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Number plate warning ahead of 2024 release: Motorists alerted to regulations

Updated: Jan 18

Drivers across the United Kingdom are being urged to familiarise themselves with eight essential number plate rules or face significant financial penalties and driving licence points.

The caution comes in anticipation of the forthcoming 2024 registration plate launch, scheduled for 1 March.

Experts at Absolute Reg have highlighted the necessity for drivers to be aware of these rules to avoid the perils of driving with illegal plates. The consequences for non-compliance are severe, with potential fines of up to £1,000, alongside a £100 on-the-spot fine, three penalty points, and a failed MOT for those found in violation.

Jake Smith, Director of Absolute Reg, said: “With the new 2024 plate launch just around the corner, motorists must ensure they are up to scratch with number plate laws.


“Car owners who fail to comply with rules risk a hefty fine and other penalties including license points.


“Number plate regulations range from the general design to visibility, which makes it an offence to conceal the plate in any way. 


“Motorists may also be surprised to know that having faulty bulbs or a dirty number plate could lead to a fine.”

The regulations cover various aspects of number plate design, font, visibility, and more. Smith also warned that even seemingly minor oversights like faulty bulbs or dirty plates could incur fines.

Key Rules as Outlined by Absolute Reg:

  1. Visibility: Plates must be displayed front and back and be legible at all times. Any obstruction is a legal offence.

  2. Deception: It's illegal to make a car appear younger than it is – for instance, using a ‘24 plate on a 2023 registered vehicle.

  3. Faulty Bulbs: Plates must be readable, especially at night, necessitating functional number plate bulbs.

  4. Flags: Specific nationality flags are permissible, including the UK, Scottish, Welsh, and the EV Green Flag. The latter is exclusive to zero-emissions registered vehicles. For international travel, UK and Union Jack flags are mandatory.

  5. Spacing and Size of Characters: There are precise regulations for character height (79mm), width (50mm), and spacing (11mm).

  6. Font: The mandatory Charles Wright font, as specified in the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001, must be used.

  7. Design: Post-1973 vehicles must have reflective plates: white at the front, yellow at the rear, with black characters.

  8. Dirty Plates: Regular cleaning is essential to prevent dirt build-up that can obscure plate readability, which could lead to substantial fines.

With the imminent arrival of the 2024 number plates, the emphasis is on vehicle owners to ensure their compliance with these regulations to avoid severe financial and legal repercussions.


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