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Motoring News for January 2024

1. Changes in HGV Regulations

Starting from October 2024, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes must comply with new safety standards to operate in Greater London. These vehicles will need a three-star safety rating or a progressive Safe System. Additionally, HGV drivers are required to have a safety permit for London, which will feature a star rating based on the vehicle’s visibility. Non-compliance will result in a Penalty Charge Notice.

2. Fuel Duty Freeze May End

The fuel duty in the UK has been frozen since January 2011, with a basic rate of 52.95 pence per litre for diesel and petrol. This includes a 5 pence per litre cut granted until the end of March 2024 as part of the cost-of-living crisis measures. The Spring Budget 2024 will reveal if this freeze will continue or if changes will be made.

3. New Number Plates and Benefit in Kind (BiK) Rates

New ’24’ and ’74’ registration plates will be introduced in March and September 2024, respectively. Meanwhile, Benefit in Kind (BiK) rates will remain stable until the end of the financial year 2024-25. From April 2025, BiK rates will increase by 1% across all tax brackets, including those for zero-emission cars.

4. Electric Vehicle Incentives

Electric vehicles (EVs) will continue to be exempt from vehicle excise duty until March 2025. Post-April 2025, EVs will join the lowest tax rate, contributing £10 for the first year and then a standard rate of £165 per financial year. EVs will also remain exempt from the London congestion charge until 25th December 2025.

5. E-scooter Trial and Cardiff Congestion Zone

Transport for London’s e-scooter trial, which began in June 2021, will conclude in May 2024. This trial’s findings will influence the future use of e-scooters on UK roads. In Cardiff, consultations are ongoing for the introduction of a congestion zone aimed at reducing traffic and improving air quality.

6. Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate

From January 1, 2024, car manufacturers are required to ensure that at least 22% of their car sales and 10% of their van sales are fully electric. This mandate is part of the government’s plan to increase the percentage of electric vehicles sold over time, aiming for 80% by 2030 and 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

7. Eyesight Test Changes

Possible changes to the eyesight exam for driving tests are being considered. Currently, passing involves reading a number plate from 20 meters away. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is consulting a Medical Panel and gathering opinions on how to conduct these tests more effectively, possibly including different lighting conditions.

These changes reflect a broader shift towards sustainability, safety, and innovation in the UK’s motoring laws and practices, impacting both individual drivers and the automotive industry.


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