Going green: number plates get a makeover

Zero emission vehicles fitted with green number plates in an effort to raise awareness and encourage more drivers to consider them


Green number plates hit the road for the first time this week (8 December 2020) as part of the Government’s plans to hit net zero emissions by 2050. 

The hope is for green number plates to help incentivise ownership of zero emission vehicles by enabling local authorities to plan and introduce measures to benefit owners of zero-emission vehicles, including cheaper parking and free entry to zero-emission zones. 

The new number plates can be retro-fitted to any vehicles that emit no CO2 from the tailpipe, including cars, vans, buses, HGVs, taxis and motorcycles. The plates have a green strip on the left side and can be combined with the Union flag and any allowed national identifiers.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “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.”

This news was first announced in June after a consultation with the public, local authorities and industry stakeholders, who all gave their input on how best to introduce the green plates.

Similar plates are also used in Canada, Norway and China to incentivise ownership of green vehicles.

It’s been announced that £12 million of funding is available for research into the zero-emission market, for developing more environmentally-friendly vehicles and more efficient charging. 

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a greener car before the 2035 ban on new diesel and petrol cars, take a look at our eco-friendly car comparison tool. You can compare your current car to a clean car to see the stats and how much money you could save if you switched.

Need some help deciding on a greener car? No problem, check out our bumper guide to finding the right green car.

Great car insurance options for the whole family