Car Accessory Review: Karoad Stainless Steel License Plate Frame
When you think about how much wear and weathering your license plate takes as it barrels down the highway day after day–wind, sleet, and debris clawing at it–a protective license plate frame sounds like a good investment.
You’ll find plenty of novelty frames being sold online, emblazoned with your favorite movie quotes and automotive puns, but most of those are cheap plastic. If you want something heavy-duty, go for steel.
Karoad Stainless Steel License Plate Frame Covers Review
Product: Two-pack of slim, black stainless steel license plate covers
MSRP: $14.99 (set of 2), currently on sale for $9.99
Size: 12.9 x 6.8 inches
Karoad, a company producing a variety of automotive accessories, sells this set of two black, stainless steel license plate frames. They’re intended to protect vehicle license plates from folds, dings, and scratches along the corners. They’re covered in a black matte power coating finish and are thin enough that they won’t cover up state-mandated stickers on the corners.
The package includes:
- 2 frames, sized 6-5/16″ x 12-1/4″
- 1 Allen wrench
- 4 standard screws (intended to fit most vehicles)
- 4 black washers
- 4 matching screw cap covers
The two-pack of Karoad license plate frames comes in a bubble wrap sleeve that also contains the included equipment in sealed baggies. The entire set is presented in a slim, black cardboard case.
For being advertised as durable steel frames, the license plate covers are pretty heavy duty for the price. They don’t bend or scratch without exerting notable effort, so it’s safe to assume that they’ll hold up well over time.
Use of Product
If you’re looking for a set of directions in the box to tell you how to install the license plates, you unfortunately won’t find any. The unit I received did not contain directions, so I had to figure it out on my own. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to decipher, but it would still be nice to have picture-based instructions included for those who need guidance.
To attach, slip the frame over the license plate so the hooks on the bottom hold it in place. Then, place a washer over each of the holes and slide a screw through each. Use the Allen wrench to secure the license plate to the car. Place the cap over the washer and push until it snaps into place.
Does It Do What It Claims?
The license plate frames, made of 100% stainless steel, are advertised as being harder and more durable than aluminum. The black finish also claims to be rust-resistant and won’t peel off. While enough time hasn’t passed to judge its long-term quality, my initial tests were favorable. They did not bend easily nor show signs of scratching.
Being that the frame border is a half-inch wide, it did not cover up the state registration tags, like other frames I’ve used do.
I especially like the washer-and-cap system of adhering the plates, and that the entire unit is self-contained since it includes an Allen wrench (just make sure you keep it or have one on-hand if you ever need to take the frames off). The caps give a stylish look to the frames by covering the screws, but do have the potential for falling off eventually since they’re loose plastic.
The issue I ran into was that there was a sizable gap between my license plate and the tabs on the bottom that keep it in place, so I doubt those tabs will do much good. Since all license plates are by law the same size, I assume you’ll run into this problem with every vehicle. But since only the top screws are really necessary to attach a plate, it’s not a deal-breaker.
It was also too big to fit over my rear license plate, which sits in an indented trough that doesn’t give enough room for a frame.
Ultimately, I would recommend giving these frames a shot if you’re looking for a sophisticated, durable cover for your license plate. The steel is high-quality and looks good when attached. Just be prepared for the frames to not be an exact match. And if you have problems, the frames come with a 12-month warranty according to their Amazon listing.
Karoad’s license plate covers are available on Amazon.
Product provided for review by manufacturer.
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.