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The Best License Plate Frames for Your Vehicle

a person attaching a car's license plate frame
Piyawat Nandeenopparit/Shutterstock

Anyone who owns a car has license plates and thus license plate frames, but many people don’t give a lot of thought to this particular item unless it’s to wonder what function they serve. License plate frames create a visual border around your car’s license plates, so they appear neater and more pleasing to the eye. They’re not just for aesthetic purposes, however; license plate frames can have functional purposes too. Larger frames can protect either your plates or the car or both. They stop plates from rubbing or vibrating against your car while driving, protecting your paint job from chipping or rubbing off. If you’re ever in a fender bender, a license plate frame can prevent your plates from becoming twisted or dented on impact. They also help keep your plates in place and help shield them from the wind and other elements. This feature can be particularly useful if you don’t park your car in a garage on a regular basis. Some may even prevent rusting and corrosion. If you want added protection for your car’s license plates or a unique, custom look for your vehicle, buying a new set of license plate frames is the way to go.

What to Look for in License Plate Frames

These are a few things you’ll want to consider before making a purchase:

  • Durability: You’ll want to buy license plate frames that are made of solid, tough material, as they’ll be exposed to the elements quite often. Stainless steel and silicone are both good options that will be more resistant to wear and tear than run-of-the-mill plastic. Also keep an eye out for frames that are listed as resistant to weather, rust, and corrosion, as they’re more likely to last longer.
  • Design: Most license plate frames are black or a silvery chrome color, as these match and look good with most vehicles. If you want one something more unique, however, you can find frames in plenty of different colors and patterns. There are even options out there with glitter, rhinestones, and other decorations if you want something with even more flair.
  • Customization: Maybe you like the idea of a vanity license plate to show support to your favorite team or to make your car easier to identify, but you don’t have the extra money to spare, or you don’t want to spring for that cost. A customizable license plate frame can be a good compromise, as they’re less expensive than custom plates. You can also fit longer words or even a full sentence on the frame and you won’t have to choose a new word or phrase if someone has already bought the one you wanted, unlike with vanity license plates.

Top Choice: Aujen Silicone License Plate Frames

With this pair of black silicone license plate frames, you get the best of both worlds. The top-notch silicone material is more durable than standard plastic to better protect license plates from rusting and wear and tear. The specially strengthened corners offer added durability. Yet the silicone is also soft, flexible, and bendy to better prevent scratches and rattling on plates and the car alike. This also means you do not need to worry about the frames bending out of shape, deforming, or tearing at any point. Nor will the material rust or become discolored. The four drainage holes at the edge of each frame and the small breathing holes on the surface of the frame serve to give your plates breathing room and cause moisture from rain and other precipitation to drain rapidly to prevent your plates from rusting in even the wettest weather. The screw holes come pre-drilled for your convenience and in just the right spots to hold your plates in place. The frames are completely street legal and won’t obstruct your license plates or stickers so you won’t ever be stopped or ticketed by the police for violating rules of the road. A single-pack option is also available in case you only need to buy one license plate frame instead of two.

Top Choice

Most Durable: SunplusTrade Stainless Steel Mirror License Plate Frame

A tough, durable set of license plate frames with a classic silvery chrome look and sheen. Made of high-quality stainless steel with a chrome finish, these slender, rust-resistant frames are more than strong enough to protect your plates from abrasions, rust, and corrosion all at once. The two holes are pre-installed so you won’t need to worry about drilling them for yourself, and the frames are sized to fit all standard U.S. vehicles. They’re also designed not to cover or block your state tags so you won’t be ticketed for installing these license plate frames on your car or truck. Besides the two steel frames, this set comes with everything you need to attach them properly; four screw caps, four self-tapping screws, four machine screws, four washers, and even a screwdriver. Installation is an easy process with minimal steps that will only take a few minutes. Simply line up the frame with your license plate, slide the washers into position through the pre-drilled holes, place the snap caps over the washers, and push them in firmly until they snap closed. A diagram and instructions are provided to help with the process if needed.

Most Durable

Best Design: H C Hippo Creation Rhinestone Stainless Steel License Plate Frame

Sometimes we all need a little extra glitter or flair, and these sparkly license plate frames will bring you just that. The glistening design was inspired by the aurora borealis, the 13 rows of clear, hand-embedded, 14-faceted rhinestones (six on the top and seven on the bottom, plus three columns on either side) will reflect maximum light in multiples colors and hue for a luxurious look. You can buy these frames in four colors, black, space gray, blue, or aqua to best match and compliment your vehicle. The loveliness and shine of these frames is not a substitute for quality or strength, either. The rhinestone-studded bodies are made of tough rust-resistant stainless steel and are strong yet lightweight, so they won’t drag down your plates. Nor will they block your registration tags in all four corners. Installation is simple, with directions and all necessary materials included; two frames, four standard screws, four anti-theft screw cap covers (also covered with matching rhinestones), and four washers. No special tools are required to attach these frames, and they will fit most standard and novelty U.S. and Canadian license plates. It’s a fabulous gift to give to yourself or any lover of bling in your life.

Best Customizable: Product Express Personalized License Plate Frame

Here’s a great way to add some uniqueness to your car and license plates without breaking the bank in the process. The frame is standard-sized to fit all U.S. and Canadian cars and trucks and comes with an auto tag holder. It’s made out of sturdy black aluminum and steel that will hold up under all weather conditions without wearing down or cracking. The metallic finish adds a sharper look. Attaching the plate to your vehicle is a simple process that will only take a few minutes. Personalize whatever message or words you like on the top and bottom of the frame. The letters are waterproof vinyl to last and remain damage-free for longer. Choose between white, magenta, bubblegum pink, bright blue, lemon yellow, pumpkin orange, fire engine red, and neon green lettering for further customization.

Best Customizable

Custom Made Stainless Steel License Plate Frame Auto Car Accessory (Black-Vinyl, 1-Frame)

Add whatever message you want in this highly customizable license plate frame, with lettering available in eight different statement colors.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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