Driving law changes in March – number plates, fuel duty and more
A number of motoring law changes have already been unveiled this year including Clean Air Zones, vehicle registrations and scrappage schemes. Express.co.uk rounds up the latest motoring rules to be introduced for March 2023 and their impact on drivers.
Number plate changes
From March 1, 2023, drivers across England, Wales and Scotland will see the rollout of the new “23” number plate registration.
This will be the first licence plate change of the year, with the “73” number plate being introduced in September.
In 2022, two new plates were launched, the “22” in March and “72” in September, as is now standard practice.
The number plates have to adhere to a number of specifications and requirements to be road legal.
Motorists are also being warned not to change or purposefully obscure their registration plate.
If a driver does this, they could be handed a fine of up to £1,000.
Motorists could also see new car prices drop around the date, with data suggesting that costs could drop by as much as 16 percent.
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the Spring Budget for 2023 would take place on Wednesday, March 15.
Motorists will have a keen interest in the speech in case the Conservatives announce any car tax changes, electric vehicles and fuel duty.
Ahead of the Statement, electric car campaign group FairCharge has set out a six-point action plan to keep the electric revolution on track.
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Quentin Willson, motor journalist and founder of the FairCharge campaign, said: “If we’re not careful the UK will claim last place in the race for global investment and become the land of diesel-driving dinosaurs.
“The Chancellor should use the Spring Statement to make a generational commitment to the future of UK electrification to create investment confidence for the industry, increase energy security, and help clean up our urban air.
“Cutting VAT on public charging is essential. The Treasury is disadvantaging drivers by forcing them to pay four times the rate of VAT simply because they don’t have a driveway.”
Among the six points, Mr Wilson highlighted how the Government needs to implement a ZEV mandate, deliver chare point funding and continue rolling out infrastructure at local levels.
In the 2022 Spring Statement, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p per litre cut to fuel duty to help drivers struggling with petrol and diesel prices.
This was to last 12 months, with the current cut ending on March 23, as drivers will set their eyes on Mr Hunt to see if their fuel will get more expensive or if he will continue the cut.
Much to the anger of drivers, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted a 12p per litre fuel price hike for March.
Driving test examiners are due to strike for 10 days from March 6, with millions of learners across the UK being affected.
James Armstrong, CEO at Veygo said: “Over the past few years, learners have had various knockbacks, including extensive backlogs and delays to both lessons and test dates, with some areas of the UK still facing up to 24 weeks wait to take their practical test.
“These strikes will no doubt be another knock for learners, particularly early in the year when learners may have hoped to secure their pink licence and make the most of driving in the year ahead.”
On February 16, the Department for Transport quietly extended the deadline for the end of the MOT consultation. It was originally meant to come to an end on February 28, but the Government extended the consultation closing date to March 22, 2023.
The Department for Transport is seeking views on potential updates to MOT tests to ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance costs on motorists.
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