5 Best License Plate Frames, Tested By Experts (2023 Guide)

As far as car accessories go, license plate frames are one of the most helpful automotive accessories as they’re not only visually appealing but also can protect your vehicle. The best license plate frames aren’t made from specially designed carbon fiber and they’re not rhinestone license plate frames. Good license plate frames, like the best keychains, are the products that look the best to you and satisfy your needs.

There are a lot of questions when it comes to license plate frames such as their legality or their ability to deter theft. While some manufacturers claim that license plate frames are useful as anti-theft devices, that claim doesn’t stand to reason. Removing a license plate is the same, whether your license plate has a frame or not. However, our product testing team does feel that rattle-proof and scratch-proof license plate frames offer valuable vehicle protection.

Best License Plate Frames

A man changing a license plate frame.

For this review, our team thoroughly tested and evaluated each license plate frame based on each item’s material, fit, and durability. The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

Each license plate frame’s ratings, including their scores in each review category, are highlighted below:

How We Tested

The license plate frames in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors such as ease of installation, customer ratings, prices, and the ability for the frame to not obscure parts of the license plate that need to be displayed.

Our product testing team then ordered the license plate frames that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3, taking note of how well the license plate frame was made, how well the frame fit around a license plate, and its durability. Each license plate frame was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on this criteria.

License Plate Frames Testing Process

Our extensive testing process compared each of our five license plate frames against the criteria listed below:

  • Material: A license plate frame’s material is arguably the most important factor of this type of product. Material plays a role in not only a frame’s fit but also its durability. We observed and recorded how each different material withstood our stress and durability testing.
  • Fit: Fit determines whether your license plate and frame rattle in the mount. We tested each license plate for how well it fit around a license plate as well as how it fit on the testing vehicle itself.
  • Durability: Material greatly impacts this category of testing, but it is so important that it warrants a testing category of its own. We went about testing each license plate’s durability by subjecting it to a stress test where it was bent, shaken, stepped on, and generally beaten up.

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Spada Hairpin 2.0 review | Women’s textile motorcycle jacket tested

Spada Hairpin review_17

 

Date reviewed: August 2023 | Tested by: Sophie Utley, BikeSocial Test Team  | Price: £79.99 | https://spadaclothing.co.uk

The Spada Hairpin 2.0 women’s motorcycle jacket is a supple softshell jacket that meets the AA level within the CE standard, has a full set of armour to the superior Level 2 within CE and a fixed waterproof membrane. I’ve worn it for up to 10 hours a day in everything from warm sunshine to a four-hour ride in the pouring rain.

 

Pros & Cons

  • Lightweight and easy fitting
  • Comfortable, soft armour
  • Waterproof for around two hours
  • Too warm in hot weather
  • Tricky main zip
  • Uncomfortable neck design

 

Construction and fit

The Spada Hairpin 2.0 is a jacket made from softshell material that has a female shape. I’m 5ft 5in tall and usually wear a size eight or 10 top – I wore this jacket in a size small and it fitted me just right. The waist is nicely tailored, however I would prefer more space around the neck because it feels claustrophobic when zipped up, though with the collar unzipped it is comfortable. I would welcome a more flattering shape to the arms, as I feel as if I am sporting a pair of bingo wings at times. Having said that, room around the arms is welcome when pushing bikes around.  The cuffs are neat, adjustable and have strong seams.

 

 

Protection and certification

The protection level of the Spada Hairpin is higher than you might expect for a jacket that is quite casually styled and made from softshell fabric. It meets the middle level within the overall CE standard, which is AA, when most jackets of this type will be approved to the basic single-A level. The armour also has impressive ratings as there is a full five-piece set of protectors that meet the higher Level 2 within the impact protection standard. I found the armour to be soft and comfortable. The back protector can dig in slightly at the base of the spine, but it is comfortable enough despite this. I found the armour for the shoulders and elbows to be well positioned.

All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety because, to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.

 

 

Pockets

The Haripin’s pockets at each hip are secure and waterproof, which I found a pretty safe place to store a small phone or wallet. Unfortunately, there are only two pockets, so there’s not much choice and there’s no inner pocket. They are in a good position to stick hands in there to have a rest or keep them dry though.

 

 

Fastening

The Spada’s zips are sealed against water, which I found effective to a point,

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‘Tested & Trusted’ Expert Picks on Sale Now for Amazon Prime Day

‘Tested & Trusted’ Expert Picks on Sale Now for Amazon Prime Day

<h2 class=”body-h2″>Tested & Trusted</h2><p>How does the average car enthusiast know what products and gear to buy? We ask the experts. The <strong>Gear Team</strong> has spent the last year doing hands-on tests of dozens of popular products in a variety of categories, pitting popular, bestselling, and even brand-new products against the competition in real-world testing and letting our readers know which ones are the best, which ones will get the job done, and which ones to avoid. </p><p>We’ve tested everything from tools and shop gear to car-cleaning products and compiled the winners and top performers from each test on our <a href=”https://www.caranddriver.com/shopping-advice/a41692115/car-and-driver-gear-team-tested-and-trusted/” target=”_blank”>Tested & Trusted</a> page, where readers can find all our Best Overall winners and top gear picks in one place. </p><p>With Prime Day coming up, a ton of these <strong>Tested & Trusted</strong> winners are on sale. Check out these great deals below on products, gear, and tools we’ve tested, trusted, and recommend.</p>” />

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Our car experts choose every product we feature. We may earn money from the links on this page.

Best Overall EV Charger

JuiceBox JuiceBox 40 Smart EV Charging Station

JuiceBox 40 Smart EV Charging Station

Best Overall EV Charger

JuiceBox JuiceBox 40 Smart EV Charging Station

Credit: Michael Simari

Home EV chargers are still extremely pricey, so any savings are welcome. Our Dave VanderWerp named the JuiceBox 40 the Best Overall EV Charger last year. An update of that test is currently underway—but until another charger can dethrone our top pick, the JuiceBox 40 is still the champ. And it’s on sale for Prime Day.

Best Overall Tire Inflator

Avid Power 20V Cordless Tire Inflator

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20V Cordless Tire Inflator

Best Overall Tire Inflator

Avid Power 20V Cordless Tire Inflator

Now 22% Off

Credit: Michael Simari

If we were shopping for a portable tire inflator to keep in our car, we’d pick the Avid Power Cordless. With a faster inflation time than the competition, plus the battery’s USB port for charging phones and such, our choice for Best Overall Tire Inflator turned out to be a pretty easy call.

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Best All-In-One Child Car Seat

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

Best All-In-One Child Car Seat

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

Credit: Amazon

For our roundup of the Best Child Car Seats, we turned to our colleagues at Good Housekeeping for their recommendations. In their testing, the Good Housekeeping Institute named this Graco 4Ever DLX car seat its “Best All-In-One” car seat, noting that it “might be the only child car seat you’ll ever need.”

Best Overall Portable Jump Starter

Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC325 Jump Starter

On Sale

Jump-N-Carry JNC325 Jump Starter

Best Overall Portable Jump Starter

Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC325 Jump Starter

Now 32% Off

Credit: Michael Simari

With seemingly hundreds of portable jump starters on the market, it can be tempting to just grab one of the cheapest and hope for the best. Instead, the Gear Team chose the Clore Jump-N-Carry as our Best Overall Portable Jump

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Classic Motorcycles Book Review [32 Bikes Road Tested]

Over the years, author Lester Morris has ridden some of the world’s rarest, most expensive, and highly exotic motorcycles and written comprehensive road tests on them. His latest book, Classic Motorcycles 32 Great Bikes and their Road Test Reports, compiles updated road tests of some of the most interesting bikes.

When I got in touch with Morris about the book and found it included his road test impressions of the 1970 Triumph Bandit prototype, that was it, I wanted to get a copy. Of course, I knew I’d be interested in the other 31 classic reviews, but the saga of the DOHC 350cc twin that was to have been marketed as the Triumph Bandit and BSA Fury is a story I’ve been interested in for some time.

Classic Motorcycle Book Review: Triumph Bandit 350
Morris did a retrospective ride review of the 1970 DOHC 350cc Triumph Bandit in 1984, and that fascinating story is included in his latest book.

Indeed, I wrote about it here six years ago in “The Sad Case of the Triumph Bandit/BSA Fury 350: What Might Have Been.” When I wrote that article, I knew of only two period reviews of the pre-production prototype—one by Bob Braverman in Cycle Guide and the other by Bob Greene in England’s Motorcycle Sport Quarterly. Then, in 2019, a comment from none other than Mr. Morris himself appeared below my article, informing me that he also wrote a retrospective review of a Triumph Bandit 350 that was published in 1984. Here’s what Morris had to say in that comment:

I carried out a carefully detailed road test report on a prototype 350cc DOHC Triumph Bandit for the Australian motorcycle magazine ‘Two Wheels’, the report published in 1984. I found the small machine to a be a mini-rocket ship (for a 350, it must be remembered), with great handling and powerful brakes – yes, including the rear anchor – but also suggested the gear change lever’s travel was far too great, but the riding position was perfect for my diminutive size of just on 1.6M (5′ 3″). The rockerbox covers fouled the top frame rails, and the gearbox filler could not be used unless the carburettors were removed, but both these problems, in particular the ‘long travel’ gear change, were minor quibbles and would assuredly have been attended to before production began. It was a monumental tragedy for Triumph that its senior management were too dumb not to have the little bike’s enormous potential. It would have blown its Japanese competition sideways. How sad it all was, how very sad! 

So, it turns out that Morris—a noted moto-journalist who actually got to ride a Triumph Bandit—came away with the same feeling that I had about the positive impact the bike might have had on the long-term fortunes of the foundering BSA-Triumph company.

In his review of the Bandit, Morris goes into great technical detail on the design and workings of the machine, its performance on the road, and how it did in some play racing against

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