Buy an electric number plate today

With electric cars becoming more common, and sometimes difficult to tell apart from a regular car, is a number plate enough to decipher what you’re looking at? This becomes difficult when you realise that green number plates are not mandatory for every all-electric cars.

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Can you tell an electric car by the number plate?’

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration platemaker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D Plates, Show Plates, and regular / Electric Vehicle Plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a Private Plate, Gel Plate, Standard Registration Plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you require. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What is a green number plate?

What is a green number plate?

A green number plate, also known as an electric number plate, is a number plate which is exclusive to all-electric vehicles, although they are not mandatory. They are characterised by  a green band on the side of the number plate itself, when it comes to the lettering, they do not have any unique characters on the lettering of the plate.

Green number plates have the potential to be customised like a regular number plate. This means, they can have features such as…

  • Gel number plates (3D or 4D).
  • Various plate sizes.
  • Hex Plates

And much more.

Similarly, green number plates have the same rules regarding customisation as their regular counterparts. By visiting an established plate provider such as Bespoke Plates, you have the assurance of customising your plate up to the legal limit. Anything beyond this would result in your plate being a show plate, which is illegal to use on a vehicle.

What are the laws for a custom number plate?

A custom number plate is legal, as long as it follows the structure of UK number plates per the ‘BS AU 145e’ 2021 British Standard, (unless it is a private plate). Besides this, the plate must also have black characters against a yellow or white background.

Raised characters are permitted on a number plate, additionally there is no stipulation on the shape of the number plate, as long as the characters fit, and the plain yellow or white background is visible. This means that 3D and 4D number plates, in addition to Hex Plates, are perfectly legal custom plate options.

Aside from avoiding issues with the authorities, having a legal and maintained number plate will ensure that it isn’t a factor for a failed MOT.

Can you tell an electric car by the number plate?

Can a hybrid car have a green number plate?

In most cases, yes, you can tell an electric car by the number plate.

All-electric cars are the only cars that can have a green number plate. A green number plate is a number plate exclusive to vehicles that are zero emissions. Their distinguishing feature is a green band on one side of the number plate.

Interestingly, this number plate is not mandatory for all-electric vehicles, this means that an all-electric vehicle can use a regular private plate if they choose to. That being said, there is a possibility this may change in the future, so always check the rules before making a financial commitment to any customisation.

Green number plates, also known as electric number plates, have similar rulings as their regular counterparts, with the addition of them only allowed usage on an all-electric vehicle. Aside from this, there are no other additional specific rules.

This means green number plates can be customised to the same degree as a regular number plate. This can be customised into a gel plate, a Hex plate, and much more.

How else can you tell an electric car from a normal car?

The number plate is not the only way to identify an electric car. Other methods can include…

  • The sound of an electric vehicle is much quieter in comparison to regular petrol or diesel cars. They do not have the rumble of an engine, only a slight whirring sound.
  • Looking towards the back of the car is probably the easiest identifier, as every all-electric vehicle has no exhaust pipe.
  • All-electric vehicles have charging ports on their exterior.
  • Some car manufacturers will have badges or logos that directly identify a particular model as all-electric. They are usually located on the boot, or the front or back of the vehicle.
  • Of course, the name of the model in question can be a simple indicator, if you are familiar with car models, you can know instantly.
  • Depending on where you are, you can also quickly identify an electric vehicle. Such as a car park, if there is a car in a space for electric charging, it is safe to say it is either an electric vehicle, or a very inconsiderate driver!

How do the authorities check for an electric car?

In some situations, the authorities may not have the time to conduct a thorough or even brief inspection to ascertain if a car is electric or not. Luckily, they can use Automatic Number Plate Recognition, also known as ANPR.

This quickly delivers the car’s details via the number plate. If it is legitimate, it will come up with the car they are looking at, whereas if fake plates are being used, a different car model will turn up on the ANPR system.

Can I get a custom green number plate?

How Bespoke Plates Can Help You

Yes. Whether you want a standard green number plate, or a green number plate that has legal customised features on it, they are both available from legally recognised providers such as Bespoke Plates.

Bespoke Plates makes the hassle of getting yourself a brand-new number plate easy and efficient. This is regardless of whether you’re after a standard replacement number plate, or a gel plate. Here is the process.

By following these steps, you will also have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting your chosen plate, you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Decide if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

Installing through Bespoke Plates ensures the best service & secure installation for your number plate, along with guidance for any questions you may have.

Buy a green number plate today

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to obtain our stylish customisation options for your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘Can you tell an electric car by the number plate?’

We hope that we have provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates has all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates, you can talk to one of the members of our team by:


Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,


M8 8NN

discount popup bespoke-plates

Great! Use coupon code below at checkout for 5% discount