As we fast approach the beginning of spring, many are looking forward to getting their classic back out on the road again. In preparation, we’ve put together info on some of the new driving laws being implemented in the coming months, to help you stay up to date.
Using your mobile phone is banned
It is now illegal to use your mobile phone behind the wheel under any circumstances other than an emergency phone call.
This may seem obvious, but there was previously a loophole which only penalised drivers who used their phone for ‘interactive use’. This meant they could still technically use their phones to take videos or photos – or even play games.
However, the new law specifies that if any driver is found caught using a mobile phone under any circumstances, they can now be fined up to £200 and get six penalty points on their license.
You can read more on mobile phone laws on the government website here.
There will be charges for driving vehicles with high emissions in Clean Air Zones
After a delay to government plans, due to coronavirus, both Birmingham and Bristol are set to implement Clean Air Zones (CAZ) this year. This will mean that those driving vehicles with high emissions will be charged to use their vehicles in the specified areas.
A Clean Air Zone has come into force in Bath this month, while the CAZ in Birmingham will be implemented on 1st June 2021. Likewise, there are plans in place to introduce CAZ in Bristol by 29th October.
There are also proposals to pilot a Zero Emission Zone potentially in Oxford this August, while London’s current Ultra Low Emission Zone will be extended to form a larger, single zone.
You can read more on the government website here.
E10 fuel to be introduced in September
As part of the UK’s movement toward a greener future, this year. The new type of fuel is more environmentally-friendly, as it contains up to 10% bioethanol (a renewable energy source); this is hoped to reduce UK transport carbon emissions by approximately 750,000 tonnes each year. However, it is a concern for classic owners, as it’s not suitable for cars manufactured before 2002.
For those who own classics or older vehicles, standard unleaded E5 fuel will still be available across the UK, and each fuel type will be marked clearly to help avoid any accidents when filling up!
You’ll now need a green card to drive in the EU
*Please note that the information in this article may no longer be accurate due to changes to the green card rules for British drivers in the EU. You can find the most recent information on green cards here.
For those planning on driving in the EU in the future, you will now need to carry a green card to show that your vehicle is insured. We know we’ve reported on this before, but it’s helpful to remember you may need to allow a good month ahead of your trip to get this in place.
You’ll be able to obtain a green card from your insurer. If you are a Heritage policyholder, you can also contact us and we can ask your insurer on your behalf. One green card applies to each vehicle, so you’ll also need a separate green card if, for example, you are towing a trailer.
It’s important to note that digital green cards are not accepted, so you’ll need to carry a printed version with you – although you don’t have to use green paper!
We’re sure that you’re looking forward to getting on the go once again. In the meantime, it may be useful to get up to date on the laws listed above, so that you’re fully prepared to get out in your classic when it’s safe to do so. We’ll see you on the road!
For any questions on your insurance, please contact a member of the team on 0121 248 9229.