Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the latest changes to the number plate sticker rules, post Brexit.
We explain what you need to know and do. We also show you a possible quick fix that can save you money.
If you just want to dive in and buy some right now you can here.
OK, so prior to Brexit as part of the EU we all had three options when we were driving through any European countries.
A number plate front and rear showing the EU symbol and the letters GB on it. (*See additional information below on motorcycles, and trailers, caravans etc)
A full-size GB sticker.
Throughout the rest of this article, I’ll refer to this as the “old-school” method as it is what we all used before number plate country identifiers became a thing.
Options Prior to Brexit
The belt and braces approach opting for both the number plate country identifiers and an old school full-size GB sticker.
In fairness when number plate GB stickers first came into law there was initially some confusion around whether they were legal in France so many continued to use an old-school GB one.
Also, if you are going to drive your UK vehicle in Spain, Cyprus or Malta then it is worth noting that you must have an old-school GB sticker regardless of whether or not you have the correct country identifier on your number plates.
OK so now you may need to make a change post Brexit, depending on whether you had option A, B or C prior to Brexit.
So if you were an option A) prior to Brexit then your number plates with the old style Euro flag symbol are no longer legal.
This requires a change, and you have a couple of options to choose from.
Firstly, you can go to the trouble and expense of getting a new set of number plates made and fitted to your vehicle and any trailers, caravans you are towing.
Secondly you can leave to old number plates as they are but buy a proper old-school GB Sticker. This is certainly cheaper and less hassle than new number plates.
Cheaper still, and this is our quick fix I mentioned right at the start of this post, just buy some stick-on GB union flag number plate stickers and just carefully position them over the old EU flag ones.
Here we go into a bit more detail for anyone who wants it regarding number plates post Brexit.
Without an old-school GB sticker on the car, you must have a country “identifier” on the left-hand edge of the front and rear number plates.
There is some leeway for visitors to most of Europe, and that is all GB citizens can either opt for the Union Flag and the letters GB or choose their specific country identifiers if they wish.
So, for example if you are from Wales you can opt for the Red Dragon of Wales and the letters CYMRU or CYM.
For Scots obviously it is the Saltire and SCOTLAND or SCO.
The flags must be at the top with the letters underneath. For more information see the Government website here.
As the Republic of Ireland is still in the EU it is worth pointing out that it allows people to drive their UK registered cars in Ireland without a GB sticker.
Here is some info for anyone on a motorcycle or in a vehicle that is towing something.
When motorcycling in France on two wheels or a 3-wheel motor tricycle it is only a requirement to have a GB number plate sticker displayed on the rear of the bike.
If you are towing anything on a trailer such as a boat, caravan, or horse box then that trailer is treated like a vehicle and must have an old school GB sticker on it or the correct country identifier on the number plate.
It goes without saying the number plate on the trailer must match that of the vehicle towing it.
If you have a heavy trailer or some sort of commercial one, then it has to be registered for that purpose and you should display the registration plate on the back of the trailer.
If you do wish to go to the expense of doing the job right and opt to get new number plates made, then these guidelines should help you.
Only registered number plate suppliers can make them. They will require you to show relevant documents to prove your identity and ownership of the vehicle.
So be prepared to show proof of name and address and produce your driving licence. You will of course have to show the vehicle registration certificate (V5C or V5CNI). If you have just bought the vehicle you can show the green slip.
If you have a registered trailer and you want the 3 number plates then they will also want to see your VTRC. (Trailer registration certificate)
I hope you have found this article useful. If you plan on buying a new car fairly soon I wouldn't waste my time or money ordering new number plates.
The GB number plate stickers we recommend are suitable for cars, vans, caravans, trailers and motorcycles and work perfectly well.
They are simple, peel and stick self-adhesive stickers and they measure approx 40mm wide by 103mm tall.
One pack contains two stickers - one for the front (GB lettering in white) and one for the rear (GB lettering in yellow).
Other required items for Cars
See our checklist page for all you need if going by car, van motor-home etc.
Other items if going by Motorcycle
If you are going to France or beyond on a motorcycle road trip then there are several other items you need to meet the legal requirements. See Motor Bike Requirements.