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Terrific and Terrible Tags

America's best and least-liked car tags

Andy Bolig - January 06, 2014 09:00 AM

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Delaware led the least-attractive license plates category in a landslide, with almost half of all respondents naming it one of their least favorite.

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Cheap, fast printing on vinyl has largely replaced prison-stamped metal in most states

Wyoming’s bucking bronco and Hawaii’s rainbow led the pack – but the least attractive plate was even more of a landslide.

License plates from Wyoming and Hawaii are America’s favorites and America’s most attractive license plate comes from Wyoming, whose 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. 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.

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.

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 as their least favorite slogan. Nothing else came close.

Respondents were asked about using special license plates to easily identify certain drivers.
• 49.4 percent support plates identifying drivers older than 70.
• 57.9 percent support plates identifying novice drivers.
• 59.8 percent support plates identifying those convicted of texting while driving.
• 69.1 percent support 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.

Methodology:
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.

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