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License plates from Wyoming and Hawaii are America’s favorites, says survey

Jan. 6, 2014 (Foster City, CA) -- America’s most attractive license plate comes from Wyoming, a new CarInsurance.com survey finds. Wyoming’s top-scoring plate features a silhouetted cowboy on a bucking bronco.

CarInsurance.com asked 2,000 licensed drivers from all corners of the country which standard-issue license plates they liked most and least, choosing five of each.  Voting continues at http://www.carinsurance.com/best-and-worst-license-plates.aspx.

Nearly a third of all respondents named the Cowboy State’s plate one of their favorites, and very few ranked it as unattractive. The top 10 plates were:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Hawaii
  3. Utah
  4. Alabama
  5. Oregon
  6. Maine
  7. South Carolina
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. Oklahoma

Delaware led the least-attractive license plates category in a landslide, with almost half of all respondents naming it one of their least favorite. The Delaware plate features gold lettering on a field of blue, but no images.  The bottom 10 were:

42. Vermont

43. Massachusetts

44. District of Columbia

45. Montana

46: New York

47. Virginia

48. Alaska

49. Michigan

50. Arkansas

51. Delaware

Women overwhelmingly liked Hawaii’s rainbow design. Men did, too, but not as much as they liked Wyoming’s cowboy.

“These plates are unique and uncommon, and their bright colors and graphic images are easily distinguished at a distance,” said CarInsurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups. “Great if anyone still plays The License Plate Game.”

Cheap, fast printing on vinyl has largely replaced prison-stamped metal in most states, leading to a profusion of options that states and organizations use to raise money for colleges and causes. While those affinity plates have become much more numerous, it’s still the no-cost, standard state plate that winds up on most rear bumpers.

“License plates used to be a calling card for your home state,” Toups said. “The best ones still are.”

In fact, 13 percent of respondents said a plate had inspired a vacation or relocation, citing Florida most often. The other plates that successfully encouraged vacations or relocations were Georgia, California, Hawaii and Alaska.

Respondents also chose their favorite license plate slogans. The top five:

  1. Alabama: Sweet Home Alabama -- 12.5 percent
  2. New Hampshire: Live Free or Die -- 10.1 percent
  3. Hawaii: Aloha State -- 5.6 percent
  4. Alaska: The Last Frontier -- 5 percent
  5. Florida: Sunshine State -- 4.6 percent

Drivers strongly disliked plates with only a Web address, such as California’s dmv.ca.gov. Of plates with slogans, they disliked the District of Columbia’s “Taxation Without Representation” most, with 12.5 percent voting for it. Nothing else came close.

Lastly, respondents were asked about using special license plates to easily identify certain drivers.

  • 49.4 percent would support license plates identifying drivers older than 70.
  • 57.9 percent would support license plates identifying novice drivers.
  • 59.8 percent would support license plates identifying those convicted of texting while driving.
  • 69.1 percent would support license plates identifying those convicted of a DUI.

The full article and survey results can be found at http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/favorite-license-plates.aspx.


CarInsurance.com commissioned a survey of 2,000 licensed adult men and women, distributed proportionately by region of the country. Each was given the option of five votes for most attractive license plate, then five votes for least attractive. States were ranked on net favorable minus unfavorable votes. The online-panel survey was fielded in October 2013.

About CarInsurance.com

CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.