A simple guide to help understand what green number plates mean for UK roads


There has been a shift towards making sure that cars are becoming greener, but now, so are their number plates.

It has recently been announced, that zero-emission vehicles will have the option of being rid of the traditional, somewhat boring, number plate, and adding an exciting green fleck to your battery, or hydrogen-powered cars.


What is the reason behind the green number plates?

Okay, so the green number plate isn’t a sign of a secret society, or special club…

Well, sort of.

The real reason behind differentiating these number plates it to easily spot vehicles with zero emissions, in an effort to help normalise clean cars on the road – while also informing other road users.

So, in some ways, it is a club – for owners of zero-emissions vehicles, you’ve caught us.

But this will be an optional add-on for these drivers, and only available to those who are fully zero (tailpipe) emissions. Pretty much, if you drive a full battery-electric or Hydrogen fuel-powered car, then you will be able to don this impressive green number plate.


What will green number plates look like?

You may be imagining a fully green number plate, which is easily identifiable. But the reality is, that you’ll have to look a little harder to find it.

But not too hard, obviously – the new plates will feature a green flash on the left side of your number plate, on both the front and back (if you desire).


Where can you find out whether you are eligible for a green number plate?

Chances are, you will probably know whether you have a zero-emissions car – just a hint: if you put either diesel or petrol in, to help power you along, you won’t be able to get one. Sorry.

But for those people, who aren’t quite sure. Let us explain.

When you registered your new zero-emissions car, you will have seen that your Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C) will display its fuel type as ‘Electric’.

Unfortunately, if you drive a hybrid car or other such green-er alternatives, you will not be eligible for the new green number plate.


Will the green number plates cost anything?

Currently, the new scheme is encouraged, but not mandatory – so at this point in time, it will not be free for owners of zero-emission cars and vehicles.

If you would like to proceed with the fitting of these plates, then it could cost you up to £38.

Or alternatively, £19 for the front or back plates.

These can be bought at a number of distributors across the UK, for your nearest number plate supplier, click here.



The introduction of the green number plate from 8th December 2020 onwards will be another, in a long line of steps towards becoming carbon neutral in the UK, before the 2030 deadline.

The ambition, for these plates to act as an incentive for people to make the switch towards electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, is something the Department for Transport hopes will catch on amongst all drivers – will you be getting a green number plate?

Time will only tell whether this happens, but this is an exciting step for zero-emission drivers.