There’s really no other way to put this: car dealership license plate frames are not pretty. They make you look like a dealership ad on wheels, not to mention, a dealership frame is likely illegal depending on where you live.
The solution? Buy the best license plate frame to replace your dealership provided one. You’re probably thinking of doing this anyway if your existing frame is a bit old and sad looking with its faded graphics, chipping paint, and the dents it got from your recent fender bender.
The good thing is, there are many different ways you can go about this. You can get a classic frame that offers understated elegance, or a swanky, show stopping frame that really makes a statement and perfectly reflects your personality and style.
- 10 Best License Plate Frames
- 1. SunplusTrade Steel Polish Mirror License Plate Frame
- 2. H C Hippo Luxury Handcrafted Clear Rhinestone Premium Stainless Steel Bling License Plate Frame
- 3. Ohuhu Matte Aluminum License Plate Frame
- 4. DFDM National Powder Pink Steel License Plate Frame
- 5. Product Express Personalized Chrome License Plate Frame
- 6. GoPlates Customized Engraved License Plate Frame Laser
- 7. Ohuhu Slim Stainless Steel License Plate Frames
- 8. Cruiser Accessories 19003 Palm Tree License Plate Frame
- 9. Karoad Slim Design Black Aluminum License Plate Frames
- 10. Cruiser Accessories Ribbon Bling License Plate Frame
- Things to consider when buying the best license plate frames
- Type of frame
- Bonus: A few helpful tips before you go…
10 Best License Plate Frames
Want to find the perfect replacement/upgrade to your old, dingy license plate frame? Here are the best options we found on the market:
Our best pick is the SunplusTrade Steel Polish Mirror License Plate Frame, which boasts of a simplistic, slim style design featuring rounded corners that not only look good but also limit the risk of scratching your hands from the sharp edges of standard metal frames.
It’s a complete kit that comes with two license plate frames, a screwdriver, and four pieces of screw caps, washers, self-tapping screws, and machine screws. This way, you can get right to installing the new frames right out of the box. The frames are also standard size, measuring 6 5/16 and 12 ¼ inches, so they’ll fit all US plates and won’t block the state tag.
It’s also packed with amazing features such as the stainless steel construction and the silver chrome polish to finish that is highly durable and rustproof. Perhaps the only downside is that it only comes in one color option, but it’s still very affordable considering that it’s a complete set.
- Elegant slim style design
- Complete with installation accessories
- Standard sized, fits all US plates
- Durable and rust-resistant construction
- Highly affordable option
- Only available in 1 color (silver)
You’ll be surprised at the H C Hippo Luxury Bling License Plate Frame with its stunning, show-stopping elegance thanks to the 1,000 pieces of the finest rhinestone crystals in clear white filling the entire frame.
Sure, it’s a little over the top in terms of price, but you get a very luxurious look that makes your plates shine due to the crystals maximizing light reflection and refraction. The stainless steel core is also noteworthy with its durable and corrosion-resistant construction. This core even features rounded edges to make it smooth and scratch proof.
The two frames measure a standard 6.25 by 12.25 inches and come with two top holes for attachment. It’s intended to fit all novelty plates from the US and Canada, and is guaranteed not to block registration tags located in any corner of the plate. Simply put, it’s a highly versatile, not to mention shiny, option for a license plate frame.
- Covered in rhinestone bling for maximum shine and luxurious feel
- Stainless-steel construction is corrosion and scratch-resistant
- Standard size to fit US and Canada novelty plates
- 2-piece frame with installation hardware
- The most expensive option on this list
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Ohuhu Matte Aluminum License Plate Frame, a highly affordable, value for money option that comes as a complete set of two frames for your front and rear plates, along with all the hardware you’ll need for installation, such as screws, spacers, screw caps, washers, and a screwdriver.
What’s really important, though, are the frames themselves, which in this case boasts of a superior quality aluminum construction powder coated with a black matte finish that is highly resistant to rust and corrosion, not to mention highly durable.
They also come at a standard size of 6 ⅜ by 12 ¼ inches to fit all US issued plates. These frames also feature rounded edges so you can enjoy a scratch-free installation. That said, it only comes in matte black, which may not be everyone’s palate.
- High quality construction with a rust-resistant finish
- Scratch-free installation with rounded corners
- Complete set with installation hardware
- Affordable, value for money option
- Only available in 1 color (matte black)
Another replacement frame that stands out from the competition is the DFDM National Powder Pink Steel License Plate Frame, which boasts of a unique anti-theft design in the form of screw covers made with stainless steel to make them really difficult to remove once installed.
You might not think that that’s a big deal- after all, who even steals license plate frames? But if you’re showing off some swanky frames that are definitely not from your local dealership, well, you never really know, and it’s best to stay on the safe side.
Though, if you don’t care for the anti-theft feature, you can simply get this with standard screw covers. The frame is also available in a wide variety of options, including five choices for color (matte black, gloss black, carbon fiber, pink, and polished stainless steel) and two installation options (two holed and four holed).
- Stainless steel anti-theft screw covers
- Fits US plates and suitable for use on a variety of vehicles
- Thick powder coating for resistance to corrosion and rust
- Available in a wide range of styles and colors
- Sold as a single frame
You might also like the Product Express Personalized Chrome License Plate Frame, which comes at a standard 12 by 6 inch size that’s made of heavy duty steel polished with a shiny chrome finish to make it durable, resistant to rust, and able to withstand various weather conditions. Basically, it’s a high quality frame.
It also conveniently fits all US and Canadian issued plates, and is designed with two top holes for easy and hassle free installation. That said, it doesn’t really come with fasteners, and it’s only sold as single piece frames, so you’ll need to place two orders and buy some hardware.
The silver lining, however, is that this license plate frame features a wide bezel that you can opt to have layered with artwork or any other detail you want. In other words, this is a fully customizable, personalized frame that can really show off your style.
- Standard size to fit US and Canada plates
- Customizable wide bezel integrated with the design
- Durable all-steel construction
- Weather and rust resistant coating
- Sold as a single frame
- Fasteners are not included
Another customizable option for a license plate frame is the GoPlates Customized Engraved License Plate Frame Laser, which you can personalize to your liking by having it engraved with any writing you wish.
You can also choose from any of the 11 font selections to write your preferred text with. And, after the engraving process, the frame is finished with a UV resistant and weather resistant coating that is protected by a one-year colorfast guarantee.
Moreover, the frame itself boasts of a heavy-duty and rust-resistant anodized aluminum construction. It features two top holes for easy installation, and comes in six different color options for you to choose from, including black, blue, purple, red, orange, and green.
- Customizable frame with your choice of engraving
- UV and weather resistant finish, 1-year guarantee on colorfast
- Lightweight but heavy duty aluminum construction
- Comes in 6 color options
- Sold as a single frame
- Hardware for installation are not included
Going back to more classic, streamlined options, we also have the Ohuhu Slim Stainless Steel License Plate Frames, which is a two piece frame set (for your front and rear license plates) that gives you the best value for your money.
It even comes with all the hardware and accessories you’ll need for installation, such as screws, screw caps, screw fasteners, a screwdriver, and eight pieces of self-adhering foam that you can use to line the frame’s rear corners so you don’t scratch yourself or your car during an installation.
Meanwhile, the frames themselves are made with strong stainless steel with a shiny and polished surface that somewhat resembles a sleek chrome finish. They also come in standard 6 ⅜ by 12 ¼ inch sizes to fit all US issued plates without blocking any state tags, and feature four screw holes to ensure firm installation, especially for trailers and trucks.
- Stainless steel material with a polished surface
- 4 hole design Ideal for trucks and trailers
- Standard size fits all US plates
- 2-piece set with complete installation hardware
- Not suitable for cars with 2 installation holes
If you want a fun and lively license plate frame that reminds you of the sandy beaches during the summer season, check out the Cruiser Accessories 19003 Palm Tree License Plate Frame, a unique option that features a decorative element of palm trees to give you that tropical island style that’s equal parts fun and invigorating.
It comes at a standard size of 12 by 6 inches to make it suitable for US issue license plates and novelty plates. It’s also really easy to install (complete with detailed installation instructions) and even features four holes to make it more form-fitting.
To add to that, this frame also boasts of other features such as the die-cast zinc construction which is highly durable, and even carefully hand-coated with a chrome finish to give it excellent rust resistance and increase its durability.
- Unique style with a palm tree design
- Durable and tough die-cast zinc material
- Rust-resistant hand polished chrome coating
- Standard size to fit US novelty and license plates
- Sold as a single frame
- Hardware for installation are not included
One of the most durable options we found is the Karoad Slim Design License Plate Frame, which boasts of its sturdy build thanks to the stainless steel construction that’s comparatively stronger than other frame materials and also features excellent rust and corrosion resistance.
On top of that, the surface of the frame is also sprayed with a non-peeling layer that prevents oxidation while also increasing the frame’s durability. It also features a slim design with thick and slick edges that won’t scratch your fingers. And, the frame comes with two holes to allow for easy installation.
You’ll get this as a complete with two frames, eight washers and screw cap covers, four standard screws and bolts, and one allen wrench, all so you can proceed to installation right out of the box.
- Durable stainless-steel construction
- Oxidation resistant top surface
- Complete set with installation hardware
- Highly affordable, value for money option
- Only available in 1 color (black)
Last but not least is the Cruiser Accessories Ribbon Bling License Plate Frame, which boasts of a unique design with its ribbon bling that comes with a top-set bow. It’s also available in clear, black and chrome colors so you can pick which one you prefer best.
This frame is constructed with zinc metal that is die-cast, and the black frame, for one, features a polished chrome finish and is topped by a cover of black glitter insert along with an ABS plastic bow in matching black.
It measures 12 by 6 inches to fit US issued license plates and novelty plates and features four installation holes for a firm fit. That said, it only comes in a single frame, and is a little on the expensive side.
- Unique design with ribbon bling
- Fits US license and novelty plates
- Available in 3 different color options
- Sold as a single frame
- More expensive than other options
Things to consider when buying the best license plate frames
When you think of vehicle parts and components, the frame of your license plate isn’t really one that comes to mind. However, it does serve an important function in keeping your license plate in its proper place. Not only that, it can add a certain touch of personalization to your vehicle.
If you’re looking for great license plate frames, here are the most important factors that you need to consider before you make your decision:
Type of frame
License plate frames can be classified into three general types: slimline, semi-wide bottom, and wide bottom. Slimline frames feature extremely thin trims that ensure your plate and state tags are always visible to anyone who might need to see them, thereby making this frame type compliant with the DMVs across all 50 states.
Meanwhile, semi-wide bottom plates feature open corners with a bottom that’s eight inches wide so you can still display your top and bottom corner registration tags but cover the center message, which is allowed in most states as per DMV regulations.
As for wide bottom frames, these feature a twelve-inch wide bottom that runs across the entire plate’s base, meaning, the lower messages on the license plate as well as the lower registration tags are covered, making this frame type illegal in a few states.
One of the first things you should check when buying license plate frames is the size, in order to determine whether the frame will fit your license plate properly. You can do this by checking the frame’s height, width, and thickness, then compare it with your license plate.
License plate frames can be mounted with either two or four screws, and come with matching holes to do the job. Two screws are enough to secure the frame and make for an easy installation, but there’s a risk of the frame rattling while you drive.
As such, four screws are better as they offer better support to the bottom part of your plate and frame. You just need to make sure that your vehicle can accommodate four screws and that the screw holes are in the same spots as those on the frame.
License plate frames are typically made with either plastic or metal, but we’ll only talk about metal frames since plastic isn’t durable or reliable, nor would it last long.
As for metal frames, you have a wide range of options, from the popular and affordable stainless steel, which is heavy duty and long lasting material, to many other metals such as lightweight aluminum, die-cast zinc, and featherweight but tough carbon fiber. There are also combinations and alloys of one or two of these metals.
Longevity and durability are pretty much the same since we’re only talking about license plate frames rather than moving parts in high-stress environments, so your choice will come down to which material you prefer and what your budget is, as some materials may be more expensive than others, like carbon fiber, for instance.
It’s important that you check your state laws before you even think about buying a license plate frame so you can be sure you’re buying the right size, type, and style of frame that will pass regulations rather than leave you with a hefty fine.
Is it made with durable materials?
We mentioned earlier that all metal frames are durable, but there are certain factors that influence how durable the frame will prove to be in real-life situations. These factors have to do with the frame’s resistance to rust, corrosion, oxidation, and general wear and tear from the elements. Ideally, it should also be resistant to UV radiation, fading, and paint chipping.
This is possible with the use of high quality materials and the use of certain coatings and finishes.
Does it come with an installation kit?
As you have seen from our product reviews, not all license plate frames come with a complete installation kit including screws, screw caps and covers, washers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. You’ll want something that’s already a complete set unless you have all these tools in your garage, so you can get right to installing the frame without having to buy other accessories.
Plus, the problem with standalone frames is that it’s often hard to find screws and screw caps that perfectly match the color of the frame.
How much does it cost?
License plate frames are largely inexpensive, with costs ranging from less than ten dollars to slightly more than twenty dollars. You’ll want something from the middle to upper price range to ensure that the frame is made with good quality and long lasting materials. At these price points, you’ll also get a wider selection of styles, sizes, materials, and added features.
What you really need to consider is whether the frame gives you great value for your money. Meaning, is the price only for one single frame or two- one for your front plate and one for the rear? Does it come with installation hardware or is that a separate purchase?
Bonus: A few helpful tips before you go…
- If you’re hearing rattling noises when driving, tighten the screws on the license plate frame or add an adhesive at the bottom part to better secure your plate.
- Alternatively, you can get a license plate protector that has built-in spacers to prevent vibration while also protecting your vehicle’s finish by keeping debris at bay.
- Opt for frames that come with screw caps to give your plates a more uniform and luxurious look. Some screw caps snap close, while others have an anti-theft feature.
- Regularly wash and wax the frame whenever you clean your vehicle so it lasts longer as you remove any built up road debris and other foreign materials that can dull its finish.
If you’re tired of your old and dingy dealership gifted license plate frame and are looking for a suitable replacement or even a nice upgrade, there are plenty of suitable options online for replacement license plate frames.
Replacing your old frames will not only uplift the appearance of your vehicle, but may also offer better protection for your license plates against getting soiled or damaged. Some frames even let you showcase your personality and style with a few signature designs or customization options.
After looking at dozens of different license plate frames, the best one we found is the SunplusTrade Steel Polish Mirror License Plate Frame, a high quality and durable frame that is highly rated and guaranteed to give your vehicle a nice touch of sophistication, all without breaking any DMZ regulation.