Some assholes in California are stealing the HOV stickers off hybrid cars, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The stickers allow solo drivers to use the HOV lanes if they’re driving in a clean-fuel vehicle. The California DMV recently stopped giving out stickers with newer hybrids and is reporting two to three dozen requests a month for replacement stickers.
Someone put an offering on eBay in February seeking $10,000 for an extra set of carpool stickers sent mistakenly by the DMV (there were no takers and the ad was removed).
USA Today reported earlier that in the used car market, hybrids with the HOV stickers were selling for $4,000 more (based on a Kelley Blue Book sampling of 30 cars) than those without. The stickers are valid until 2011, making the cost of less stressful commuting $1,000 a year. (Or roughly 11 tickets for carpool lane violations.)
Virginia uses special clean fuel license plates. It’s a little bit more noticeable if you’re stealing someones plates. HOV lane benefits for clean fuel are being phased out here.