Third of drivers don’t understand what a green number plate is for

·2-min read

UK motorists remain confused by green number plates, with a third unsure as to what the registrations are used for.

The government introduced ‘green number plates’ in December last year as a way of highlighting zero-emissions vehicles, with the optional plates featuring a green flash at the side to highlight if a model is an EV.

Though plenty of electric car owners are choosing the green plates – and some are legally retrofitting them to older EVs – a survey by the AA has found that almost a third can’t recognise what the plates are for.

Of the 14,719 respondents, 66 per cent could correctly identify what the plates were for, while six per cent gave an incorrect answer.

Misconceptions included 35 people thinking the plates were used to highlight that a driver had voted for Brexit, with 36 believing it was a sign that they were a member of the Green Party. Elsewhere, 53 thought it signalled the driver was an Irish National, while 274 thought it offered greater parking flexibility.

The results also highlighted the regional disparity in understanding for the plates. Those in London (66 per cent) were the most likely to identify what the marks were for, with residents of Northern Ireland (54 per cent) the most likely to give a wrong answer.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The fact that one third don’t know the meaning of a green number plate didn’t really surprise me as many people either stare at my green plate or have asked me about it.

“However, I think these plates will become a more common sight as it is projected that electric vehicles will make up a quarter of new car sales in 2025.

“These plates indicate there is now a growing range of cars that are going electric and send out a message that this is becoming the new normal.”

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