Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

A comprehensive guide to green number plates

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming an increasingly popular choice for consumers in the UK. As awareness of climate change and air pollution grows, there has been an impetus for people to actively look for methods to reduce their carbon footprint. EVs produce fewer emissions than petrol and diesel vehicles, in turn making them an attractive option for buyers. The government introduced green number plates to encourage the adoption of more environmentally-friendly vehicles amid the looming ban on diesel and petrol vehicles in 2030.

What are green number plates?

Green number plates were officially introduced in December 2020. They are similar to traditional number plates with the exception of a green flash or panel displayed to the left of the vehicle registration. These plates are specifically for cars that emit zero tailpipe emissions and are designed to make it easier for drivers to identify EVs.

What are the advantages of an EV?

Although green number plates do not have their own specific benefits, it is anticipated that they will help local authorities to create new policies that further benefit drivers with zero-emission vehicles in the near future. As of right now, green plates have the exact same benefits that come by default with an EV, such as the following:

Exemption from road tax

Currently, zero emission vehicles do not have to pay any road tax until 2025. The DVLA will be introducing a new policy to ensure that all drivers have a more equalised tax contribution. It is still expected that pure EVs and hydrogen vehicles will be paying a lot less than their internal combustion engine counterparts.

Cheaper parking

Across the UK, there are various cities that offer free or subsidised parking zones for EVs. For example, the shopping centre of Milton Keynes has over 15,000 bays with free parking, although you need a dedicated Green CMK parking (virtual) permit. In London, there are various boroughs that have annual fees for EV parking, which tends to be cheaper than parking for polluting cars. Westminster has free annual parking permits for any environmentally friendly vehicles.

Free access to emission controls areas

It was reported that 700,0000 cars now expect to face daily charges amid the expansion of the ULEZ area. Vehicles with a green number plate do not emit any emissions and therefore are exempt from the London ULEZ charges. It is a benefit that applies to all emission control areas.

Access to bus lanes

EVs with green number plates are now allowed to use bus lanes in several cities across the UK. Therefore, EV drivers are able to bypass traffic and enjoy a quicker, more efficient commute.

What other countries use green number plates?

Currently, Hungary, China, Canada and Norway all use green number plates to promote EV adoption. Whereas Spain has green number plates as a temporary measure. Drivers can use a green plate on their vehicle while they wait for its registration to be completed.

How to get a green number plate?

An approved supplier can supply you with green number plates if you own an eligible vehicle. It’s important to remember that they’re subject to the same rules and regulations as traditional plates. All you need to do is visit your local parts retailer with your vehicle logbook and identification to have your green plate retrofitted.  Alternatively, some private plate suppliers give you the option to have a green number plate delivered to you upon purchase.

In conclusion, green number plates are an important step towards promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. They serve as a visual symbol that helps to raise public awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles, such as lower emissions and reduced noise pollution. Overall, green number plates are a positive development that can help to create a cleaner and healthier environment for all.