One in three drivers unsure of what ‘green’ numberplate means

Almost one third of drivers (31%) don’t know what green number plates represent, more than six months after their introduction, according to a new AA survey of 14,719 drivers.

Six in ten (63%) did correctly state that the green slash on the numberplate indicated that this was a zero-emission vehicle.

The new numberplates were introduced in December 2020. Younger drivers were more likely to correctly identify this (74% of 18-24 yr olds) compared to the over 65s (58%).

Drivers in Wales (59%) and Northern Ireland (54%) were least likely to give the correct answer, whilst those in London, perhaps due to the high density of EVs, were most likely to get it right (66%).

Of the 6% who gave an incorrect answer the most popular misconceptions were:

  • 274 people said it denotes being allowed to park in green zones
  • 53 people thought the driver was an Irish National
  • 36 people said it meant the driver was a member of the Green Party
  • 35 people said it meant the driver voted Brexit.

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

“However, I think these plates will become a more common site 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.

“To encourage a faster uptake, incentives must remain in place to reduce the purchase price of EVs and home chargers. Radical moves like cutting VAT on certain EV models would also speed the uptake.

“The AA is fully prepared as the number one breakdown provider for EV drivers with more trained patrols to work on EVs, an innovative towing solution that gets EVs quickly to a charging point and comprehensive EV insurance which covers cables.”

Image: Shutterstock

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