Personalised, customised, and improved number plates are growing in popularity. One trend we can expect to see more of in the future is 4D number plates. As we dive into the rise of 4D number plates and whether you should invest in one, let’s answer some common questions you might have. 

What are 4D number plates?

4D number plates have laser cut acrylic letters and numbers rather than flat, 2D numbers and letters printed onto the plate. The acrylic letters and numbers are usually 3mm to 5mm thick. 

What is the difference between 3D and 4D number plates?

3D number plates have gel letters and numbers that give the registration number a ‘raised’ effect, whereas 4D number plates use laser cut acrylic lettering. 

While both 3D and 4D number plates give a three-dimensional effect, 4D number plates are often seen as the ‘big brother’ of 3D number plates. Either option could be well worth considering if you’re in the market for personalised number plates for your car. 

Are 4D number plates legal in the UK?

In a nutshell, yes – 4D number plates are legal in the UK. 

In September 2021, the UK laws about number plates changed. The new law requires all number plates to have single-coloured black lettering. This is to help Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that are becoming more common across the UK. This has had implications for some personalised number plates, such as two-tone number plates on which shading is used to create a 3D effect. 

However, as long as the lettering on your 4D plate is all black and meets the other requirements – including for sturdiness and clearness – your plate is still legal

Do I need to tell my car insurer about my 4D number plate?

While you should tell your car insurer if your car’s registration number changes, you don’t have to tell them about your 4D number plate. 

That said, if something happens to your plate in an accident, the last thing you want is to be arguing with your insurer about paying for the plate. The best thing to do is therefore to ask for your insurer’s advice and be honest and clear with them about your car’s condition, including its number plate. 

Why you should consider a 4D number plate

Now that you understand the meaning of 4D number plates and their legality, let’s talk about why you should consider buying one. Whether it will be your first personalised number plate or one to add to your collection, a 4D number plate can be a great investment. 


4D number plates are a creative way to add a personal touch to your car. Not only do they look modern, stylish, and unique, but they are a subtle way to customise your car. 

On trend

4D number plates are growing in popularity. If you opt for a 4D number plate over the traditional 2D plate, not only will your car stand out, but you’ll also be ahead of the trend. With 4D number plates becoming more and more popular, you can make your car look trendy and modern on the outside as well as the inside with your own customised 4D plate. 

An improvement

When selling your car, a 4D number plate could increase the resale value considerably. Not only are 4D number plates an additional feature that potential buyers will be willing to pay more for, but they also make the car look more modern. A 4D number plate will give your car a fresh and contemporary look even if it is several years old. 

An investment

The world of personalised number plates is growing, and many are willing to fork out money for a personalised plate. If you buy a 4D plate, not only will you have a personalised plate that you can sell in the future, but you will also have it in 4D, adding to its resale value. If you’re able to combine a 4D number plate with a sought-after registration number, it could be worth a lot of money within a few years. 

How to buy a 4D number plate

Buying a 4D number plate is easy – lots of number plate sellers can have a 4D plate custom made for you. 

Make sure that you own the registration number you are using for the plate. If you are simply converting your current number plate to a 4D number plate, you don’t need to worry. If, however, you want a personalised number plate, you’ll need to buy that registration. 

Luckily, there are plenty of available, low-cost personalised number plates to choose from at Absolute Reg – so the process of acquiring your dream 4D number plate can be as quick and easy as you like!