What do the green stripes on number plates mean?

Due to the ever-increasing awareness of the current climate crisis, many motorists have become interested in greener driving.

Not only are the emissions released into the atmosphere by petrol and diesel vehicles damaging to our health, but they can also cause irreparable harm to the planet. 


How Do Petrol and Diesel Vehicles Affect the Environment?

Almost 90% of the impact vehicles have on the environment comes from the pollutants and greenhouse gases caused by fuel consumption.

Both petrol and diesel-powered vehicles are huge contributors to air pollution, pumping out fumes like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides.

This has led to an increase in the number of hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles being manufactured, the latter producing zero emissions and creating a cleaner and more eco-friendly driving experience. 

Since the UK government introduced the scheme in 2020, pure electric cars can frequently be seen displaying ‘green’ number plates. You may have noticed these are becoming increasingly popular.

The new number plates have a small green stripe situated to the left of the usual characters and are not just limited to cars.

Lorries, buses, taxis, and motorcycles can all use green plates, provided the vehicle meets the necessary zero-emissions criteria.


Can Non-Zero Emission Vehicles Have a Green Plate?

If you happen to still own a car that is powered by petrol or diesel fuel, you will not be permitted to use the green number plates, they may be displayed on only pure electric cars and zero-emission vehicles. 


Green Stripe on Number Plate

From 2030, there will be no further manufacturing of petrol and diesel cars.

Green number plates have been introduced to raise awareness of electric and low-emission vehicles.

As cars move to electric power, traditional fuel-powered vehicles will be phased out.

As more drivers make the transition to fully electric vehicles, green number plates are a way of increasing the public’s interest in cleaner driving. 

Not only does the plate allow electric vehicles to be identified, but also brings some other incentives:

  • Congested areas like London operate emissions charges for non-electric vehicles using ULEZ areas (Ultra-Low Emissions Zone), but those who own electric cars are free from such charges.
  • With clean air zones and associated fees expanding to cities like Birmingham and Manchester, as well as the increase in the price of fuel, the cost of driving a petrol or diesel vehicle is set to rise.

This means that transitioning to an electric vehicle may make financial, as well as environmental, sense for drivers.

In addition, there is the possibility that electric car owners may be allowed access to other benefits like cheaper parking and the use of previously restricted driving areas.


How to Get a Green Number Plate

If you have an electric vehicle without green number plates, you can add them easily by having new plates made. To do this, you will need to submit proof of owning a zero-emission vehicle.

Not all-electric vehicles in the UK currently display the green number plates, as the scheme was only recently introduced, but car manufacturers will likely include them on all newly produced electric vehicles.


Do Electric Cars Have to Have Green Number Plates?

While having green number plates for your electric car isn’t mandatory, they are a cool way to show pedestrians and other road users that you are doing your part for the planet. 

Green number plates can be made as a personalised plate in the same way as standard plates and your insurance will not be affected by fitting green plates onto your vehicle.


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