17 Jan '22

Where you can and cannot use show plates.

Show plate usage


It’s time we finally get to the bottom of it, and explain the various different uses for custom number plates and also, where you should not use them!

Show plates are essentially number plates with a twist, they use the same materials required for number plates but are for every possible off road use. So there’s one place you can’t use them, that is like you’ve already guessed! The restricted use is on your car to drive around in on a day to day basis instead of your normal number plates. The reason this is because you have to clearly have your road legal number plates on display on a public road, this is basically your vehicles identity that traces back to you, so it’s illegal to obscure  it or alter it in anyway or cover it with a show plate that says your favourite pets name on it, as that would be hiding the real cars registration number, so you won’t be able to drive far without being stopped and most likely will land a fine for obscuring your cars identity.


Apart from that one restriction, which is on a public highway. Show plates can be used a huge number of purposes. Our customers around the world have various different reasons to use them, however we will bullet point each possible each for you below.


Branding Plates – These are generally plates which get used to cover a vehicles legal number plates in situations where it is best to hide the vehicle’s identity and promote a brand at the same time. An example of this use is on car sales adverts where traders hide the cars registration with their own company logo and also car detailers who put their brand logo plates on after completing their work as a proof to their audience they have done the work and also hide a customers identity at the same time. All to build that brand, let’s face it, it’s a cheap investment and you don’t need to edit every single photo that way, which doesn’t always look good anyway!

Small Signage – Where getting a real sign made is not realistically worth it, number plates to display words or messages to then be used as sign is a rather cost effective option. There can be a wide range of applications for this, such as in a shared car parking where your own parking spot is labelled, on a farm gate to display a message or general household purposes such as ‘NO PARKING’ on your fence to tell off anyone in advance to not block you off. 

Off Road Events – Heading to a car show? Then a huge number of people will get some show plates to cover their existing numbers to display something different, for example if it’s a modified car, they may display something to resemble that. Or if theyre out and about and want to gain a few extra followers on Instagram, they may have some plates made that displays their Instagram username so people can get following if they like what they see. 

Above are just a limited few reasons why you could design yourself some custom show plates. Whatever the reason, as long as it’s not to drive on public roads with, get creative today and start designing your custom show plates! 

Create great looking Road Legal Number Plates or Novelty Show Plates

Our Number Plate Builder has an extensive range of options you could add to your show plates or custom road legal number plates, allowing you to see what your replacement number plates or novelty plates will look like, before you pay for them.

Design Your Plates

This site uses cookies and by using the site you are consenting to this. Find out more in our terms and conditions.