Number Plate Bulb Replacement from just $23

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Number Plate Bulb Replacement

To drive your car on New Zealand roads, you must display a licence plate. Your licence plate must be clear and readable, when it gets dark this can be an issue. That’s where your number plate light comes in.

It is a legal requirement that you must illuminate your licence plate so that it is readable in poor lighting conditions. 

If your number plate light fails, you could get stuck with a fine and we don’t want that.

You need to be able to read your licence plate from 20 meters away, if your bulb is on its way out then you’ll need to replace the bulb.

If you replace the bulb and your problems with poor light persist, then it’s best to take it in to a mechanic and get the underlying problem solved.

What is a number plate bulb?

In order to make sure your number plate is properly visible, you will have a small light fitted above, below and sometimes besides it. 

The bulb is 12 volts and usually between 5 and 10 watts and must be a white light. No fancy colours we’re afraid, just a steady white light that lights up the whole licence plate. 

Why do you need a number plate bulb? 

It is an important part of keeping your car legal on Kiwi roads.

As part of the road laws in NZ you need to illuminate the rear plate of your car. Failure to do so will result in a fine. It will also prevent you getting a warrant of fitness. 

If your car gets stolen, involved in an accident, speeding fine, or any other incident where your number plate is required to be known, your plate needs to be visible.

What symptoms mean you need a number plate bulb replacement?

  • The light flickers and does not put out a consistent light
  • When your lights are all turned on, the bulb does not turn on
  • The license plate is not fully lit up when the light is on
  • The bulb is foggy and dirty, preventing a clear light coming through

How to replace a number plate bulb

It’s not a complicated process, you can give it a go yourself. Bear in mind, that if the problems persist you could have electrical issues that need addressing.

  • Firstly, locate the faulty light and remove the cover or entire assembly to access the bulb
  • Remove the bulb and look for the specifications to determine the replacement bulb
  • Fit the new bulb and make sure there’s nothing blocking the terminals
  • Refit the cover/assembly and make sure the bulb area is sealed
  • Test the bulb by turning your lights on and checking to see if the bulb has lit up

How much does a number plate bulb replacement cost?

It’s not a particularly expensive part to replace. If you do it yourself it can be as low as $5 for a new bulb and as high as $25.

If you want a mechanic to do it, it can still be around $5 if they have the bulb and it is easy to access. If it’s a bit more complicated and requires more time it can get up around $50. 

How often do I need a number plate bulb replacement? 

It is not a regularly serviced item so expect to replace it only when it stops doing the job it needs to.

Is a broken number plate bulb unsafe?

Not really, however it can be unsafe for your wallet. If you fail a WoF or get a fine, you’ll wish you’d done it sooner.


You can find a Number Plate Bulb Replacement mechanic near me with My Auto Shop

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