There are some big legal changes coming this year, changes that road users should be aware of in order to avoid fines and keep their vehicles running safely.
Several of these new laws are being introduced as a response to Brexit and an increased focus on protecting the environment, but some have simply been put in place to ensure that cars are roadworthy.
Here are 5 of the changes which are likely to come into effect this year:
Pavement parking ban
While there is no definite date by which it will take effect, there are plans to roll out a pavement parking ban across the country. Such a scheme has been active in London since 1974, but there has been significant resistance to the idea of a blanket ban, which may delay any action.
To add to the contentious nature of the proposal, nearly 10,000 people spoke to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for guidance on parking tickets last year, and the RAC is pushing for legislation to protect motorists from opportunistic parking enforcement agencies. It’s likely that these issues would have to be resolved before legislation can be formally introduced.
More low emission zones
A popular solution to the problem of rising pollution, Low Emission Zones and Ultra Low Emission Zones are set to become a part of life for more city dwellers and commuters throughout 2020.
London introduced its first ULEZ in April last year, and both Leeds and Birmingham are confirmed to be implementing the system this year. Other cities, including Newcastle, Derby, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Cambridge are also conducting feasibility studies and consulting residents with a view to enforcing their own ULEZ.
Driving permits for the EU
The UK may be finalising the withdrawal deal with the European Union, but there is still some uncertainty about what motorists wishing to drive across the continent will be expected to carry with them.
For now, we’d recommend keeping a copy of your V5 with you, as well as buying an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the post office as a precaution.
Updates to the MOT
The new MOT classification scale includes ‘dangerous’, ‘major’, ‘minor’, and ‘advisory’. As well as this adjustment to reporting, the MOT will now be making checks on the following for the first time:
- Daytime running lights (for vehicles made after than March 2018)
- Reversing lights (for vehicles made after September 2009)
- Contaminated brake fluid
- Under-inflated tyres
- Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs
Changes to car tax
Vehicle excise duty has already increased by £5 (in line with inflation) for most drivers, but there are more price hikes still to come.
For a start, owners of high emission cars will be charged an extra £15, while those with diesel engines that fall below the new RDE2 emission standards will be hit even more severely. Anybody who buys a new car could also face an additional charge of £65 for their first year of car tax.