Which Are Better: 3D Gel Plates or 4D Number Plates?


The 3D gel and 4D acrylic number plate letters stand out from standard number plates, which are constructed from acrylic and printed with flat letters.

3D and 4D number plates are both quite popular. Because gel digits are technically more difficult to fabricate and require highly specialised equipment to achieve consistent results, 4D acrylic digits are currently more prevalent than 3D number plate letters.

They are both made to withstand all weather and environmental conditions and are best positioned on the acrylic plate by a number jig for accurate results.

The Popularity of 3D Plates.

Standard number plates have evolved into 3D gel number plates. 3D plates have a clear weightage when kept alongside a 2D plate. 3D plates are made of acrylic and use polyurethane gel resin to build and elevate the plate’s characters. The resin gel is also known to add lustre and robustness to the initials, improving the overall appearance of the plates. The use of gel is what distinguishes a 2D plate from a 3D version.

The Popularity of 4D Plates.

4D plates are formed of acrylic (a high-end material for number plates). However, instead of polyurethane resins, acrylic is utilised to elevate the characters on the plate. This procedure results in thicker, more elegant, and more premium-looking characters than a 3D plate. Characters engraved in Krystal, graphite, or glitter gel appear even more exotic on a 4D plate than on a 3D plate, which is what makes people want 4D plates (especially for their private registrations!).

What Is The Difference Between 3D & 4D Number Plates?


  • They are now mainstream.
  • The engraved characters have less depth and intensity.
  • 3D gel plates are simpler and thus faster to produce.
  • Characters are relatively rough around the edges.
  • The characters have a wet gel-like appearance.


  • They are considered premium.
  • Characters appear to be more elevated and premium in appearance.
  • Manufacturing 4D plates normally takes longer than 3D gel plates.
  • Characters are higher and more rectangular.

Which Are Better: 3D Gel Plates or 4D Number Plates?

You might have just received your long-awaited personalised reg from the DVLA, or those 2D plates just don’t look right on your brand-new car. Whatever your reasons for wanting a new 3D or 4D registration number plate, you truly can’t go wrong with either.

However, 4D plates have an advantage over 3D plates, which is why they are more expensive. Having said that, people’s interests vary, so make your pick depending on your own inclinations.

Are 3D & 4D Number Plates Legal?

There was a false rumour circulating the internet in 2021 saying that these plates were illegal because the DVLA sent out a newsletter saying these plates wouldn’t meet the new British standard for number plates. A government petition was raised in which the Department of Transport clarified that as long as the registrations meet the requirements of the standards and pass the mandatory tests, then they are legal.

Rules for 3D and 4D Plates From The DVLA

  • Plate detailing and design must not obstruct the readability of the numbers.
  • Plates in 3D and 4D must have a reflective background.
  • The characters on the plates cannot be any other colour than black (front and rear).
  • All types of number plates must have a white background on the front and a yellow background on the back.
  • There must be no single pattern, design, or other styling elements visible between the numbers on the number plate.

4D number plates and 3D gel number plates are still road legal under the new 145e standard as long as the necessary materials are utilised, the relevant documentation is recorded, and the correct company information is printed onto the bottom of the plate while adhering to the correct margins and spacing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here