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Construction Update: Keeping ahead of the latest UK driving laws

Thursday 6th July
Construction Update: Keeping ahead of the latest UK driving laws

Business drivers have faced a lot of change in 2023, and there is more to come. Here’s a quick update regarding the new traffic rules for 2023 and what they mean for your business.

29 August 2023: Greater London Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion   

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) currently operates in central London and is expanding to cover all boroughs. The new rules mean that ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year (except for 25th December). If your vehicle does not meet emission standards, driving within the expanded ULEZ area from 29 August 2023 will cost your business a daily charge of £12.50 (including residents of ULEZ). Use Transport for London’s vehicle checker in advance to check whether your car meets the ULEZ emission standards.

August 2023: Heavy goods vehicles (HGV) levy reinstated  

The suspension of the HGV levy until July 2023 (due to the pandemic) applying to all heavy goods vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes stops at the end of July 2023. The levy charged for road wear and tear is being reinstated, and freight companies will once more be responsible for paying the HGV charge.

Scotland’s pavement parking ban: Due in 2023  

The introduction of Scotland’s 2019 ban on parking on pavements and dropped kerbs, which was delayed by the pandemic, is due this year.  It has been widely reported that this ban is due to be confirmed before the end of the year, so it’s one for drivers to watch. 

Current Highway Code rules state that any vehicle with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes (including any trailer) must not park on a verge, pavement or any land between carriageways without police permission.   

Hands-free driving – is it still legal?  

Hands-free access is allowed for those operating with voice command, a Bluetooth headset, a windscreen mount, or built-in sat navs.

It’s still illegal to hold or use your phone, sat nav, tablet or any other device that can send or receive data while driving. This also applies to stationary vehicles sitting at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, or supervising a learner driver.

Motorists caught holding their devices while driving can face a £200 fine and six penalty points on their license. According to, the only exceptions are if you’re safely parked, making a contactless payment at a drive-through, or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency.  

0% Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) until 2025: For electric vehicles 

Electric car owners will continue to have the advantage of 0% VED (Vehicle Excise Duty, otherwise known as “road tax”) until 2025.

From April 2025, however, electric cars registered before the 1st of April 2017 will start paying Vehicle Excise Duty. Electric vehicles registered after April 2025 will remain in the lowest £10 tax bracket for the first year, then move up to the current standard annual rate for petrol and diesel cars.

The new driving laws can be found in the latest edition of The Highway Code

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This note is not intended to give legal or financial advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon for such or regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. In preparing this note, we have relied on information sourced from third parties, and we make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein. You should not act upon information in this bulletin nor determine not to act without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. We and our officers, employees or agents shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever arising from the recipient’s reliance upon any information we provide herein and exclude liability for the content to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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