Recommended number plate fitment - brand new car

  1. My model of MX-5 is: ND3
  2. I’m based near: Warwick
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: number plate fitment

Hi All,

First post, and soon to be new owner. Can’t wait :slight_smile:

I should be taking delivery of a brand new MX5 in a couple of weeks.
I have advised the dealer that I don’t want any holes drilled until I know what to do.

What is generally regarded as the nicest appearance and best method for the front number plate fitment ? I guess the rear plates can be fitted with adhesive strips and no screws quite easily (although please advise otherwise).

Trying to avoid screws if possible at the front (and rear), but if needed then so be it.

Really don’t like the look of a new MX5 I saw at the dealership with a monstrosity of a plinth fitted at the front. Is this really necessary to meet legal requirements ?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Saw one of these cute, or otherwise, Italian things today at Gurston Down, was not wildly enthusiastic but I was impressed by the front number plate fitment. NMP

I used double sided tape on mine, 7 years and still fine. When I changed the front grill I used a stick on number plate.

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Doesn’t look bad at all on a Ferrari. Certainly avoids covering the prancing horse on the front.

Was looking through the forum and this pic from another member is essentially what I had in mind. Is it straight forward to attach a plate like this without screws ?

Thanks for the reply. Not keen personally about sticking a plate on the bodywork. Is it technically legal ?

I would like it in the traditional place, but simply without screws and a large plinth. Mazda advised the plinth was to ensure the plate was 90 degrees to the road……for legal reasons. However, I don’t mind if it’s a few degrees out if I can avoid the plinth, or worst case a slimline plinth if one exists.

Here’s mine, with a plinth though I don’t know whether you would class that as large or slimline. To me it looks ok, and my previous MX-5s from another dealer were both screwed on without a plinth.

My back plate is stuck on.

Mine sleeping :wink:

Mind you having a hide away plate dose not go down well if your in show and shine at shows :rofl:


Whilst the plinth is ‘ok’, it seems that all new cars come fitted like that by default,

Would prefer the front plate to be recessed more with no drill holes.

Again, I think it all comes down to legal reasons, and if the plate is attached closer to the grill, it might not sit at 90 degrees to the road. The dealer might therefore be reluctant to fit it themselves.

Beautiful car :slight_smile:

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I’m bemused! The ND2 (and ND1?) have a flat area at the top of the grille to take the number plate. So the added plinth seems utterly pointless!

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I wondered the same, but thought I must be missing something on later cars.

For what it’s worth, I’ve just taken my ND1 front plate one off, as I’ve transferred my private plate on.

It had been applied straight on, no plinth, 8 adhesive strips had been used. That wasn’t going anywhere!

So I’d just inform the dealer of your requirements during PDI. No drilling, no plinth, adhesive strips to be used. I’ve done that previously with other new cars. I’d also usually drive them away with all the protective wrapping still on, but that’s detail and info for another thread!!


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I think I probably just need to ask the dealer to stick it on the front securely with adhesive if they will do it.

I watched a video a few weeks ago of some chap bending his number plate for a few days to fit ‘curved’ on the front instead of flat. Best solution I guess.

A dealer won’t go to all that trouble though.

I’ve gone off mine a bit since saying it looked ok … because the plinth stops me fitting my Zunsport half grill from my ND2 (which didn’t have a plinth). There are 2 quite big clips near the bottom of the plinth that are just in the way of the top of the grill.

I have had issues with a 2024 RF number plate dealer fitment.
The rear is not a problem, the mounting space is flat and using adhesive strips works fine. Use genuine 3M VHB tape or strips which are really good. The front is a little more difficult. The piano black plastic moulding fitted to the front grille is curved and also angled slightly back from the bottom to the top. It is also not as deep as a standard number plate when measured from top to bottom which means the bottom part of the plate would not be in contact with the moulding. As a result, I opted for fitting the plinth rather than sticking the front plate direct to the black moulding. If you decide to fit the plinth, there are a couple of issues, pm me for some assistance if you need it.

Thanks for your reply and advice.
You confirmed exactly what I was thinking the issues were. Not sure if Cayman is a rude word in these parts but I did have one once, and got an ever so slight smaller than normal flexible ‘sticker’ plate fitted to it. To an untrained eye, it looked quite normal. Perhaps that’s the answer, and stick one of those to the black plastic at the front ?

I’m going to the MX5 event near Stratford on Avon this weekend, and will hopefully see what others have done to their cars for some inspiration.

I may send a PM after the event.


Some of the Leon and Golf guys have used this system®-PRO-Invisible-Universal-License/dp/B0CD2B3WPL/ref=asc_df_B0CD2B3WPL/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=658877062259&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13453274303158328824&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006530&hvtargid=pla-2195200267369&psc=1&mcid=83b41e87eaa53c05a1dcafca911d008c

The mount is zip tied to the grill and the plate clips in to it.
You can hardly see the frame when mounted.


You could go with magnetic plates and have a smaller than plate metal surface to stick the plate to.

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I think there are two issues here, given it’s a brand new car.

You want the dealer not to butcher the front bumper, so the request not to drill and apply a plate with adhesive strips. Make sure that’s in writing and clear to them, so it gets actioned at the PDI stage.

Then once it’s in your custody, you could investigate possible other options. As there are some options presented here that are perfectly valid, but wouldn’t be within the dealers remit at the PDI stage.


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Thank you.
Spent a bit of time investigating magnetic plates this morning, and quite an interesting solution I hadn’t thought of.

Yes, I have clearly instructed the dealer not to butcher the front and rear of the car.

As you suggest I think the best option is to get the car home and fit the plates myself. Front and rear.

I just don’t trust a dealer to spend the time do it exactly how I want it done. This car is planned to be a very very long term keeper for me, so just want to make sure it’s done right from the start.

Car actually arrived yesterday at the dealer, so exciting times.

Thanks all for the replies and advice.

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When I took dealer plates off and fitted new plates I bent mine a little, the mount point is slightly curved, then used 3M double sided tape that is slightly spongy - worked for me.

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Yep, that’s spot on. I think that’s exactly what I will end up doing on mine. Yours looks exactly how I want mine to look.

I also opted for the soul red. There was no other choice for me. Original choice :wink:

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