While the past 16 months have gone by, jumping from one lockdown to another, your road usage would have decreased dramatically. You may not be aware of the law changes that have been made since the start of the pandemic as it wasn’t relevant to your current lifestyle. Here are 6 key things to be aware of so you don’t get on the wrong side of the law this summer.
1. Smart Motorways
I’m sure most of you noticed the steady roll out of smart motorways prior to COVID-19, but did you know that it’s illegal to drive in a lane which has a red X sign overhead?
Doing so may leave you with a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points on your license. Plus, stronger penalties will be issued in more dangerous cases.
The 6-month MOT extension was a delight to hear during the lockdown period, and reduced drivers' pressure to get them done while garages weren’t even open. Although this period has ended, there were updates made to the MOT defect categories in 2020 and additional vehicle checks were made compulsory.
Under inflated tyres, contaminated brake fluid and brake pad warning lights were added to the checks, with newer cars required to have their reversing and daytime running lights checked.
If you’re driving without an MOT, this could land you with a fine of up to £1,000.
Check out MotorEasy MOTs here for as little as £30!
3. Clean Air Zones
2021 has and will see more ‘Clean Air Zones’ introduced in major UK cities with high emissions, making it more appealing to invest in an electric or low-emission vehicle. Driving in these zones will require you to pay a daily fee if your vehicle does not fit into the no/low-emission category.
Some examples of these locations are Birmingham, Oxford, Bristol, Bath and Leeds.
4. European Driving
Brexit meant that driving in the EU changed for Brits. If you plan to take a trip abroad, you’ll need a green card, a GB sticker on your numberplate, and your logbook. The card will show whether a vehicle is fully insured and you’ll be able to obtain them through your insurance provider.
If you purchase a MotorEasy Car Warranty, your vehicle will be protected wherever you are in the EU for up to 60 days.
5. Stricter Phone Penalties
Using a mobile phone when driving has always been illegal, but there were loopholes that drivers could use to get out of prosecution. Previously, if the driver was taking photos or videos then they wouldn’t face any issues. However, the law has changed and any driver that is caught holding their phone or navigation system while driving may face a fine of £200 and 6 points on their licence.
As a driver for 2 years or less, 6 points or more will mean your license is revoked and you will have to apply for a provisional license and take both practical and theory tests again.
6. Green Plates
If you’re one of few who owns an electric or zero-emission vehicle, you’ll be able to purchase the new green number plate. They were introduced to promote green vehicles to the public, and those who own the vehicles are given privileges such as cheaper parking and not being made to pay the fee in ‘Clean Air Zones’.
If your EV’s manufacturer warranty has expired, then check out a MotorEasy warranty. We even created the UK’s first direct EV warranty to include drive battery protection!