Thursday 15th March 2018
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new driving laws 2018

This year will see the introduction of new changes to our driving laws with regards to our driving licences, road tax, new drivers and scrappage schemes. Some of these may affect you or someone you know, so it’s well worth checking them out so you are aware. As you know last month we discussed in depth the changes to your MOT tests coming up however, from next month there will be more introductions coming into force, so we thought we’d go through each of these step by step.

Starting from April 2018

  1. The new digital driving license is on the way, however it will not to replace the existing photo cards, but rather seen as an addition. Those of us may remember the photocards coming into action back in July 1998 to run alongside the paper copies at the time. The paper copies were then abolished on the 8th June 2015. Well, this change see’s the new digital driving license being installed on your phone as like most of us a phone is an item always carried with you and there’s more of a chance at the roadside the police can run a quick check. So, the debate is will photocards eventually have their day? We’ll need to watch this space. Last year they tested the new feature on various devices including Apple, and from April it looks like the decision has been made with new digital licenses being issued.
  2. This month will also see the introduction of a tax increase to diesel vehicles. This will mean higher tax charges. As the emissions are higher for diesel cars than petrol, then the increases will be directly linked to higher emission standards. If your diesel vehicle emits between 151-170g/km of CO2, then you could be paying £800 in tax based on this new 2018 law coming into effect.
  3. The new MOT test categories come into play. To summarise there will be 3 new categories checked against the road standard of your vehicle. These are ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ and ‘minor’. If your car receives a dangerous or major notice then it will automatically fail, however if receive a minor it can still pass, but will be stated on your test certificate. Find out more here.
  4. A new law for classic cars allows any vehicles that are over 40 years old to be exempt from an MOT. The old law states that if your classic was registered between 1960 to 31st December 1976 then you would still require to provide an MOT test pass, but wouldn’t need to pay. Prior to 1960 you wouldn’t need an MOT and would just need to have applied for a vehicle tax exemption, however the new law states that if your vehicle is over 40 years old then you won’t need an MOT. Statistic show that vehicles over 40 years old have a lower accident and MOT failure rate. This won’t apply to HGV’s, or buses with 8 or more seats.
  5. Motorway law changes are coming into effect where driving in a closed motorway lane will now automatically generate a fixed penalty. Cameras are now set up to catch out the motorist who seeks to drive in a closed lane. Sometimes, the hard shoulder can be opened to ease traffic and in this case this is fine, however any lanes including the hard shoulder that are not advertised as open will trigger the camera alerts.
  6. Trading in your diesel vehicle will mean increased savings in 2018. As the government is really trying to clamp down on diesel emissions, they have now created even more incentives to trade in your diesel vehicle if it was registered before 2010. The savings could now mean £2000 off for cars and £7000 off for vans. There is also new EU legislation stating that in the near future some diesel vehicles could be banned from the roads altogether. Even though Brexit is looming the British Government are still taking seriously the findings made by the EU and see diesel vehicles as a main contributor to polluting the air, especially in the main cities. Diesel SHOCK coming up:well worth a read here.
  7. New drivers will be banned from driving at night up to 2 years from passing their test. This is to allow the new driver to gain more experience on the roads first. In the past, the law was declined as some drivers needed their cars to get to and from work at night. However, statistics show that new drivers are more prone to accidents and many of these occur during this time.
  8. Learner drivers must also be taught on motorways as part of their test. They must be accompanied by a DVLA driving instructor who have the ability to operate dual controls in the vehicle. Driving on the motorway can be quite a nervy experience when first passing their test and accidents can occur by the new driver when setting off on the motorway. Gaining experience during lessons will help the new driver gain confidence on the motorway.

What’s your thoughts on these new laws? We would love to hear your comments below:



£800 for any vehicle is just a joke.
It was these MP's that advised us common folk to buy diesel's due to exhaust emissions, and now they want to rob us all again. Robbers!.

The £800, I believe, is for new vehicles and only in their first year. After this the cost would drop to £140/year.

Why not give a grant to owners of diesel vehicles to convert them to run on Bio-fuel??? After all that was what a diesel engine was originally designed to run on.

Who encouraged people to buy diesel cars in the first place? The government. Now that so many of us have them they massively increase the tax. It was well known decades ago that diesel engines produced high levels of particulates but government was not worried about that until recently and self-serving hypocrites like Sadiq Khan jumped on the bandwagon to look caring.It's hard not to interpret this as a pose. Personally I have never owned a diesel car because of the smell, but I sympathise with those who do and think that this is a cynical and all too predictable squeeze on the motorist. Why not tax gambling and payday loan companies more instead - they are a scourge on British society?

its always been about tax revenue,as mentioned above, it was the government that advised people to use diesel over petrol in the first place and they actually punish diesel users if they try to use alternative bio fuels. All haulage vehicles are diesel powered, lorries ships and narrowboat engines.Diesel was also a bi-product of refining oil so what will happen to all this "waste" fuel if people don't use it? They should have been giving it away rather than adding duty to it. Governments and oil companies have been getting away with this con for decades. also on the subject if the authorities were so concerned about the green issue why are we not all on hydro powered other non-polluting fuels now when the ozone layer was already being reportedly being destroyed in the 1980"s? the official advice at the time, was that the additives used in diesel, actually made it cleaner than petrol.

Sick to death with government changes,change this ,change that,they told us to buy diesels.
What are India going to do? emissions there then?

I've been advising all of my friends and family members for about three or four years now - not to buy a Diesel when they change cars, maybe now they'll listen due to the new taxation levels and the thoughts that Diesels may be banned from Cities altogether in the near future (especially London).

Lol.. what are they going to do in the middle of winter, it gets dark at 16:30 and gets light at 07:45. How will they get to work and get home? Their employer will not be happy new drivers turning up late and going home early.

Living in the Outer Hebrides and during winter it's dark at 15.30 and it can last until after 09.00 the next morning. What are our young drivers to do?

Apart from it getting dark early and late in the Hebridies, what can we do as there are no motorways on these Islands.

I think that a ban on night driving by new drivers is a very poor decision. Learners need to get experience of night driving, initially supervised by a qualified driver, as necessary for any "learner" driving. For some, 2 years may represent 20,000 miles of driving, and for others, next to nothing, so time is not a useful indicator of driving experience. If nanny state strikes again, maybe a night time test would be much more appropriate.
Would we expect a newly qualified foreign driver, with a full license from their own country, to be banned from driving at night in the UK? Time to think again on this one.
Both I, and all my children, had our first driving experience on (quiet) public roads at one minute past midnight on the day of our 17th birthdays, though we'd all had plenty of clutch, brake, steering control etc. experience on private land beforehand.

I'm all for any move that will get diesels off the road. Having followed too many diesel vehicles, I've always known how bad they are for the environment, so removing them from our roads sounds like a positive move forward to me. I'm a fan of the Green party either.

What idiot thought of this? Have they any idea how early it gets dark in the winter?

"The new rules only apply to cars, not vans or commercial vehicles, and the extra cost is only payable for models that don't meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards when tested on the RDE new real-world emissions regime. At present no new diesels conform to the RDE standards, so the extra fee will apply to all new diesels sold"

So older diesels are not affected.

What do people in Cornwall and most of Scotland do where there are no motorways? Would someone from Penzance have to drive to Exeter (about 300 miles round trip) for a test? Or someone in John O'Groats have to drive to Perth for a test?

Driving ban at night for 2 years after passing test is a stupid law and will not be obeyed so how will it be enforced. Only when an incident occurs, no matter who's fault it was. I am 75 so have nothing to gain from this opinion just to highlight stupidity.

I went to London in October 2017 with my Motorhome for the weekend. Four weeks later got a £500 ticket. If i did not pay within 14 days it would go to £1000. Sick as a dog. Be careful .

So a new driver can have lessons at night with an instructor or qualified driver with them...then no driving at night when they pass the test?

Aircraft pilots have to pass additional tests to fly at night. So additional training could be appropriate.
I have always considered that new drivers should be taught to operate the vehicle in a safe off road area before being launched into traffic situations.
New drivers should be confident in operating the "machine " before being allowed on the road.

I run on LPG 99% of the time with no Emissions, but I still pay the same road tax as the petrol only version

So are newly qualified lorry drivers, bus and coach drivers, fire appliance drivers, ambulance drivers or even police drivers being banned from driving at night? Has this been thought it through?

It’s not New diesels that are the problem it’s older diesels and petrol cars, buses, lorries, trains, boats & heavy plant with older engines.

After I passed my test, my first experience of driving on the Motorway was actually the least nerve-wracking, because the road is often straight, and bends are often wide, with traffic flowing in the same direction, I find motorway driving the easiest part of any journey, so long as you understand "keep left unless overtaking", which sadly, so many "experienced" drivers ignore.

People learn to drive and take a test to gain their freedom not to have restrictions imposed on them. With regard to motorway driving, Its a good idea to have your instructor teach you how to use motorways correctly. When I passed my test over 30 years ago I actually asked my teacher to then take me on the motorway and teach me how to use it properly. There are many 'experienced' drivers who could do with a lesson. Not getting up to motorway speed using the slipway, filtering onto the inside lane when joining (not putting your foot down and heading straight for the outside lane!), not sitting in the middle lane oblivious to everyone else....... I could go on!

I own a diesel car (my first actually). I bought it new in 2006. Previously I had petrol cars and was constantly filling them up, as petrol doesn't appear to get you as far as diesel.
I currently pay around £30 a month, which lasts me around 400 miles (including urban driving). Since owning a diesel, I've never had problems with the car starting in winter either.
I'm dreading going back to petrol, as I know I'll have to at some point - back to expensive fill-ups and car not starting in winter.

The people most affected by diesel pollution would be bus drivers, H.G.V. drivers and taxi drivers as they sit in the alleged pollution for 8 hours a day. They all also have to pass regular medicals to prove their fitness to drive. Has anyone thought of using all this medical data from the most exposed groups to see if their lungs are all collapsing or they have a higher level of all the conditions allegedly caused by this pollution. For all the above drivers that I know who have been driving for years only the ones that smoke 40 cigs a day have a cough...

I had to use a diesel engine car for my job which involved visiting hazardous sites where the high voltage petrol ignition system could cause an explosion. The car also did nearly double the miles per gallon compared to the petrol engine version, so the real pollution was far less. This 'ban the diesel' is just political posturing.

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