If you have bought a new 3D plate or 4D number plate for your car or bike then you’ll need to remove the old plate and fit your new one.

There are several options for doing this. Here, we’ll take you through the steps to fit your number plates on your vehicle.


4d black plates
Removing Your Old Plates

First, find out how your old plates are fixed to your vehicle. They might be stuck on with adhesive pads or screwed on.

If you need to unscrew the number plate, simply remove the screws to unfasten the plate. Keep old plates if you’re intending to use this method to fit your new plates. They’ll provide the perfect templates for getting your screw positions correct.

If the plates are stuck on with adhesive pads, the easiest way to remove them is with fishing line, dental floss or string.

Wrap the line around your fingers then work it back and forth behind the number plate until you free it from the adhesive. Once you’ve done this, you can remove the plate.

This way, you cut through the sticky pads but without risking damage to the vehicle’s bodywork.

In some instances, you may well be able to simply pull the plate off by bending it towards you. Another method for loosening a self-adhesive number plate is by applying a heat gun or hairdryer to the adhesive pads.

Preparing to Fit Your New Plates

Before you apply a new number plate, you must ensure the area to which you’re applying it is thoroughly clean.

This is especially important if you’re going to use sticky pads to fit your number plates. Any remaining grease or dirt can prevent them from sticking properly.

Use a general detergent to clean the area behind the number plates.

If there is any remaining residue from the sticky pads used previously then remove this using a recommended solvent. You don’t need to remove all this residue, but the more even the surface is, the more firmly the new plates will adhere to it. If there are remains of the pads themselves, you can scrape these off using a thin plastic card or similar tool.

After this, clean the surface with an alcohol solution to remove any traces of adhesive or detergent.

Make sure the surface is completely dry.

How to Fit Your New Plates

There are three options for fitting new number plates:

  • Screws
  • Adhesive pads or Velcro
  • Using a number plate holder.

To screw your new number plate into place, you can use the old plate as a template.

However, you should also check carefully the positioning of your characters on the new number plate. You can damage 3D and 4D characters if you drill through them and make them difficult to read clearly.

  1. Mark your two drill holes on the rear side of the number plate.
  2. Drill from the back of the plate to the front, with the acrylic side down.
  3. Drill slowly and without exerting much pressure. Place a softer material such as polystyrene or wood underneath the plate when you’re drilling.
  4. Once you’ve drilled your holes, you can screw your plate into place.
  5. Remember to finish the job with coloured screw caps.

Self-adhesive pads for number plates

The most common alternative to screwing your plate on is using self-adhesive pads.

You should have prepared the surface carefully, making sure it’s dry and free of dirt and grease.

Apply the pads to the rear of the plate in horizontal and vertical arrangements so that they’ll provide an even grip at key points all over the surface.

Peel off the backing sheet on each pad, place your plate in the desired position and apply gentle pressure to ensure all the pads make contact with the surface.

We recommend the adhesive pad method as a convenient and effective way of fitting number plates. However, you should make sure the area you’re applying them to is neither curved nor bent. If this is the case, you’ll need to opt for fitting the plates with screws.

Another fitting option, if you have plates you may want to remove, is self-adhesive Velcro pads.

Number plate holder


Finally, there’s the option of using a number plate holder. With this method, you screw the holder to your vehicle and then mount your number plate onto it. This requires no additional fixing as the plate slots into the holder.

If you’re still unsure of the best method to fit your new number plates, please get in touch and we can advise you on the most appropriate option for our vehicle.

Call us on 01204 534 333 or email [email protected].