Six major driving law changes this April from VED car tax rise to parking and MOT update

British motorists are set to face a raft of driving law changes in April with half a dozen rules coming into effect this month.

The most concerning update comes in the form of higher fees with increased car tax Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) charges set to hit almost all petrol and diesel owners while parking rates are also on the up.

Changes to EU driving licence rules and a major French car insurance update could see expats lying abroad caught out.

Those travelling to top tourist destinations such as Australia, Canada and Turkey could be affected under fresh DVLA International Driving Permit plans.

Meanwhile, a simple tweak to the MOT testing rules could also impact road users towards the end of the month. breaks down all the changes and when they are coming on stream.

Car Tax Vehicle Excise Duty changes – April 1

The biggest update for British drivers in April is undoubtedly the rise in VED car tax rates. According to HMRC, fees will rise in line with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation on April 1 with almost all petrol and diesel owners set to be affected.

The highest increase is for owners of brand new models which produce a whopping 255g/km of CO2 with first-year rates rising £140 from £2,605 to £2,745.

The standard rate for cars built after 2017 will jump from £180 to £190 while the Expensive Car Supplement for models valued at over £40,000 will also rise to £410.

For cars registered between 2001 and 2017, VED fees will vary depending on how much pollution a car emits but the highest increase will be £40.

Meanwhile, older cars built before 2001 will see up to a £20 increase in their annual charges. Electric and low-pollution cars are still exempt for one more year with these owners set to be charged for the first time from April 2025.

DVLA International Driving Permit – April 1

Motorists looking to travel to over 140 countries may be unaware of major DVLA changes this April. International Driving permits (IDPs) are no longer available at The Post Office with the passes instead on sale at PayPoint stores.

IDPs are not needed in most European countries but destinations such as the United States and Mexico will require visitors to have one. IDPs are also needed for longer stays over 90 days in countries such as Norway, Slovenia and the Philippines.

EU Driving Licences – April 1

British expats living in Norway have been alerted to new driving licence changes coming into effect from the start of April.

Norwegian road administrator, Statens vegvesen, has included the UK in a list of European and non-European nations set for updates to driving licence exchanges.

They said: “We draw your attention to the fact that changes have been adopted to the regulations on the exchange of driving licenses from countries outside the EEA. The adopted changes will apply from 1 April 2024. You will then be able to apply again according to the new rules.” (sic)

French Car Insurance changes – April 1

Meanwhile, British expats living in France are set for their own major rule change as the Government axes car insurance windscreen cards. Like the UK’s former tax discs, French drivers have stuck a ‘carte verte’ in their windscreen as proof of a car insurance policy.

The scheme is going digital with around 900,000 motorists driving illegally without insurance in the country. From April 1, drivers will receive a Mémo Véhicle Assuré (MVA) which will contain all relevant details about a policy. This can be stored inside a vehicle or digitally on a smartphone.

Parking Fees – April

Parking charges are set to change across several London boroughs from April with combustion owners most affected.

Petrol and diesel motorists in Tower Hamlets will now pay £184 for a 12 month residents parking permit compared to just £36 for fully-electric models. Lambeth has also made changes with standard rates increasing across the board from April 1.

The borough’s diesel surcharge fees are also up meaning some owners will pay a whopping £15.431 per hour to park in Waterloo. Meanwhile, Westminster Borough will be withdrawing the current concession for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids from April 8.

MOT Certificates – April 29

Motorists will no longer receive a paper MOT pass certificate under new updates from April 29, 2024.

Pass certificates will only be issued electronically with customers able to see their MOT result online as soon as the exam is completed.

However, MOT fail certificate will still be awarded to road users for now but this is likely to go digital in the near future.

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