New Driving Rules Changes in 2023 to be Aware Of

The UK government is coming up with a new set of driving rules every year to ensure road and driver safety. For 2023, there are several driving rules changes aside from the ULEZ expansion, new number plates, and fuel duty changes.

Expansion of the ULEZ in August

The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone or ULEZ was created to reduce emissions in London’s most polluted areas. Introduced in 2019, it has already been expanded to cover all the roads located within the North and South Circular. Its next expansion is set to commence in August 2023 and all of London’s 33 boroughs will be included in the zone by then.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is confident that the expansion will be a big help in improving the city’s air quality.

The ULEZ expansion is expected to affect drivers of vehicles that do not meet emissions standards. Every time they go through the ULEZ, they will have to pay a £12.50 charge.

The scrappage scheme

To make things easier for those who will be affected by the 2023 ULEZ expansion, Mayor Sadiq introduced a scrappage scheme estimated to cost well over £100 million. It aims to help qualified Londoners get ready for the ULEZ expansion. Applications will be accepted starting January 30 of this year, the scheme’s launching.

New number plates for vehicles

UK residents always get new vehicle plates twice a year.

For the March 2023 new plates, new vehicles can be registered with a “23” plate. For September 2023, new vehicles will each be given a “73” plate.

New fuel duty rates

The fuel duty rates cut that started last March 2022 is set to end on 23 March 2023. Last year’s cut saw rates drop by 5p for every litre. An increase has been speculated but no details have been given for the increase although the Office for Budget Responsibility has hinted at a possible 12p rise.

Levy payment for heavy goods vehicles

A levy for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that weigh over 12 tonnes will be applied by August 2023. The levy was implemented in 2014 but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment will help cover road damage.

Ban on pavement parking

Scotland’s pavement parking ban, which was originally approved in 2019 but set aside because of COVID-19, will be finally set in motion. This year, parking on pavements and dropped kerbs will be prohibited in Scotland to encourage better accessibility.

London already has a ban in place but plans include a ban extension covering the rest of the UK.

No specific date has been set, however, for Scotland.

0% VED for electric vehicle owners

Drivers of electric vehicles that were registered from April 2017 will be paying a VED or Vehicle Excise Duty starting April 2025. EVs that will register past April 2025 will be charged with a minimal VED – around £10, before the standard rate of £165 will be implemented. An additional charge of approximately £355 will be charged to EVs above the £40,000 mark.

In the meantime, EV drivers won’t have to pay anything from 2023 to 2024 while petrol and diesel vehicle owners are charged at least £165 (minimum).

Why these new rules are important

The UK’s commitment to implementing new road and driving rules and regulations is an essential factor in the fight against air pollution, which has become more dangerous than cigarette smoking, HIV and AIDS, and drugs and alcohol addiction. Thousands of early deaths year after year are caused by heavily polluted air.

It does not help that vehicles emitting excessive levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) are still on UK roads even after numerous carmakers have been implicated, fined, and brought to court for emissions violations. The 2015 Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal where the Volkswagen Group was caught using defeat devices to illegally lower emissions levels during testing started everything.

The defeat devices are programmed to sense when a vehicle is in regulatory testing, which is when they artificially reduce emissions levels to within the safe and legal limits implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO). The low emissions, however, are only true during testing because once the vehicles are on the road; their NOx emissions are way above the EU and WHO legal limits.

NOx emissions destroy vegetation, trigger mental health issues, and affect cognitive abilities. Its health impacts are life-changing: asthma, breathing problems, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. The most dangerous impact is premature death.

Volkswagen and all the other carmakers, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, and Vauxhall, lied to their customers by selling the vehicles as clean, safe, and emissions-compliant when they were not. Defeat device-equipped vehicles are heavy pollutants and are a major reason why the UK’s roads are engulfed in high levels of NOx emissions.

What is my diesel claim about?

Authorities said carmakers involved in the diesel emissions scandal should be held responsible for their illegal actions. You can receive compensation if you bring forward a diesel claim against them. However, before you bring them to court, you have to first visit to verify if you are eligible to file a claim.

Once you get all the information you need, you can start your diesel claim with the help of emissions experts.