Personalised Number Plates

At Show Plates Direct, we are proud to be one of the UK’s most trusted suppliers of personalised number plates. There are all sorts of advantages attached to buying personalised number plates for your vehicle. Personalised plates are unique, can have meanings that are very special to you, can grow in value, are more affordable than many people expect, compliment your car whilst keeping its age a secret, are great to give as gifts and make it much easier to remember your registration number when filling in forms.

We have been manufacturing personalised number plates for many years. Once you gain approval to use a private registration number from the DVLA, we can make your plates for you and get them to your home within just a couple of days. We can offer road-legal and show plates for display purposes and are able to count a wide range of clients amongst our customer network. We can even help you if you need personalised plates for a motorcycle rather than a car.

Long-lasting bespoke plates

We specialise in producing affordable personalised number plates that are built to last. Our plates are made from materials of the highest quality and can last for years before they need to be replaced. Our customers frequently compliment us on and leave genuine comments about our swift despatch times, simple ordering processes, intuitive online plate maker and the quality of our plates. We are always on hand to assist you if you ever do have any queries about ordering your personalised number plates and always go the extra mile to deliver the customer satisfaction that you deserve.

The highest standards

More and more people are recommending us to their friends and family members all the time, with many customers returning to us to buy extra plates. We are able to offer a wide range of delivery options and always pack your plates safely and securely. Our plates are produced from premium grade ABS, and we use production techniques of the highest standard to deliver the best finish we can.

More about personalised road-legal plates

Road-legal plates are those used to day-to-day motoring and need to comply with DVLA regulations. There are several things you can do to personalise your plates, including choosing specific borders and font types as well as ordering your own unique registration number from the DVLA.

Our online plate maker

You can use our online plate maker to design road-legal and show plates. To design plates for road use, simply select the plate type ‘Legal Style’. This will remove the show plate options. It couldn’t be easier. The online plate maker will arrange your registration number in a legal format and add a BS number as well as our company name, which we are legally required to apply to your plate.

Restrictions on road-legal plates

The DVLA does not permit backgrounds on registration plates to avoid obscuring your number. Images, shapes and patterns are all deemed to be backgrounds. Many people opt to replace their personalised number plates because they are no longer in an acceptable condition. If your existing personalised plates have been broken, damaged or subjected to substantial wear and tear, you may need to replace them immediately to avoid a £1000 fine and even an MOT failure. We are here for you if you need to put a solution in place quickly.

What about pre-1973 vehicles

If your car, bike or lorry was manufactured before January 1973, you can add black number plates with white or yellow characters. If your vehicle was made more recently, you must add a yellow plate to the rear of your car and a white plate to the front. The pre-1973 plates are not supplied by Show Plates Direct due to the minuscule number of such cars still in use.

Fonts and text

The font you will need to opt for if your plates are to be road-legal is the Charles Wright font. There are numerous variations of this to choose from. It’s also possible to add borders, badges with text and flags if they are added to the left side of your plates, with the flag featuring above the text. The flags that you add to road-legal plates are the Union Jack, Saint George, Welsh Dragon, Saint Andrew or Saltire. You can add these forms of text to your badge: ENG, SCO, WALES, GB, UK and CYM. We have vast experience in producing plates for prestigious and iconic vehicles including those made by BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Ford.

Do the plates come pre-drilled?

We do not pre-drill holes into your plates. This is because the holes on different cars are rarely in the same place. This also provides you with extra flexibility. We do however offer you a special fitting kit when you order your plates so you can apply them in any way you wish. The kit consists of various useful items for adding your plates to your vehicle or any other type of surface, such as screws, bolts and stick-on pads. Our fitting kits are designed to simplify the process of adding your plates to your vehicle.

Fun facts about personalised plates

Let’s take a few moments to look at some of the most interesting facts about personalised number plates around. The most expensive number plate in the UK cost its owner £518,000, but the world’s costliest plate, simply reading ‘1’, set its owner back some £7.25 million. Abu Dhabi’s Abdul Ghaffar Khouri purchased this plate after deciding it was the best number to add to a registration plate.

A lucrative industry

The personalised number plate market remains incredibly lucrative. The DVLA recently announced that it had brought in £1.8 billion via the sale of personalised plates during the past three decades. The ‘VIP 1’ plate was first made to mark Pope Jean Paul II’s visit to Ireland and is now in the hands of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, who coughed up £285,000 for it in 2006. The first private plate bought by a celebrity was reportedly purchased by the music hall artist Harry Tate, who opted for ‘T 8’. The plate is now owned by sugar mogul Johnny Tate of Tate & Lyle.


The history and purpose of number plates

Number plates exist to keep the roads safe and ensure vehicles and their owners can be traced after accidents and motoring offences. Your registration number links you and your vehicle to a centralised database which includes information about the makes and models of cars, their engine size, their colours and their owner’s names and addresses. Number plates enable various enforcement agencies like the police and the DVLA to carry out their duties efficiently.


A passport for your vehicle

Your number plate can be seen as a passport for your car that gives it a unique identity. The Motor Car Act 1903 was created to ensure all vehicles driven on public roads could be traced back to an official register. In the UK, most vehicles have rectangular plates. However, vehicles like tractors and motorcycles have square ones. The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) oversee the number plate system in the vast majority of the UK, whilst the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) are in charge of the system in Northern Ireland.

Made to British Standards

Our number plates are made to BS standards with premium-grade ABS. Once you are happy with what you have created with our online plate maker, just confirm your order and we will get started with making it. You don’t even need to send us your V5C documents to get the wheels in motion and the process completed. This saves you a great deal of time and money, also meaning you don’t need to worry about your important paperwork being lost in the post. We will not ask for your V5C at any point during the process.

Order from home

Another great reason for buying your bespoke number plates from us is that you can design your plates and complete your order without leaving the comfort of your own home. As long as you have an internet connection, you can get your plates ordered from anywhere. We have a large number of non-UK customers and welcome custom from shoppers around the world. Our prices are up to 50% cheaper than what you can expect to pay on the High Street, which means you can save a considerable sum of money whilst removing the stress from buying new plates.

Complete compliance

Our road-legal plates are 100% compliant with DVLA expectations. They are built to British Standards, feature a small BS number on the bottom right corner and include our details. They are also fully reflective and display the correct character spacing. You are permitted to add a border to your registration plate. There are various thicknesses to choose from, and we can add various colours. You can also go borderless if you prefer. The four Charles Wright fonts you can use are Standard, 3D, 3D Carbon and 3D Highline. The 3D font is not the illegal gel type raised text. Not only are you not permitted to use it on road-legal plates, this option does not last long in our experience and is best avoided.

The benefits of sticky pads

It’s advisable to use the sticky pads that come inside your fitting kit when adding your plates to your vehicle. By doing this, you can avoid drilling into your plate. The pads are extremely sticky, which means they can be relied upon to keep your plates in position. Just make sure you position the pads accurately before you add the plates. Customers that do decide to drill into their plates are advised to drill from the back to prevent damage, holding their plate firmly in place. We do provide screw caps, self-tapping screws if you need them.

How do I get a personalised registration number?

Personalised plate numbers are supplied by the DVLA rather than us. You can obtain your own personal number by visiting this website: Once you have obtained the right to use the number you plan on purchasing, just get in touch with us so we can make a plate for it. You can buy rear and front plates individually or purchase them together. Also available are bike plates and out-sized number plates for a wide range of car models.

The advantages of our automated service

Should you require a range of different designs, please order them individually then send us an e-mail so we can provide you with a discount on postage. We process all orders and queries over the internet rather than the phone. One of the main reasons for this is that we found errors were more likely via the telephone. When you use our online plate builder, you can take your time and experiment with a range of options at your own pace before confirming your order. Whatever you create with the number plate maker will be produced accurately by us in our own factory. We have been able to reduce our overheads and optimise the service we provide by automating it as much as we can. This also enables us to offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry. You can currently buy 9/18 plates of the same design.

UK and international delivery

We also offer incredibly competitive prices for international delivery, whilst keeping UK delivery fees as low as we can realistically can. We do dispatch your plates via Recorded Delivery to prevent them going missing in the post. Standard Tracked and Next Day Delivery are available.

Getting in touch with Show Plates Direct

Why wait any longer to get in touch if you do have a query about designing and ordering your own personalised number plates? You can reach us today by sending a message to We are noted for our swift response times and will do everything in our power to provide all the help and support you are looking for.