Little-known number plate rules could see drivers hit with ‘strict’ £1,000 fine

Driver's warning after fake number plate appears on her car

Some drivers have chosen to rearrange the letters and numbers on their licence plates in order to spell out their names, common phrases or even their names.

However, experts are warning that any driver doing this could see them hit with hefty fines for their troubles.

The GOV.UK website states that number plates, or licence plates, must show the registration number correctly.

Motorists are not allowed to rearrange letters or numbers, or alter them so that they are difficult to understand.

If drivers are found to obscure their number plates, they could be fined up to £1,000.

In addition to this, the vehicle will fail its MOT test if they drive with incorrectly displayed number plates.

Number plates need to be in the correct format introduced in 2001, with motorists being able to get theft-resistant plates which make it harder for someone else to use them.

The format must be two letters (referring to the region where the vehicle was registered), two numbers (indicating when it was issued) and three letters chosen at random.

Jon Kirkbright, sales director at Platehunter, said: “Sometimes people will change the spacing on their number plates in an attempt to make it look more like a word – or name – than it did before. By doing this, drivers run the risk of being hit with a costly fine.”

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People can still get a personalised number plate, which generally uses the same restrictions and features as a normal licence plate.

Number plates must be made from a reflective material, display black characters on a white background for the front plate and black on a yellow background for the back plate.

They should not have a background pattern and should be marked to show who supplied the number plate.

Mr Kirkbright added: All drivers should ensure that they are buying number plates from a reputable seller who has been approved by the DVLA. There are strict rules around the font, colour, spacing and size of the characters on a number plate that must be adhered to.”

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According to the RAC, dateless number plates can also be purchased, as they were used prior to 1963.

This can be any combination of up to four numbers and three letters, with there not being anything to indicate its age.

These are some of the most desirable plates, with these selling for thousands or even millions of pounds.

Some of the most expensive include “25 O” which sold for £518,000 in 2014, or in Dubai where the “7” plate sold for £12million.

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