Bike racks and number plates

by Cooks   December 29, 2011  

Just bought my first bike rack, and have tried it out. Bike fits nice, although I forgot to ask the sales fella at my LBS about number plates/lights and what not. What are the legalities regarding these and their visibility?

here's my bike in situ...

5 user comments

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If the bike carrier does not leave the lightboard and/or the registration plate visible, it is compulsory to fit an additional plate

Not my words, found on non-gov web site. You might want to buy yourself a copy of the Highway code (or phone dvla) to double-check.

I use a light board when carrying 3 bikes (only ever do this going on hols) but never bother when just carrying one bike, my argument being that the single bike does not render lights or reg plate invisible.

The use of the word "visible" opens up a world of interpretations. That says to me that as long as the lights aren't totally blacked out, you can argue that they're visible. Might be tougher to argue the reg plate - presumably if it is unreadable rather than invisible you stand a chance of being pulled over.

Lovely bike btw - but it is obscuring your reg plate. If you could get the bike 6 inches higher I don't think anyone could fault you.


PeteH's picture

posted by PeteH [159 posts]
29th December 2011 - 21:16


You need to have the reg plate visible / readable otherwise you will get pulled.

Pop into one of your local stores that make up reg plates and get one done. Wrap some string around it and have it hanging over the bike (covered by some suitable material to stop it damaging your bike) and you will be fine. A typical place will charge you a tenner for a basic plate.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [3009 posts]
30th December 2011 - 3:54


I thought as much. Cheers for the advice gents!

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [497 posts]
30th December 2011 - 19:48


you can get a plate for £5 on ebay

or if you want a euro GB symbol it's £5.49

I just got mine - drove Oxford to Reading this morning with the bike on the rack, funnily enough was just thinking about getting a plate, when i saw this thread.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
31st December 2011 - 9:53


Just dangling the plate won't do. It won't be illuminated.
If you want it correct you cannot have the lights obscured in anyway. This includes any reflectors, number plate lights or reversing lights. I suppose failiure to have a less than perfect system might give the idiot who drives into you a good argument with the insurance companies.
Despite this I fit mine high enough for the plate to show and make sure that the lights can be seen through the spokes with no frame bits in the way.

posted by mattsccm [288 posts]
31st December 2011 - 17:25