Trying to choose a unique way to represent yourself, only to find that what you wanted is already taken, can be really disappointing.

With well over 45 million custom plates registered in the UK, there’s a good chance that the one you want belongs to another driver.

How do you avoid the disappointment of that dream plate already being driven around somewhere out there?

How to find out if a registration plate is already in use

One quick and simple way to find out if a plate is taken is to use the publicly available DVLA reg check. Though this tool is designed to fetch information about a vehicle such as its make and model, tax status, and date of first registration, putting in your custom number plate idea will also confirm whether or not it’s already been done.

If the checker reports that no vehicle details were found, chances are good that your idea is still free.

Is there a risk of getting scammed?

There is always some risk that the people you deal with could be resorting to underhanded tactics in their work.

This is why it’s always important that you check a reg for yourself to know that it is free to use. The DVLA checker should have accurate information, but to be safe, you can always cross reference with a third-party checker too.

When it comes time to get your license plate, always make sure that you’re dealing with a trustworthy, reputable registration number plate dealer.

Genuine and reliable businesses like Number Plate Clinic will always ask for proof of ownership to confirm your identity as the honest name attached to the plate.

How do you know what the number plate is going to look like?

Ideally, you’ll be able to see clear samples or mock-ups of number plate designs and get a good vision of what the end result will look like. If there are none to be found, try asking for any examples of past work, or check the number plate supplier’s gallery for images.

Of course, it’s always best to do your research beforehand and know what your choices are going to look like once the physical plate is all finalised.

Can you space the letters how you want?

No. Regulations on license plate spacing are strict and all new vehicles must be identical in that regard.

This is so that automated CCTV systems called ANPR which read plates for the purpose of enforcing traffic laws and charging tolls can read plates easily. It also helps the human eye read plates clearly and memorise them.

Tampering with this spacing will make your plate illegal and it will not be eligible for road use. This is for new vehicles – vehicles registered between January 1st 1973 and September 1st 2001 have slightly different dimensions, so you may see some vehicles that don’t quite match the usual, mandatory format.

At Number Plate Clinic, we create 3D Gel & 4D Number Plates for cars and motorcycles with next day deliver anywhere in UK. Build your very own custom designed number plate with our online number plate builder.