‘Green’ number plates meant for electric vehicles ‘can be illegally bought by petrol and diesel owners for just £20 due to checks loophole’
- Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched green number plates late last year
- The plates, on sale for under £20, give drivers free access to clean air zones
- But the AA has found major suppliers selling them without properly checking if customers’ cars qualifies
Motorists are being allowed to buy green number plates meant for electric vehicles without any checks on whether they are entitled to them, it has emerged.
In an embarrassing revelation for the government, some suppliers of the new style registration plate are selling them to drivers with diesel and petrol cars.
The plates were launched by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, in December as part of the government’s plan to meet net zero carbon commitment by 2050.
They have a green rectangle on the left side and are on sale for under £20, allow motorists free access to clean air zones and entitle them to cheaper parking.
In an embarrassing revelation for the government, some suppliers of the new style registration plate, introduced by Grants Shapps in December, are selling them to drivers with diesel and petrol cars without checking their documents
But motoring association the AA say they have found major suppliers offering plates without asking drivers to prove their car qualifies by handing out a V5C document.
According to The Telegraph, Show Plates Express, one online supplier of the green plates, says: ‘You don’t need to send us your V5C or similar documentation when you order replacement plates from us.
‘This saves you substantial amounts of time and money and means you don’t have to worry about your essential paperwork being lost in the post.
‘Another great reason for choosing us over our competitors is that you don’t even need to leave your front door to order your plates, which are up to 50 per cent cheaper than high street counterparts.’
The plates have a green rectangle on the left side and are on sale for under £20, allow motorists free access to clean air zones and entitle them to cheaper parking
When MailOnline checked the company’s website the section on ‘No need to send documentation’ appeared to have been removed.
It is believed this illegal trade is part of a wider issue in the industry of companies allowing criminals and others to clone vehicle registration numbers to avoid being caught by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (APNR) cameras.
A legal loophole for plate outlets is said to exist by registering their business abroad t that enables them to disregard UK laws requiring checks on ownership.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, described the finding as ‘extremely worrying’.
He added that if number plate companies were able to continue selling green number plates to petrol or diesel motorists then there could be a ‘Wild West situation on our hands’.