Fitting a number plate is often trouble-free and something that anyone can do with basic tools. The three methods that most number plates are fixed to the car are by using screws, sticky tape or number plate holders. As you will see below, we have fitted number plates using each of these methods and we show you how you can do it yourself.
Removing The Old Number Plate
Removing your old number plate is often the hardest part of the whole process. Unless it’s secured by screws or a number plate holder, you will need to pull the adhesive/sticky pads away from the car.
However, if the number plate hasn’t been changed in a few years or lots of sticky pads have been used when it was initially installed, this can be very difficult.
If you find that the number plate isn’t pulling away with ease, we would recommend using dental floss or a similar product to cut between the sticky pads and car.
As you can see in the photo, we couldn’t pull away this number plate, so we threaded dental floss through the sticky pads. Although it took a bit longer, it was easy to do and more importantly it didn’t cause any damage to the car (or the number plate).
After successfully removing a number plate that’s been held on by sticky pads, you may be left with sticky residue on the back. If you intend on fitting this number plate again at a later stage, you’ll need to remove it. The best method of doing this is to use a blade and scraping it away as shown in the image below.
How To Fit A Number Plate
With the old number plate successfully removed, you can then proceed to fit the new number plate, which can be achieved using any of the three methods shown below.
Fitting Without Screws
If you want to fit a number plate without screws, you will need to use an adhesive or double sided tape. As good practice, before fitting the new number plate with tape or adhesive, it’s always advised to clean the mounting area beforehand. Once cleaned, you’ll also want to thoroughly dry the area with a car drying towel to ensure the tape or adhesive adheres to the number plate and the car.
As shown in the image below, we used double sided tape and spaced them out evenly for a secure fit. In terms of how much tape you should use, it’s entirely up to you. For example, the more tape you use, the more secure it will be on the car. However, if you intend to remove the number plate in the future, the extra tape may make this much harder.
With the double sided tape installed to the back of the number plate, you can proceed to sticking it onto the car. Before sticking it on straightaway, you will want to take your time aligning it in place. Once aligned, push the number plate against the car and hold it for at least 10 seconds before letting it go. If you don’t want to use double sided tape or prefer to permanently install the number plate, there is a range of glues for cars that can be used instead.
Fitting With Screws
Depending upon whether or not your number plate has holes already will determine how hard it is to fit a number plate with screws. If there is already holes, you can simply use a screwdriver to tighten the bolts onto the car and it’s as simple as that. To improve aesthetics, we would recommend using colour coded plastic caps with the screws as shown in the image from another number plate we installed. These caps can be bought in either white or yellow to match the colour of standard number plates.
If there are no holes within the number plate, you’ll need to use a drill with either a 4mm or 6mm drill bit to create the hole. The best way to do this is to flip the new number plate over, align the old number plate on top of it and use the holes from the old plate as guide holes to drill through. If you need to drill through the front of the plate, you need to use masking tape to avoid damage.
Fitting Inside A Number Plate Holder
Fitting your number plate within a number plate holder is very popular and can make the installation much easier as long as the holder isn’t damaged. To begin, you will need to remove the existing plate by prising the holder open or using the provided key. Most will have twin holes on the left and right of the frame as well as a top section to prise open.
With the old plate removed, you can proceed to fit the new number plate inside of the holder and lock it in place using the same holes used to prise it open. It’s worth pointing out that some number plate holders can be quite fiddly and require patience. However, if you do break the holder, they are relatively cheap to purchase (usually around £10 to £20) and the holder itself can be removed using a screwdriver and removing the bolts in the middle.
As shown in the three methods above, fitting a number plate is a relatively straightforward task that anyone can accomplish. Personally, I prefer using double sided tape to fit a number plate but all three of the methods are perfectly fine. The main objective is to ensure its fully secured and doesn’t fall off whilst driving, which all three methods achieve.