the UK.

Continue reading “How to make sure your number plates will never be stolen”

How to fit number plates with sticky pads

Have you ever wondered how to fit your number plates to your car? Well, fitting numberplate’s with sticky pads couldn’t be easier!

Once your replacement number plates or show plates from Show Plates Direct have arrived in the post, fitting them to your vehicle with sticky pads is simple! Just watch the video below and grab your sticky pads to get fitting! Continue reading “How to fit number plates with sticky pads”

Number plates banned by the DVLA

Number plate

As we all know, a personalised number plate can make your car unique and stand out from the crowd. At the same time, it is a statement of individuality that tells other road users something about yourself or the actual vehicle.

What’s more, if you manage to find and buy a unique or highly sought-after personalised plate, you could end up making a lot of money in the future. For this reason, they are often seen as a long-term investment, which can be worth more than the car itself.

However, there are certain personalised registrations and show plates that are not deemed roadworthy by the DVLA. In fact, when the most recent plate list was released last year, the government’s vehicle licensing agency banned a few personalised plates for being in ‘poor taste’. But what registrations made it onto the list?

The problem with 14

When put together with the number 14, it seems the DVLA had problems with number plates that started with PR, SH and SL. Variations that were considered offensive included:

  • PR14 CCK
  • SH14 TTY
  • SL14 AGS
  • SK14 NKY
  • SP14 STK

You can probably guess why these plates were banned, as it is quite easy to work out a few swearwords and profanities. The biggest issue is that the number 14 can easily look like the letters ‘I’, ‘A’ and ‘H’ and when paired up with a couple of preceding letters, some unsavoury words are created. Other banned plates featuring the number 14 included:

  • J14 HAD
  • TR14 DDS
  • AL14 LAH
  • CR14 PLE
  • BU14 SHT

Additional issues with 63

Along with the number 14, the DVLA also looked back at the 63-plates that went live in September, as some of these registrations could easily be made into cheeky or crass words. The banned plates were:

  • BU63 GER
  • FA63 HAG
  • FA63 GTT
  • HU63 NOBNO63 END
  • OR63 ASM
  • OR63 YYY
  • SO63 OMY
  • PU63 RTY
  • LU63 FER

Again, some of these registrations are quite easy to decipher and you can see why the DVLA took action before they were turned into show plates. With 63-plates, the numbers can be made to look like a ‘G’ or a ‘B’ and this also opens up a realm of rude possibilities.

A variety of combinations that started with VA63 were also outlawed, but perhaps more interestingly, plates that contained common text abbreviations, such as OM63 WTF, received a banning order too.

A DVLA Spokesperson said: “The vast majority of registration numbers are made available but we have a responsibility to ensure that the combinations used do not cause offence.

”We try to identify combinations that may cause offence and having considered the appropriateness of these registration numbers we have withdrawn them as they could cause offence or embarrassment on the grounds of political or racial sensitivities or are in poor taste”.

Even though some of these registrations could make for amusing and entertaining show plates, you can understand why the DVLA decided to take appropriate action.

Google’s Android Auto transforms your dashboard into a mobile device


Even though using a mobile phone while driving is illegal and can lead to hefty fines or even result in an accident, several motorists continue to make calls and send text messages behind the wheel. However, Google has unveiled a new system that would address this issue and also provide drivers with even more in-car functionality.

Android Auto turns your vehicle into giant smartphone and combines the connected nature of mobile devices with physical dashboard controls. Google says “when we’re in the car, we spend a lot of time fidgeting with our phones – getting directions, traffic updates, finding just the right playlist for, say, a summer night, with the windows down. It’s inconvenient, and, frankly, unsafe.”

As a result, it has teamed-up with automotive and technology partners to create a safer and more convenient driving experience.

Android Auto capabilities

Seeing as Android Auto is contextually aware, it will automatically pair up with your vehicle as soon as you get in and continue to perform everyday smartphone functions. From the driver’s seat, you can control Android Auto with dashboard buttons, your car’s touchscreen or voice commands.

As you would expect, Android Auto features Google Maps, providing free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, and lane guidance. You can also access and stream your favourite songs with Google Play Music, Pandora and Spotify. Additional compatible apps deliver content straight to your car too, such as the latest sports scores or nearby places of interest.

From a safety point of view, text messages will be read out as and when they’re received. To reply, simple dictate your response and Android Auto will send it for you.

Android Auto development

Google has worked with leading brands such as Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, Fiat, Nissan and Renault to develop this system alongside tech supplier Nvidia.

This is all part of its Open Automotive Alliance, which aims to make “technology in the car safer, more seamless and more intuitive for everyone. We believe that a common platform will help drive innovation.” This ingenuity is evident with the new Android L interface, which is meant to reduce driver distraction and present useful information through simple cards that appear when they’re needed.

With Android Auto, Google also hopes to accelerate “auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customisation and scale.” While this statement is open to interpretation, it seems to suggest that there is room for other manufacturers to come on-board and the potential applications of Android Auto could be incredibly far-reaching.

Android Auto competition

Unsurprisingly, both Google and Android Auto face competition from its biggest industry rival. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Apple also unveiled its own in-car entertainment and dashboard display system. Similar to Android Auto, Apple’s CarPlay supports hands-free access to iPhone features such as messaging, navigation and third-party apps.

Seeing as marques including like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have promised to support Apple’s CarPlay, you may have to choose your future car based on your preferred phone or vice versa.

Eight Things You Probably Do Whilst Driving That Are Actually Illegal

Everyone knows the story – you learn to drive to pass your test, then the real education of how to drive in the real world begins.The habits and misconceptions that drivers pick up when they first start going it alone are hard to shift, and there’s a good chance that keeping up with changes in the highway code isn’t high on the priority list for bedtime reading. To help set some things straight, here’s our list of top eight things that many drivers do, but far from being frowned upon, are actually illegal: Continue reading “Eight Things You Probably Do Whilst Driving That Are Actually Illegal”

Best and worst songs to drive to

Best and worst songs to drive to
Best and worst songs to drive to

Summer is virtually here and somewhat remarkably, the great British weather looks like it might live up to high expectations. Arguably one of the best ways to enjoy the sunshine is to get behind the wheel, go for a drive in the countryside and listen to some uplifting tunes. But what music should be coming through the stereo?

Best songs to drive to

Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 2,000 motorists to find out what the best songs for driving are. The top ten is as follows:

  1. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
  2. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
  3. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC
  4. “Any Way You Want It” by Journey
  5. “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane
  6. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  7. “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  8. “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
  9. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
  10. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

The boys from Journey are bound to be happy with their showing, as they have achieved two songs in the top five. Other inclusions such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Born to Run deserve their respective mentions, but ABBA is an unexpected artist to say the least.

Worst songs to drive to

After compiling a playlist of the best driving songs, you could probably do with a few more additions. However, the following tunes should be avoided at all costs, as these were voted the top ten worst songs for driving.

  1. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by The Baha Men
  2. “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift
  3. “Believe” by Cher
  4. “Feelings” by Morris Albert
  5. “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna
  6. “Firework” by Katy Perry
  7. “Mambo #5” by Lou Bega
  8. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt
  9. “Arms Wide Open” by Creed
  10. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

Even though there are some seminal artists in this list such as Madonna and Gloria Gaynor, the songs by James Blunt and Cher are understandable. What’s more, you wouldn’t want the windows wide open while listening to The Baha Men or Lou Bega either.

Top guilty pleasures

The survey also asked drivers about the bands and artists they listen to in the car secretly. The top ten was:

  1. Bruno Mars
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. Lady Gaga
  4. Journey
  5. Katy Perry
  6. Coldplay
  7. Justin Bieber
  8. Madonna
  9. NPR
  10. Rush Limbaugh

The inclusion of contemporary artists like Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift as well as the critically acclaimed Coldplay might come as a surprise to some, but there is simply no excuse for listening to Justin Bieber in the car.

Therefore, it seems like classic rock has trumped cheesy pop music in the battle for car stereo supremacy. But remember, adjusting the radio or using a portable music player in the car are potentially dangerous distractions, so always take care when selecting your favourite track.

Fathers Day Gift Guide

Say 'Happy Fathers Day' with a show plate from Show Plates Direct!

If you’re stuck for ideas this Fathers Day then look no further as Show Plates Direct brings you their car-mad dad Fathers Day gift guide – full of gifts certain to put a smile on your dads face. These car themed gifts make perfect presents for Father’s Day – whatever your budget.

1. Bepsoke Show Plates

Dads will love our ultimate Fathers Day gift – a set of personalised show plates! As show plates are not road legal they can be designed exactly to your requirements as they don’t have to adhere to any road legality rules. Whether you want to get cheeky, traditional or just simply say thank you, a set of show plates for Fathers Day is a novel idea that makes for a truly bespoke gift.

The plate maker from Show Plates Direct enables you to personalise your gift for your dad – from the main message to all the little details, such as adding a border in his favourite colour, choosing a funky font and adding a slogan of your choice.

Ideal for sticking up in a garage, affixing by his parking space (at home or at work), or as a bespoke novelty gift, show plates are just the thing to get the dad who has everything!


2. Number Plate Cufflinks

We love how you can match these number plate cufflinks to your Dads show plate or number plate! Just enter a maximum of ten characters and your message will be printed on the cufflinks in 3D effect UK standard number plate font.


3. Classic Car Hire

Why not hire a classic car for the day to give your dad the driving experience he has always wanted? You can choose from models including the Alfa Romeo Spider, Ford Capri, Triumph, Austin Healey and even a Rolls Royce.


4. Gear Stick Wine Bottle Stopper

If your dad loves both cars and a good bottle of wine then why not choose a gear stick wine bottle stopper as a novelty gift for Fathers Day? You could even complete the choice with his favourite bottle of wine too!


5. Car Mouse

Treat your dad to the sports car of his dreams this fathers day… in the form of this novelty computer mouse. Complete with the finer details such as chrome style wheels, rubber tyres and an opening boot, this mouse has an ultra wide rubber scroll wheel that offers the option of scrolling both horizontally and vertically.