12% of Drivers face £900 fines for defective number plates

Peterborough warns motorists to be vigilant when buying number plates.

Two in ten motorists face fines of up to £1,100 for driving with number plates that do not conform to DVLA regulations, according to Peterborough, the UK’s leading high street car insurance retailer.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment failed to recognise 12% of vehicle number plates in a five month period due to defective number plates. This means that up to 15% of vehicles do not comply with DVLA regulations leaving drivers vulnerable to on-the-spot fines.

With the growing use of automated speed cameras and surveillance equipment, police are being extra vigilant towards number plates which do not conform to strict guidelines issued by the DVLA which specify the typeface, size, distance between the lettering and colouring of the characters on the plate.

An online survey of 1,764 Peterborough motor insurance customers found that 68% of motorists did not know if their number plate conformed to DVLA regulations, and a worrying 21% believed that their plates might not conform to correct standards.

Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager, for Peterborough said: "Many drivers are unaware of the strict guidelines imposed by the DVLA on number plates. If you are in any doubt it is best to take your car to one of the 35,000 businesses registered with the ‘The Register of Number Plate Suppliers’ which was set up in 2003 to regulate number plates across the country and reduce criminal activity.

"If you are thinking about buying a new number plate, make sure it is purchased from a reputable dealer and ensure that it conforms to the correct guidelines which can be found at DVLA website."

"Although it can be quite costly to buy personalised number plates, such as Ronaldo’s recent £150,000 purchase of registration CR7, it is relatively inexpensive to replace an existing plate, costing as little at £8."

One motorist, Heather Price from Manchester, said: "I got stopped by the police on my way to work. They told me that the letters on my private number plates were not spaced correctly and that I was breaking the law. Fortunately I got off with a warning but I have had to get my number plates replaced."

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