The DVLA have recently introduced new rules and laws for drivers and failing to be in the know could land you with hefty fines or even points on your licence.
One of the major changes to the law will see drivers be able to tow trailers up to 3,500kg. without taking a prior test.
The new law comes into effect within two weeks on November 15 and will impact anyone who passed their car driving test from 1st January 1997.
Beside this change, here are six other changes made to driving laws in 2021 you may have missed, including changes to number plates and stricter penalties when using a mobile phone.
- Driving licence change
Drivers are being urged to check when their license expires and those who fail to renew their license could be fined £1000.
The DVLA extended driving licenses for 11 months amid coronavirus restrictions.
Photocard licences which expired between February and December 2020 were extended and deemed valid, but this extension ran out last month.
So, if your license has since expired you could face a fine of up to £1,000.
- Number plate change
Under previous rules, every driver in the UK needed to have a GB sticker on their car, unless they had a number plate bearing the initials.
But according to new rules, a sticker or magnet will no longer be valid and will have to be replaced with a UK one.
Drivers are now required to have a UK sticker if their number plate has a GB identifier with Union Jack, a Euro symbol, a national flag of Scotland, Wales, England or numbers and letters.
Those with GB on their plates have to order a new sticker or new number plate with the UK designation.
Scots are still able to travel abroad with number plates displaying the Scottish flag, but only if they have also placed the new sticker on their vehicle.
- Stricter penalties for using mobile phones while driving
Rules for use of phones while driving have also been tightened.
Previously, there was a loophole which meant people could get away with using their phones to take photos or videos at the wheel.
But now, you could be fined £200 and issued six points on your licence not just if you’re texting or calling behind the wheel but if you are caught holding your phone or sat nav while driving.
The term ‘holding’ also includes scrolling through social media or trying to find that perfect song or playlist.
- Speed limit changes
A number of speed limit changes has been introduced in Scotland.A series of roads around the country will see speed limits decreased to 20mph.
This change comes after evidence showed that 20mph zones made neighbourhoods both safer and greener.
The lesser limit has been introduced in some villages and towns across Scotland as well as on roads in Edinburgh.
- Use of E10 fuel
E10 fuels have been rolled as a greener option as these fuels have lower levels of carbon monoxide and are capable of reducing transport CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year.
But you need check if your vehicle is compatible with the fuel by using the government’s online E10 checker. It’s important to check because engines that aren’t compatible with E10 fuels could be damaged if used.
- Speed limiters to become mandatory in new cars
Speed limiters are set to become mandatory in all new cars by 2022. This new technology will alert drivers if their vehicles are going too fast, and can even intervene if you continue to drive over the limit.
The limiter can be overridden in some circumstances like overtaking.