UK motorists

Five significant changes are set to make their way into UK motoring laws in 2018. Here’s how to avoid the penalties and fines and remain squarely within the law.

MOTs are Changing

May 20th sees changes to the MOT test come into force. Firstly, any diesel car that has its Diesel Particulate Filter removed or tampered with will instantly fail the MOT. High definition headlamp bulbs (an aftermarket part) are also set to be outlawed. Reversing lights will also begin to be tested and required to be fixed if found to be out of order.

Cars over 40 years old will now be exempt from the MOT test, too. The current system of advisories will be scrapped in favour of minor, major and dangerous faults. A minor will replace a current advisory and a dangerous fault will mean that the car cannot be driven away until the fault is fixed.

Learner Drivers Allowed on the Motorway

For the first time, learner drivers will be allowed on the motorway. Instructors are encouraged to take new learners out onto motorways for additional training and familiarisation. However, motorway driving will not form part of the driving test.

Penalties for Misuse of the Hard Shoulder

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have been introduced on major motorways and these are capable of monitoring misuse of lanes by drivers as well as speed infringements. If you use the hard shoulder when there is a clearly signed red ‘X’ above the gantry, this camera will issue an automatic penalty to your address. With a £100 fine and three points riding on it, every motorist would do well to keep a beady eye on the smart motorway displays.

Driving Test Changes

Satnav navigation is now part of the test, whilst reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvers have been removed. Candidates will also be asked to complete a simple task, such as demonstrate how to demist the windscreen, the operation of the wipers, fog lights or similar.

Children’s car seats

All children under 15 months old must now travel in a rear-facing seat. All children must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall. New models of booster seat (a backless seat) are still only suitable for children taller than 125cm or weighing over 22kg. High-backed seats will be supplied with a guide explaining how to lower the seat belt so it is level with the child’s shoulders.

Universal Tyres have over 90 years of experience providing MOTs, servicing, repairs and tyre-fitting to customers in London and throughout Southern England. We are proud to offer comprehensive motoring services, including a free tread depth check and expert advice as standard. If you are considering replacing your tyres for winter, or purchasing winter tyres specially for the colder months, contact a member of our knowledgeable team, who will be happy to help. You can even visit one of our many branches to receive your FREE tyre check!