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UK driving industry news for April 2024

April 2024 has been a bustling month for UK driving and car news, with several significant headlines capturing the attention of motorists across the nation. Here’s a summary of the key developments that have shaped the automotive landscape this month:

  1. Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate and Electric Vehicle (EV) Developments: A groundbreaking Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate requires UK automakers to increase the sale of electric cars and vans significantly. From 2024, at least 22% of car sales and 10% of van sales must be fully electric. Failing to meet these targets could result in substantial fines. This initiative aims to bolster the development of electric vehicles, with the government delaying the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles sales while ensuring supportive measures for both manufacturers and drivers (GB News).

  2. Introduction of New Low Emission Zones (LEZ): Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh will enforce new Low Emission Zones (LEZ) by mid-2024, with Glasgow including residents within its LEZ terms. Fines for non-compliant vehicles could reach up to Β£480 for cars and light goods vehicles (LGVs), and Β£960 for buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). However, grants of up to Β£3,000 are available to support the transition to cleaner vehicles (GB News).

  3. Lorries Over 12 Tonnes Must Meet Safety Standards in London: Starting from 28 October 2024, all lorries over 12 tonnes operating in Greater London must have a three-star safety rating or fit a progressive Safe System to continue driving in the area. Non-compliance will result in Penalty Charge Notices (PNC), emphasizing the city’s commitment to improving road safety (AutoTrader UK).

  4. Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) Updates: The longstanding freeze on fuel duty, in effect since January 2011, might come to an end. The Spring Budget 2024 is anticipated to reveal whether this freeze will continue or if adjustments will be made in response to the cost of living crisis. Moreover, VED rates have been updated, with increases across various emission bands starting from 1 April 2024. These adjustments are aligned with the Retail Price Index (RPI), aiming to keep the rates unchanged in real terms (Motor Hype) (Pete Barden).

  5. Cardiff Considers Implementing Its Own Congestion Zone: As part of its ‘transport vision’, Cardiff Council is exploring the introduction of a Congestion Zone to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and encourage public transportation. Although still in the consultation phase, the council aims for a cabinet decision by the end of 2024 (AutoTrader UK).

  6. New Car Tax Changes: The UK government has updated the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI), impacting car, van, motorcycle owners, and users of motorcycle trade licences. These adjustments are part of broader efforts to address the cost of living crisis while also ensuring motorists contribute fairly to public finances (Express.co.uk).

These headlines reflect a mix of challenges and opportunities facing UK motorists in 2024, from the transition to electric vehicles and enhanced safety measures to potential changes in tax rates. As the landscape of UK driving continues to evolve, staying informed about these developments is crucial for drivers and learner drivers across the country.

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