Green Fleet

California’s Carpool Lane’s Stickers Affect Vehicle Price

February 08, 2008

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California legislature’s decision to grant certain hybrid owners yellow stickers — known as clean-air stickers — has resulted in some of those vehicles selling for higher prices, according to the Los Angeles Times. Approved vehicles are given unlimited carpool-lane privileges.

The law initially granted this privilege to the Toyota Prius and two hybrids from Honda. However, the legislature, acting through the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Air Resources Board, wanted to encourage people to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles and issued 60,000 of these stickers. They then gave out an additional 25,000 stickers.

However, stickers are now turning up on the black market, being auctioned on EBay, and raising vehicle prices. A Prius with carpool-lane stickers on it now is worth $2,000 to $4,000 more than a Prius without the sticker, according to

The Legislature decided it would do the same kind of program for alternative-fuel vehicles, including compressed natural gas and all-electric vehicles. They granted a second class of stickers, known as the white stickers, for these low-emission vehicles. Last September, the Air Resources Board posted a list of vehicles that qualify for white stickers, including the Escalade, F-150, Silverado, Dodge Ram, and CrownVictoria. There are also Civics, RAVs, and Phoenix Lios, an electric vehicle, on the list.

The only problem with the new program: A Prius cannot get a sticker, while the buyer of a 6,000-pound truck can. Only 7,815 white stickers have been handed out so far.

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