At Hutchings Vehicle Services, we pride ourselves on continuously learning, whether it is a more efficient method of keeping your vehicle running, for longer or gaining a new accreditation on the latest standards of vehicle care - we have a hunger for knowledge!
We just had to share these latest amends to legislation this year with you, as the longer you are safely on the road - the longer our services to you may continue! Here's all you need to know about what changes come into play in 2019.
The 2019 changes to driving laws that could see drivers risk fines and pay more tax.
This is the year to brush up on your Highway Code knowledge, as not staying up to date
could cost you. There is now a defined amount of space drivers must leave for cyclists when overtaking, or you could face a £100 fine.
The Highway Code says there must be at least 1.5 metres (4ft 11in) between the car and the cyclist, which is roughly the width of a car door. Those who fail to leave enough of a gap will face a £100 fine.
Penalties for breaking smart motorway rules have changed. Changes to smart motorway legislation could see drivers handed points on their licence for driving through a red X sign as well as a £100 fine.
Driving under a red X is already an offence which can result in a police prosecution.
Learner drivers on the motorway
In the summer of 2018, rules were changed to allow learner drivers to drive on the country’s motorway network.
Previously learners were banned from using Motorways, so we recommend extra caution is exercised should you see one on your journey.
Changes to MOT
New categories were introduced to the MOT last year and many cars will be assessed under the new approach for the first time in 2019. The new categories include:
Dangerous: A car deemed a direct or immediate risk to road safety or the environment. This leads to an MOT test failure.
Major: Could affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or affect the environment. Also a failure.
Minor: No significant effect on safety but must be repaired as soon as possible.
Advisory: An issue which could become more serious in the future
Pass: Meets the current minimum legal standards for maintenance and condition.
And in 2019, the MOT could see a further overhaul after the DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering Neil Barlow told Auto Express “it would make sense” for manufacturer safety recalls to be included in the tests.
The autumn budget revealed that drivers will see further changes to vehicle excise duty that will hit them in the pocket. This year, the VED rate will increase in line with inflation – affected both the first-year rate on new cars and the annual tax on all vehicles.
From April 1, the annual rate for all petrol and diesel cars registered after April 1 2017 will increase from £140 to £145 although the £10 hybrid discount will remain.
The first-year rates on new cars will rise in line with the retail price index, meaning increases of up to £65 for the most polluting models. The supplement on cars with a list price of over £40,000 will also rise to £320 per year on for five years. Owners of cars taxed under the pre-2017 regime will also see their tax increase by between £5 and £15.