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MOT and Driving Law Changes of 2018 You Need to Know. New Driving Laws in 2019

driving law changes - signs

Brush up on your knowledge of the driving laws in the UK as of 2018. There have been lots of changes made, from relaxing certain MOT rules to tightening up emissions laws, tax increases and all sorts. Are you ready to take on the highways of the UK in 2019? Read on to find out what you missed first time round.


MOT changes: stricter emissions and no test for historic vehicles

mot test
Here are our top picks from the MOT changes made on 20th May 2018:

  • Cars over 40 years old don’t need an MOT
    From now on, all cars that are over 40 years old no longer require an annual MOT test for roadworthiness. This rule continues on a rolling basis, too. Which means, any cars first registered in 1978 no longer needed an MOT test – in 2019, this will apply to cars first registered in 1979 and so on.
  • Diesels are public enemy number one
    At least, they are according to the government which made emissions tests even harder to pass for diesel engines in 2018. Any visible emissions from a diesel vehicle also makes for an automatic MOT fail.
  • New defect categories for MOTs
    The new defect categories are designed to be more specific and understable. Immediate test failures are caused by ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ faults, followed by ‘minor’ and ‘advisories’, which are recommendations for further maintenance to the vehicle.



Learner drivers on the motorway

learner driver on a motorway with an instructor
From 4th June 2018, learner drivers were allowed to take motorway driving lessons for the first time. This is with an approved driving instructor only. Previously, this could only be done after you had passed your driving test. It’s a welcome change as more and more drivers use the motorways every year.


Hazard perception tests improvements

potential hazard on the road while driving

The latest updates to hazard perception tests for aspiring new drivers feature a wider range of weather conditions. Online videos, which the candidate must watch and click a mouse to in order to indicate they have seen a hazard developing, were previously all shown in clear daylight.

New videos feature:

  • Fog
  • Low light
  • Night driving
  • Rain
  • Snow and ice
  • Winds and crosswinds

To get a feel for the new hazard perception videos, take a look at the taster below.

Driving in snow

Driving in rain

Driving at night

From late 2018, these videos will apply to motorcycle hazard perception test and lorry, bus and coach tests from early 2019. The pass mark will not change and neither will the scoring system.


Car tax in 2018

car keys
From 1st April 2018 the way Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) was worked out for new cars changed drastically. The radical overhaul sends a clear message that the UK is moving towards electric cars in the coming years. The new rules apply to cars only – so no vans or commercial vehicles – and only if the models don’t meet Euro 6 emissions tests.

Currently, no diesel cars meet RDE Euro 6 standards. For example, a Ford Focus diesel with 99g/km CO2 has increased from £125 to £145. Bigger gas guzzlers, like the Range Rover Evoque, with 153g/km CO2 have increased from £315 to £830. Even hybrids are harder to tax in the first year of ownership with the hybrid version of Nissan’s Qashqai going from tax-free to the same price as the Ford Focus above, thanks to its identical CO2 per km travelled score.   


New UK Driving Laws in 2019

brexit photo
In other news, the only certainty in December 2018 is that Brexit is making everything quite uncertain. Take, for instance, the rights of UK drivers in the EU. If a no-deal Brexit happens in March 2019, UK drivers may require an international driving permit to drive in European countries. The permits cost £5.50 and can be purchased from large post offices.

Scotland is also introducing a drug driving limit in early 2019. Which is rather sensible of them. Roadside testing will allow police to check drivers’ levels of prescription and illegal drugs and they can prosecute if found to be over a specific drug driving limit.

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