Experts at National Numbers urge drivers to avoid the potential pitfalls of facing substantial fines, or encountering an MOT failure, by taking a moment to check their number plates.
With the law regarding number plates experiencing changes after September 2021, it is crucial for motorists to ensure their plates meet the required standards. Whether the vehicle was recently purchased, or new plates were recently installed, it is vital to confirm number plates are road legal to steer clear of any legal complications.
It banned products with printed 3D-look digits and others using two-tone effects – including carbon fibre look number plates with black and grey lettering.
The updated regulations allow only solid black digits, ensuring a distinct contrast between the background and the letters to help Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras clearly identify vehicles on the road even when they’re travelling at speed, day or night.
All new number plates must be made to enhanced British Standard BS AU 145e, which replaced BS AU 145d two years ago in an attempt to tackle road safety and law enforcement concerns.
Plates manufactured to the new standard are also more resistant to abrasion, protecting them for longer against repeated exposure to dirt, road grime and jet-washing.
“There are still drivers on the road who are unaware of the requirements, and that makes them vulnerable to a fine that is totally avoidable,” said David Edwards, operations director at National Numbers – the UK’s longest established personalised registration dealer.
“Given the latest changes have been in place since late in 2021, traffic police are unlikely to be lenient with any individuals claiming ignorance after being stopped. For that reason, National Numbers is encouraging every driver to ensure their number plates do comply with the law.”
Car owners could be fined up to £1,000 and their vehicle will fail its MOT test if stopped with incorrectly displayed number plates. In some cases, the registration number may be permanently withdrawn.
However, what could be more costly is insurance companies may also take a dim view of the same offence, potentially refusing to pay out following an accident if the number plates are not road legal.
Fortunately, motorists can choose from several legal options as replacements.
Traditional acrylic number plates displaying solid black printed digits, widely used and compliant with the new regulations, provide clear visibility and legibility.
An increasing number of drivers are opting for so-called 3D and 4D plates, which include modern gel digits and solid black acrylic digits respectively, which provide a distinctive finish and also don’t break the rules provided the digits are irremovable.
Car owners are invited to visit the National Numbers website to explore a broad range of alternative number plate formats.
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