From stricter fines and penalties to ultra-low emission charging zones, we take a closer look at some of the law changes that will impact motorists during 2021, including the brand new green registration plate.
Important Disclaimer: Please only use the information in this article as a guide. To the best of our knowledge and based on the research carried out, we believe the content in this article to be accurate at the time of writing and uploading to our website. We recommend carrying out your own research and consulting with the appropriate authorities for full guidance on law and regulation, the DVLA, TfL or gov.uk, are good sources for information.
End to MOT Extension Period
Last year, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, introduced an MOT extension due to the impact of Covid19. Any vehicle requiring the services of a motor trade MOT technician between 31 March and 31 July 2020, had a six-month period or grace which expires in January 2021.
ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zone – October 2021
These new ULEZ pay zones originally planned for 2020 will be located in and around major cities like Bath, Birmingham, London and Oxford. The zones will trigger another form of congestion charge upon entering if you do not drive a ULEZ approved vehicle.
Motorists, including the members of the transport and motor trade industry, will have to pay a fee to enter these zones if driving a vehicle emitting high emission levels. The zones have been introduced to try and reduce high levels of pollution in certain areas and to help the government reach their ambitious climate change target.
You are exempt from the charge when entering a ULEZ riding a moped or motorcycle, driving a minimum standard Euro 6 (diesel), a minimum standard Euro 4 (petrol) or an electric, hydrogen or low emission vehicle. You can use the Transport for London (TFL) vehicle checker before entering a zone to see if your vehicle is exempt from the charge.
Green Number Plates
To help identify and promote vehicles with zero emissions, they will now be fitted with a visible green stripe or flash on the left side of the registration plate. Incentives like discounted parking and free entry into lower emission zones will also be available to these vehicles.
Mobile Phone Penalty
The loophole that prevented prosecution for using a mobile phone to take videos or photos while driving has now been amended. Now, if you are found holding a mobile phone or sat-nav for any purpose at the same time as driving, you could be fined up to £200 and have six penalty points added to your driving licence, which in turn, will probably have an impact on the cost of your motor insurance policy.
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Autonomous Vehicle Features
The age of the autonomous car is most definitely here, from the innovative and EU approved ‘Automatic Lane Keeping System’ (ALKS) to the ‘Intelligent Speed Assistant System’ (ISA).
If the evidence is all positive from experiments carried out during 2020, ALKS, designed to keep vehicles driving in lane automatically at low speeds, and the ISA alerting drivers when travelling too fast, will be available features to drivers of new vehicles in 2021.
The speed limiter can be over ridden, if overtaking for example. In 2022, speed limiters will be made mandatory in all new cars.
The cleaner efficient vehicle fuel otherwise known as E10 within the motor trade industry, is due to be introduced to consumers on service station forecourts sometime during 2021. This new petrol significantly reduces the output of carbon emissions, with the impact the same a removing 350,000 vehicles off the UK road network.