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Licence Plates

The DVLARemote site produce a leaflet, 'Display of Registration Marks For Motor Vehicles' (form no. V796), which details the regulations regarding the size and spacing of letters on a number plate. As of March 2001 some new rulesRemote site came into effect which alter the format and restrict the font styles and sizes allowed for display of number plates.

Existing plates will not need to be replaced to conform to the new rules. In summary the normal 'Group 2' characters are 79mm high and 57mm wide, except '1' which is 14mm wide. The gap between each character must be 11mm, except that between the group of three numbers and three letters, which must be 33mm. The top, bottom and side margins must be greater than 11mm. Full details of the requirements can also be found hereRemote site.

This means that you can legally fit a number plate that is 101mm high to your Elise which is about the size of the fixing plate on the car and means the plate will not make contact with the ground or speed bumps. When Long Stratton Motors fitted mine they put a 110mm high plate on the car and aligned the bottom of the plate with the bottom of the mounting plate. This means that the top of the plate protrudes about 4mm in front of the air intake but it looks good and will not bottom out.

Some owners fix the plate directly to the car which means it curves slightly and is not quite vertical. I've also seen flexible plates stuck to the front above the grille but I'm not sure how legal this is.

Don't put the number plate in front of the grille. It will seriously reduce the cooling ability of the radiator and will probably cause damage to the engine. I've seen this on two owner's cars at the Lotus factory.

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