How Driving Regulations Will Be Altered in 2023
As we move into a new year, there are a number of new driving rules and regulations that motorists in the UK need to be aware of. These changes are aimed at improving air quality, reducing emissions, and making our roads safer for all users. Some of the new rules are nationwide, while others are area-specific, but regardless of where you live, it's important to stay informed to avoid potential fines and penalties.
One of the most significant changes is the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover all 33 boroughs. First introduced in April 2019, the ULEZ is designed to tackle air pollution in the capital by charging drivers of older, more polluting vehicles to enter the zone. From August 29, 2023, the ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, and non-compliant vehicles could face a daily charge of £12.50. However, exemptions will apply to residents parked inside these zones that don't drive.
London is not the only city introducing clean air zones. Other cities like Manchester, Tyneside, Sheffield, and Glasgow are all launching or have already launched similar initiatives to combat air pollution. In Tyneside, charges for vehicles that exceed emission standards were introduced in January 2023 after launching the clean air zone in October 2022.
Sheffield will implement a Class C clean air zone on February 27, 2023, which will charge between £10 and £50 per day for non-compliant vehicles. Glasgow will also tighten restrictions for its Low Emission Zones to include all vehicles from June 1, 2023, with non-compliant vehicles facing a fine of £60.
In addition to the expansion of clean air zones, there are other changes to speed limits and fuel duty rates that drivers need to be aware of. From September 17, 2023, speed limits on most restricted roads in Wales will be cut from 30mph to 20mph to improve the safety of residential and pedestrian areas.
Meanwhile, UK fuel duty rates were temporarily reduced by 5p for 12 months to help households manage rising fuel prices and other costs. However, this reduction will end on March 23, 2023, and fuel duty rates are due to return to normal. There are also plans for fuel duty rates to increase by 12p per litre in March, although this will be subject to government confirmation in the Spring Budget on March 15.
Finally, there are changes to Benefits in Kind (BiK) for company cars. Employees who are furnished with a company car must pay a BiK contribution, which is a form of company car tax. To encourage the transition to electric vehicles, the government has frozen BiK rates until April 2025, which means that there will be no increase in BiK rates for company cars until that time.
Overall, it's clear that there are a number of important changes that drivers need to be aware of in the coming year. Whether you live in London or another part of the UK, it's important to stay informed about these new rules and regulations to avoid potential fines and penalties. While some of these changes may be inconvenient, they are all aimed at improving air quality, reducing emissions, and making our roads safer for everyone.