New Driving Laws 2018 – Everything You Need to Know

With the arrival of spring, it is time to accept that changes are beginning to take place and as we await warmer days, we are keeping our eye on the new driving regulations. Motoring laws are always being revised but this year's changes will have quite an impact on drivers and learners. We have put together this handy guide of four key changes to ensure you are up to speed.

Tax Rises for Diesel Vehicles

Starting from April 1st new diesel cars (vans will be exempt) that produce more than 1.5 times of the allowed 80mg/km of NOx limit will move up on the tax bracket for the first year of tax. The decision has been made in line with the government's aim of reducing toxic emissions and promoting cleaner air. The government has advised that price increases will range anywhere from £20 - £500 depending on the make and model of a car.

New MoT Regulations

Another date for your diary is May 20th when the current MOT system will be updated for cars that are older than three years. The main change to note is the new classifications for vehicle faults which will fall into minor, major and dangerous. Any car that is found to have a major or dangerous fault will have to be left in the garage.

The upgraded rules will also mean it's more difficult for diesel cars to pass the MOT, especially where a diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been removed with no proof that it was for filter cleaning. Furthermore, if coloured smoke is emitted by the DPF a major fault will be awarded meaning an immediate MOT fail. There is some good news here though because as of this spring classic cars over 40 years old will be exempt from MOT testing.

Fines for misusing the motorway

Drivers misusing smart motorways by driving in the hard shoulder when it is closed and ignoring displayed speed limits will find themselves with a fine from Highways England.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras will soon be commonplace on Britain’s busiest roads as a way of controlling lane usage and reducing errant driving. Any driver captured on the roadside cameras will suffer a £100 fine and three penalty points.

Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways

The DSVA has finally announced that learner drivers will be able to practice on motorways, something that was previously illegal and lead to almost 86% of new drivers stating that they had no confidence to drive on the motorway. Currently, there is no set date as to when this will come into effect, but we do know that learners will only be allowed on motorways in the presence of an approved driving instructor in a dual control enabled car.