Green Driver State Incentives in Delaware

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To encourage green driving practices, Delaware offers state incentives for eco-friendly drivers, companies, and municipalities. These auto incentives help stem global warming and could potentially save you time and money.

Note that such perks and laws, established to encourage DE drivers to go green, might change. Two additional resources worth keeping pace with are your local Division of Motor Vehicles branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Delaware Emission Testing Exemptions for Fuel-Efficient Cars

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles exempts the following fuel-efficient vehicles from emissions testing during first-time DE vehicle registration and registration renewal:

  • Vehicles manufactured in the current 7 model years.
  • Diesel-fueled vehicles manufactured before 1997.

Note that hybrids and electric cars are not exempt.

Even if your vehicle is exempt from emissions testing, you still might need to obtain proof of a safety inspection. If you have questions, contact any one of Delaware's four DMV offices that conduct safety inspections. For a full list of vehicles exempt from DE emissions testing, consult the state site or our Smog and Emissions Testing page. If your vehicle requires an emissions check, scroll down to the bottom of this page to find our widget for locating the nearest smog test center near you.

Auto Insurance Discounts for Eco-Friendly Driving and Green Vehicles

Some Delaware auto insurance providers offer insurance discounts for having green driving habits and/or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle. Consult your car insurance company about potential green vehicle discounts such as:

  • Hybrid auto discounts.
  • Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) discounts.
  • Economy car discounts.
  • Low-mileage discounts.
  • Pay as you drive discounts.

Insurance providers and individual circumstances dictate whether you're eligible for money-saving insurance discounts. For example, in some states you might be eligible for up to a 10% discount on car insurance for owning or leasing a hybrid car.

If your Delaware auto insurance falls short when it comes to eco-friendly driver discounts, compare auto insurance rates online and find one that suits your budget.

RideShare Delaware Reward Incentives

Delaware's Clean Air Council, in conjunction with RideShare Delaware, offers a Ride. Record. Reward! prize program to reward clean commuters who log their trips with a $25 gift certificate. Check out the Ride. Record. Reward! page for details on the prize program. 

DE Tax incentives for Green Vehicles

Owners of hybrid cars, electric cars and/or fuel-efficient vehicles might qualify for some of Delaware's tax incentives for eco-friendly drivers mentioned below. If you have tax-filing questions, always consider contacting a tax advisor, your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, or Delaware's Division of Revenue (DOR).

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption

Delaware waives taxes on alternative fuels when used to operate official vehicles for:

  • The United States government.
  • Any DE state government agency.
  • Volunteer fire and rescue companies.

To take advantage of this incentive as an operator or owner of vehicles that run on alternative fuel, you must obtain a special fuel user's license from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT). Otherwise, you'll have to pay the special fuel tax.

To avoid paying the special fuel tax as an alternative fuel retailer, you have to apply for and obtain a fuel supplier's license from DelDOT.

For specifics on these exemptions for the motor fuel tax, refer to Delaware Code (Title 30, Chapter 51, Subchapter II) or contact DelDOT.

Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Owners

Tax incentives for fuel-efficient cars aren't limited to the state level. Green Delaware drivers might also find IRS tax incentives for driving:

  • Electric cars.
  • Hybrids.
  • Plug-in hybrids.
  • Diesels.
  • Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).

To learn if you're eligible to save an additional amount of money, visit fueleconomy.gov.

Delaware Vehicle-to-Grid Energy Credit for Electric Vehicles (EVs)

If you have at least one grid-integrated electric vehicle (EV), you might be eligible to receive kilowatt-hour energy credits as a retail electricity customer. Delaware defines a grid-integrated electric vehicle as a motor vehicle that:

  • Is battery powered.
  • Allows for two-way power flow (between the vehicle and the electric grid).
  • Has communications hardware and software for externally controlling battery charging and discharging,

You'll receive the vehicle-to-grid credit for whatever energy your EV battery discharges to the grid at the same rate that you pay to charge your battery. For more on this, consult the Delaware Code, Title 26, Chapter 10, Section 1014g.

Delaware Idle Weight Reduction Exemption

If you operate a motor vehicle that has qualified idle reduction technology, you might be eligible for an idle reduction weight exemption. As long as you can prove the weight of the idle reduction technology, and show that it is fully functional at all times, your vehicle may exceed the state weight limits for the following by up to 400 lbs:

  • Gross weight.
  • Axle weight.
  • Tandem weight.
  • Bridge weight.

Note that any extra weight may not exceed the weight of the idle reduction unit. For more on this, refer to the Delaware Code, Title 21, Chapter 45, Section 4503f.

Propane Rebates and Discounts

Boulden Propane and SchagrinGAS Company offer incentives to those who use propane as motor fuel. The Alternative Fuels Data Center mentions that these are offered on a case-by-case basis. The AFDC also provides specific contact info for Boulden Propane and SchagrinGAS Company so you can directly connect with a staff member of each private company.

Transportation & Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States

Delaware participates in the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI). This is a collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions with the aim towards a clean energy economy, shrinking oil dependence, and reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. As an eco-friendly driver, you might be interested in TCI's efforts to enhance the environment.

Find a Delaware Emission Testing Center

If your vehicle is in need of a smog test, visit the nearest Delaware emissions testing location.

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