License plate

What has your car dealership done for you?

Maybe a better title is “Remove the dealership’s license plate frame from your car”

You know what I’m talking about right? The frame that surrounds your car license plate? The one that displays the name and phone number or website of the dealership where you bought your car? They also usually manage to put some kind of sticker or adhesive badge on the ass end of your ride.

License plate frame advertising

Why in the WORLD would you leave that on there?

Think about your car-buying experience. If they’re like mine they SUCKED. They made your life hell while you bought that new car. They sat there and intimidated you. They’d tell you why your trade-in isn’t worth much. They tell you they can’t go any lower. They go “ask the manager” and when you look over there and see them whispering, looking over at you, judging you, profiling you, making you sweat. Then the waiting begins. They made you wait FOREVER, they wear you down. They had terrible coffee. They’re not your friend. They forgot all about you the second you drove off the lot.

Do they pay you to drive around with their mobile advertisement on your car? Did they give you a discount or some incredible deal? Did they even ASK? NO. They put it on there because people are too lazy, or aren’t mental enough (like me), or don’t know how to, or that they even CAN take it off.

Now’s the time for YOU to get some satisfaction by removing that frame.

This is not rocket science. It’s too simple to even do a photo tutorial on.

Here’s what you need:

  • A screwdriver (better bring phillips AND a flat head, you never know what’s on there, but I’m guessing phillips)
  • 5 minutes

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Unscrew the plate
  2. Take the frame off
  3. Screw the plate back on
  4. Throw the frame away (or do something environmentally friendly with it)

If you’re dying to have some kind of frame around your plate go buy a plain one, or one for your favorite sports team, or a fake diamond plate chrome-looking one. Here are a bunch, they’re like $10.

The badge

Let’s quickly discuss the “badge” thing that’s stuck on the back of your car as well. You can easily get that off too. There’s slight risk of minimal paint damage but trust me, those things are just put on there with double-sided tape or something.

Here’s what you need:

  • Razor blade – Plastic is best
  • Steady hand
  • Some kind of goo gone sticky residue remover (start with soap and water, gradually move up to more powerful stuff if the soap and water don’t work)
  • Wax
  • 15 minutes

A package of plastic razor blades

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wait for your wife to leave.
  2. Carefully and gently get the plastic razor blade as parallel (I almost wrote perpendicular, phew) to the surface as you can and gently work it under the sticker or badge.
  3. The plastic blade won’t dig into the paint, but try to ride the surface of the paint and work that sticker or badge off.
  4. Wash off the residue with whatever gets it off, the more gentle the cleanser the better.
  5. Do a quick wax job around the area to help with any weird gloss differences.

If you want ultimate satisfaction, take that plate cover off right in the lot before you leave. Well you’ll need to have a screwdriver handy, but that’s why you should carry a multi-tool in your pocket at all times.

I’m telling you, when you do it you’re going to have a huge smile on your face. Seriously, free yourself. Fight the power.

9 Comments

  • PJ Galgay

    Always thought about working that into the deal. Negotiating so they not put that stuff on. I’ve been meaning to take my license plate frame off for, oh, about 5 years now. Never happened.

    After all, they don’t give you a discount for the free advertising.

    Reply

    • Pete Fazio

      You’ll be happier. Hypothetically, at $20/month for 5 years that’s $1200 in advertising you’re lugging around for them.

      Reply

      • Emily

        Do a calculation using, say, your rate of $50 per hour, and see how much you could charge per day. I drive 1.5 hours/day, 365 days/year. That’s $82,125/year. Sick. And I have one of those little sticker things that I need you to razor away when I’m not around someday too.

  • Alison

    This was the absolute first thing we did when we brought home the suv. Took the kids all of 5 minutes to remove…errr…snap that cheap ass frame off.

    HUUUUGE.

    Reply

  • Brett

    My apologies for catching this so late. But a huge AMEN to removing dealership license plate frames, decals, etc. There’s no way I’m paying that kind of money to advertise for something that’s not of my choosing.

    As a side note, I had decent luck loosening larger decals using a rag soaked in very hot water. I kept a thermos of the water at my side, soaked a rag, then pressed and held the rag against the decal. Note: don’t make the water so hot you burn yourself. After I did that a couple times, I was able to get the decal started with a fingernail (though a plastic razor would’ve probably been better).

    Reply

  • Matt

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more. When I bought my new car, I had the dealership remove the bumper decal and put on blank license plate frames before I would take delivery.

    Think about it, is there any other product that we buy where we gladly advertise where we bought it from? Do I rock a BestBuy sticker on my new stereo? Do I have Pier1 Imports labels on my furniture? It’s absurd to me that dealerships assume this free pub.

    I get a little sad when I see (especially nice) cars with dealership advertising on them.

    On my next car, for a really clean look, I am hoping to go without a license plate frame. I’m fortunate to have the dark blue on white NYS plate and would like to dip top and bottom edges in black liquid rubber, so just the ID letters/numbers show. Would look pretty boss. I don’t need the state’s clip art graphics on my expensive vehicle, thx. Checking out he legalities…

    Reply

  • julian

    5 months into driving my first (ever) car, i finally decided to take the dealership plate frame off. i was googling how to get rid of it and thought that might take some work; then i came across this post. viola! can’t believe it’s so simple and took less than 3 minutes :D

    Reply

  • Jeff

    Waxed dental floss works best. It cuts through the foam and gives you a nice mat to roll the tape off, or hold onto the goo be gone.

    Reply

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