The reason why some cars have green stripes on their number plates

Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps visits Halfords in 2020 to introduce the scheme
Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps visits Halfords in 2020 to introduce the scheme -Credit:PA

Many vehicles on Britain's roads now feature a green strip on their number plates.

Positioned to the left of the numbers and letters, this vertical green band, which was introduced in December 2020, has become a widespread sight.

Although optional, the green band was launched as a means to help local authorities identify zero-emissions vehicles for the purpose of rolling out potential incentives.

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Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commented at the time of the introduction that the decision to include a green "flash" on number plates was to "show people that a greener transport future is within our grasp". The green stripe was released simultaneously with proposals for exclusive perks designed to make the prospect of transitioning to electric vehicles more enticing.

Owning a green number plate makes it easier to take advantage of local government initiatives such as cheaper parking and free entry into zero-emission zones.

The use of green number plates will also make it easier for local authorities to create new initiatives for electric vehicle owners, so more benefits may well become available in the future. There's no need to worry if your electric car doesn't have the green band: ANPR cameras can verify a car's status.

Plus, the plates are 99% recyclable and more environmentally friendly than traditional acrylic plates.

Adding the green band to a number plate costs £18 per plate at Halfords. To get one, drivers must present the V5 logbook and proof of vehicle ownership to showcase their eligibility.

The government stated: "As part of the government's plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, drivers will be encouraged to make the switch to electric vehicles through the introduction of green number plates. The plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive them."

At the time, Housing and Planning Minister and former parliamentary under-secretary in the Department of Transport, MP Rachel Maclean, declared: "We are going further and faster than any other major economy to decarbonise transport, improving air quality in our towns and cities in the process and harnessing the power of clean, green technology to end the UK's contribution to climate change by 2050.

"Not only will green number plates raise awareness of the increasing number of cleaner vehicles on our roads, they could also unlock a number of incentives for drivers. It's clear there has never been a better time to make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle."

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