Dick Lovett

Guide To Electric Cars & Green Number Plates

Posted on 8th April 2022

Green Number Plates Electric Vehicle

What does a green number plate mean?

First announced back in June 2020 by the Department of Transport, and finally rolled out in December 2020, green number plates are available for all zero-emission vehicles. This includes fully electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. So if you have an electric car, you’re eligible to display a green number plate!

Do you have an EV but no green plate? Wondering about the benefits of electric cars with green number plates? Or just want to know more? Explore below as we delve into the details of EVs with green plates.

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What are they & why do electric cars have green number plates?

Green number plates are made for zero-emission cars, first released in December 2020 by the Department of Transport. They’re all part of the UK Government’s “Road to Zero Emissions” initiative which aims to transition the country to zero-emissions cars by 2040.

They are a way of instantly identifying zero-emission cars and spreading awareness of green driving. Not only do they show off your fully electric vehicle, but they offer a way for local authorities to easily see EV use in certain areas. This information can then be used to make decisions on infrastructure changes and new policies, as well as new incentives to promote EV uptake.

This could include:

  • Cheap or free parking
  • Access to bus lanes
  • More chargers

But remember these haven’t been implemented yet. Check with your local authority for more information on their plans.

What do they look like?

UK green licence plates look very similar to standard ones

  • The front plate is white with black text and a green strip on the left
  • The rear plate is yellow with black text and a matching green strip on the left



Can I get a green number plate?

You can only get a green number plate if you drive a zero-emission vehicle. This includes:

  • Fully electric vehicles
    • Cars
    • Vans
    • Buses
    • Motorcycles
  • Hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles

So that means hybrids and plug-in hybrids can’t wear that prestigious green plate.

All new zero-emission cars should come with a green plate already, but it’s worth double-checking with the dealership. They may be able to sort one out for you.

If your new EV doesn’t come with a green plate, or you received your electric car in December 2020, you can still get one fitted. You just need to buy a new green plate with your registration number on it from an approved licence plate manufacturer - you’ll need proof of ID and evidence you own the car (you can use the V5C document).

Check with your lender or finance provider before changing plates if your electric car is on lease or finance.

You may be able to fit your own green plate to your EV, but it’s best to use a professional to make sure it’s on properly. Most licence plate suppliers offer a fitting service too, so it should be relatively straightforward.

What are the benefits of a green number plate?

There are plenty of benefits of having a green number plate. One of the main ones is that you have an exclusive licence plate that’s only available to select cars.

When you drive around with a green plate, you’re spreading awareness about electric cars. They definitely stand out more compared to normal number plates, which is a great way to create buzz and promote EV use.

The bold colouring also makes the car instantly identifiable as fully electric. This means local councils and authorities will have a better understanding of EV uptake in the local area, which will then have an impact on new initiatives and infrastructure changes.

For example, if they know there’s a high percentage of EV drivers in a certain area, they may invest in more lamp post chargers or offer free parking in certain areas. So having a green plate on show may actually benefit your community!

Are there green number plates in other countries?

Currently, Norway, Hungary, China and Canada have similar green plate initiatives. All of these countries have reported an increase in EV sales since releasing these schemes.

Get in touch

Contact Dick Lovett for all things hybrid and electric. Our electric experts are here to help, whether that’s booking you in for a test drive in an electric car or discussing finance options. Get in touch to learn more, or visit our Hybrid & Electric FAQ page.

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