Be Sure, Know the Law: Everything you need to Know about the New Driving Laws 2018

With new driving laws introduced in the beginning of 2018, you may be wondering, how will they affect me? Keeping up to date with these changes can be a challenging task and should you break the regulations, you could be faced with a large fine, driving ban or in the worst-case scenario, imprisonment. With that in mind, we thought we’d make things easier for you to ensure you’re driving safely on the roads and avoid breaking the law!

Changes to Road Tax

High polluting vehicles are of course, bad for the environment. As a result, in April 2018 the government introduced new car tax regulations with the aim of reducing the number of these vehicle on the roads and in turn improving air quality. So, what does this mean? Unfortunately, it’s not good news for diesel drivers. Road tax has now increased for new diesel vehicles bought on or after 1 April 2018.  But, all is not lost. The good news is, these charges will only apply for 1 year – and we can’t complain if we’re helping the environment, right? It is also worth noting, if you’ve been considering buying a flash new car, you will have to pay more taxes if the vehicles costs £40,000 or more, regardless of fuel type.

Changes to MOT

It is, yet again, bad news for diesel drivers (sorry folks!)  Changes were made to MOT regulations in May 2018, which has resulted in lower amounts of acceptable emissions levels. In simpler terms, if your vehicle has a high level of emissions, it may fail the MOT. If your car is fitted with a diesel particulate filter for example, it will automatically fail the test if it emits visible smoke. If the filter has been removed or damaged, it will also result in a MOT failure. For those that own classic vehicles, there is some good news! Vehicles over 40 years old and which were registered in or before 1978 no longer require a MOT certificate. This is because statistics suggest that classic vehicles are well maintained and looked after, obviously because they are worth a lot of money, and therefore they are less likely to be in an accident or fail the MOT test when compared to newer vehicles. Vehicles are also required to undergo more vigorous testing which include checking break discs. There are three new categories which have been introduced when calculating results, these are minor, major and dangerous. If your vehicle falls within either the major or dangerous category, it will automatically fail. Any vehicle which receives a minor result will pass the MOT and the minor faults will be noted on the certificate.

Changes to Motorway Laws

As of the 4th June 2018, learner drivers can drive on the motorway if they are accompanied by their driving instructor and are at an advanced level, meaning they are close to being able to take their test. Before this change, driving students were unable to drive freely on the motorway until they had their license. This change was introduced in hope that it would improve motorway knowledge of new drivers, resulting in fewer accidents.

Other Changes to look out for

  • It is rumored that new regulations to stop motorists driving on lanes that are closed on the motorway will be coming into effect at some point in 2018. Although this is already an illegal offence, it is often ignored. This new law will result in perpetrators receiving a fixed penalty if caught – the likelihood of being caught is high as the offence will be monitored by the same cameras that monitor speeding.
  • We could see the introduction of digital driving licenses according to Utility Saving Expert.
  • New drivers could face the prospect of being banned from driving at night for up to two years after passing their test. Statistic shows that more accidents happen in the evening and involve recently passed drivers. This legislation is therefore designed to safeguard new drivers and help prevent accidents until drivers are more confident on the roads.




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