1st December 2017

Your guide to 2017 motoring law changes

You may have had your licence for many decades, but 2017 has seen significant changes in the world of driving. If you’re looking to avoid fines, points and court appearances, here’s everything you need to know…

Driving tests
From Monday December 4, the practical driving test changes. Firstly, the length of the ‘independent driving’ section will double from 10 to 20 minutes. Learner drivers are also going to have to prove they’re able to follow directions using a sat nav.

Additionally, a new “show me, tell me” element will be introduced, with questions ranging from “show me where the fog lights are”, to “tell me how to check your brakes are working”. Some manoeuvres will be removed, such as reversing around a corner and turning in the road.

London’s Toxicity Charge
Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing dangerous pollution levels in the capital. From October 23, owners of classic petrol and diesel cars (or any registered before 2006) will have to pay an additional £10 when driving in London’s Congestion Zone, in addition to the current charge of £11.50.

EU Speed laws
Owners of vintage vehicles often choose to take their beloved motors overseas – to showcase them in shows or to experience new lands from the comfort of their favourite ride. From May 6 this year, anyone who is known to have committed a motoring offence while driving in Europe can now be brought to justice in the UK, with the DVLA notifying European officials of driver details.

These offences include:
•    Drink or drug driving
•    Mobile phone offences
•    Driving through a red light or in a forbidden lane
•    Speeding
•    Not wearing a seatbelt/crash helmet

Speeding fines
From April 24, anyone caught speeding faces a fine of up to 175% of their weekly wage (capped at £1,000 for minor speeding offences and £2,500 for major ones).

Mobile phones
As well as the obviously safety implications associated with using your phone while driving, law-breakers now face double the fine and penalty points if they’re caught out. Under the new rules that have been in place since March 1, motorists found using – or even touching – a mobile phone while driving will be issued with a £200 penalty and six licence points.

Child car seats
Not too many vintage car owners use their beloved classic as an everyday family car, but it’s highly likely children and grandchildren will enjoy a ride from time to time. If you don’t have the right seating, you face a fine of up to £500. Fresh laws in place since March 1 require any child under the age of 12, shorter than 125cm (4ft 10) and weighing less than 22kg (3stone 6.5 pounds) to travel in a backless booster seat. 

In addition to these rules, this year has sparked some changes to British road tax.

Find out how these may affect you with our guide to road tax for classics.