L plates

Where to place L-plates on a car

Written by | Advice

There are a surprising amount of rules and regulations regarding your L-plates. They have to be a specific size and be displayed in a certain way to be considered legally valid. Failure to meet the government’s requirements could result in you getting points on your license before you’ve even passed your test!

Correct L-plate size in the UK

L-plates must consist of a 178mmx178mm white square with a bold red L in the centre. The L must have very specific measurements, shown below. Any text other than the L being present on your L-plates would render them invalid. (Please note, the L-plate below is for example only.)

Proper L-plate placement in the UK

L-plates must be displayed on the front and rear of a vehicle in positions as close to vertical as your vehicle’s design allows.

There are no rules specifically forbidding attaching L-plates to your windows. However, you are supposed to have a completely unobstructed view out of the windscreen, making the presence of L-plates a potential problem.

The Directgov website simply states that learner drivers “must display ‘L’ plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving”. The illustration below shows our recommended L-plate placement.

L plates

When to take off your L-plates

  • You should remove or cover your L-plates whenever a properly-qualified/non-learner driver person is driving the vehicle.
  • You may remove your L-plates or replace them with P-plates when you pass your driving test.
  • You may remove your L-plates after you have parked your car (but remember to replace them before you get back in).

L-plate tip

L-plates are prone to coming loose and disappearing forever, especially the magnetic ones. Being caught driving without the proper plates displayed can lead to a conviction for Driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, an offence that could earn you three points and a hefty fine. Be sure to keep a spare set of L-plates in your car and attach your main set to the vehicle as securely as possible.

By Jonathan Dudley.

Image courtesy of dsagovuk @ Flickr via Crown Copyright.

Last modified: 19th December 2016