April 2023 driving law changes – Car tax charges, fines and more

UK motorists have already faced new driving law changes this year, including number plate changes, Highway Code updates and Clean Air Zones. Express.co.uk rounds up the latest new rules for April 2023 and the impact they’ll have on drivers around the UK.

Electric car parking fines

Electric car owners in Sheffield will face fines of up to £20 if they are found to be stopped at a charging station for too long.

From April 1, the fines will come into effect in the northern English city, with Glasgow also introducing a £30 fine.

The “overstay charge” is being introduced to ensure drivers aren’t taking up space and prevent other drivers from being blocked when needing to charge.

In one instance, a motorist left his vehicle charging overnight and received a fine of £123, when the charge was only supposed to cost £26.

Tesla already includes an “idle fee” on its Supercharger network, with drivers being charged if they overstay once their car is charged.

Motorists are charged 50p per minute as an idle fee, which rises to £1 a minute when the station is 100 percent occupied.

Some experts fear these changes may impact the popularity of electric vehicles, with drivers put off by the fines, rising electricity costs and the upfront cost of an EV.

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Car tax changes

New vehicle tax rates have been released ahead of the planned changes on April 1, 2023.

Compared to the last vehicle tax window, charges are increasing for almost all vehicles, with the exception of electric vehicles, which are still tax-exempt until 2025.

For petrol and diesel vehicles registered after the April 1 deadline, charges will rise, starting from vehicles in the 51 to 75 CO2 band, where drivers will need to pay £30, up from £25.

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The most polluting petrol and diesel vehicles – which fall in the over 255 CO2 band – will need to pay £2,605, a rise of £240 from last year.

For cars registered between March 2001 and April 2017, the highest income is again for the most polluting group of vehicles – band M.

Last year, drivers of these vehicles would have paid £630 or £661.50 through 12 monthly instalments. This has now increased to £695 and £729.75 respectively.

Drivers who are unsure of their own tax rate can visit GOV.UK/check-vehicle-tax for the technical details of their vehicle.

Council new powers

Drivers in Reading and Hampshire may be at risk of new traffic fines as the councils gain new powers to fine motorists.

Reading Council and Hampshire Council are set to gain new powers in “spring 2023”, allowing them to enforce “moving traffic offences”.

These fines can be as low as £20 and as much as £105 for late payment of high-level penalties. These include driving in a bus lane, stopping in a yellow bus junction or illegal U-turns.


In recent weeks, many drivers have called on the UK Government to take action against electric scooters, with thousands being available across the country through rental schemes.

On April 2, residents of Paris will be able to vote on whether 15,000 for-hire e-scooters will be able to remain on roads in the French capital.

The vote will ask: “Do we or don’t we continue with free-floating rental scooters?”

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