I think this is a dilemma most sports cars owners recognize: where to place the license plate on the nose of your car without ruining her beauty?
Every country has its own laws and regulations on where to place the license plate, how big it must be and what must legally be on it.
In the Netherlands, we’re doomed with license plates measuring 52 centimeters wide and 11 centimeters high. Included on the license plate is the EU symbol or NL (Netherlands) sign. Only legally approved plates may be mounted on the car’s front and rear.
For cars, one exception is made for American plates which are smaller in width but still 11 centimeters high. To be legally allowed to place the smaller plates on your vehicle, you have to have permission from the RDW, the Dutch Traffic Organization. Only a very small minority of imported or classic American cars are granted this 18:2 plate.
And now for the dilemma.
I started this post with a picture of our V8 Vantage Roadster S, with a beautiful small plate. This plate was custom made, and fits perfectly between grill and air vent. We know this is a risk and we know that the police can cause a stir.
The picture below is how our gorgeous Aston is now mutilated by the regular license plate because I was FINED for driving with an illegal plate. Costs: 85 euro. But the worst part: the car papers were seized by the police and I had to have my car checked by the RDW to get them back! (another 62 euro).
This happend during the Rally4Ladies and we were only allowed to drive home. When I said to the Fine Policeman that I had the original plate in the trunk of the car and could stick it on the nose right now, I was not allowed to do so.
Which meant driving home and getting another car. Another dilemma…. The other sports cars have the same small plate! I knew there was a Search Warrant for me out there so to be on the safe side, I took our BMW. This is the only car we have that has normal plates.
All Astons leaving Gaydon have the license plate mounted on a black, thick license plate holder. This holder is placed partly in front of the grill, as you can see on the picture above. There is an alternative method, which means removing the black holder and drilling two extra holes under the grill to mount the license plate without the extra holder. Then you can lower the plate, as was done on our previous roadster, see below. Most Aston owners choose this option over the other one.
One downside to this method: the extra holes. If you ever decide to disobey The Law by mounting smaller plates, the new holes pop out under it. That is why we decided to return the plates to the original black holder.
But what is the problem with the smaller plate? You can still read it, it looks just beautiful, and I’m sure all speeding tickets find their way to my letter box since I continue to receive them on a regular basis 🙂