Eight new driving laws to be introduced in 2024 including older driver and car tax rules

Eight new driving laws to be introduced in 2024 including older driver and car tax rules

Motorists will be hit with a string of new rule changes in 2024 with major updates across the board.

Elderly drivers could be targeted with the DVLA looking into the introduction of new medical checks while manufacturers will also be forced to comply with strict new electric car targets.

The introduction of Low Emission charging zones, updates to DVLA services and new number plate rules are also among the 2024 changes.

2023 was a major year for road users with the introduction of 20mph speed limit in Wales, new pavement parking rules and Rishi Sunak delaying the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban.

Express.co.uk looks at the biggest updates set to hit the roads over the next 12 months.

Driving licence – January

British expats living in Portugal could be caught out by new driving licence changes within days. British motorists living in Portugal are currently able to use their UK licences until the end of 2023 under EU rules.

However, only motorists who are able to meet certain conditions can continue to use their UK licence from January 1.

This includes those under the age of 60 whose driving licence photocard has not expired and their licence was issued or renewed within the last 15 years.

To qualify, road users can only drive vehicle categories A and B and must not be disqualified from the roads. Those not meeting the criteria will have to exchange their licence with the Portuguese Institute for Mobility and Transport (IMT) by March.

Electric car – January 

Manufacturers will have to follow strict new Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate rules from the start of 2024 as the country slowly phases out combustion models.

Companies must make sure at least 22 percent of new cars sold in 2024 are completely zero emission. These targets will slowly increase until it makes up 80 percent of new cars by 2030 and 100 percent in 2035.

Brands will face strict penalties for not complying with the rules with fines of £15,000 per car and £9,000 per van.

Earlier this year, SMMT chief Mike Hawes explained: “The industry is investing billions in decarbonisation and recognises the importance of this mechanism as the single most important measure to deliver net zero.

“Delivering the mandate will challenge the industry, despite the flexibilities now included to support pragmatic, equitable delivery given this diverse sector.”

Car tax changes – April

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have confirmed that Vehicle Excise Duty rates will rise with the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation from April 1.

The increase could see owners of the most polluting vehicles forced to pay over £100 more to stay on the roads.

The Government claimed the inflation increase means rates will remain “unchanged in real terms”. But, they have admitted the changes “will impact on motorists owning a car, van or motorcycle”.

Number plate changes – March 

New number plates are introduced twice every year in March and September and 2024 is no exemption.

The DVLA will launch their new ‘24 plates’ on the market this Spring with the ‘74’ designs to follow later in the autumn.

DVLA services – March 

Motorists will still be able to access DVLA services at Post Offices across the UK in 2024 after a new deal was struck in November. The new contract will allow Vehicle Tax and Ten-Year Renewal products to be sold until March 31, 2025.

The Post Office has confirmed this could be extended to March 31, 2027, but this will be decided at a meeting with the DVLA after each year.

However, International Driving Permits (IDPs) are not included in the new deal and will only be sold until March 31, 2024.

New Low Emission Zones – June

Three Scottish cities will introduce strict new Low Emissions Zone charges from 2024 in a bid to tackle climate emissions. The schemes were launched back in 2022 but a two-year grace period means charging will not begin until June 2024.

The new scheme will completely restrict polluting models from driving on streets inside the LEZ with Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) issued to those who cross the threshold.

Motorists entering the zone with a non-compliant vehicle will be slapped with a £60 fine, reduced by 50 percent if paid within 14 days. However, vehicles for people with disabilities and Blue Badge holders will be given an exemption and will not have to pay fees.

The new project is expected to cause some disruption in Edinburgh which could affect journeys into the Scottish capital this spring.

Edinburgh Council warned: “Before June 2024, we will make some changes to roads, traffic signals and pedestrian crossings to improve the flow of road users around the city centre.”

New HGV safety rules – October

Transport for London (TfL) will introduce a “world-leading” HGV safety standard on the streets of the capital.

From October 28, all HGVs over 12 tonnes will be required to have a three-star rating or fit a Progressive Safe System (PSS) of vehicle safety measures.

A three-month grace period will be offered meaning enforcement of the rule will not properly begin from 2025. TfL claims the update will reduce the level of risk to road users including pedestrians and cyclists.

Elderly drivers – 2024

The DVLA closed its consultation on the future of driving licence applications for those with medical conditions on October 22.

The consultation asked whether it would ​​”be appropriate for the individual customer to pay for medical investigations” instead of the DVLA. Future thinking has also considered the use of AI technology to help make decisions and the use of more in-vehicle technology.

Although the consultation looked at motorists across all ages with medical conditions, motorists above the age of 50 make up the vast majority of cases

No new rule changes have yet been outlined but a report looking into the findings will be expected in 2024.

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