Tag Archive: laws

  1. Driving in the EU after Brexit – Our Advice

    Leave a Comment

    Of all the areas of the law that may affect us in the UK after Brexit, one you may never have considered is changes to driving regulations within the EU. While currently we can drive from the UK to other EU countries, after Brexit there may be changes to the way we enter countries outside of our own.

    Changes to the driving license requirements for all UK drivers after Brexit

    Although currently you can drive anywhere within the EU as long as you have a valid UK driving license, when driving abroad from 29 March 2019, all drivers heading outside of the UK may need a different international driving permit (IDP) to drive abroad.

    This permit will ensure that you are legally able and allowed to drive on non-UK roads, and may form part of the documentation needed for border crossings.

    If the UK leaves the EU under a “no deal” Brexit, extra documentation may also be required for any UK citizens travelling to another European country. Currently the exact documentation required has not been explicitly revealed, but it may include your passport or another form of official ID.

    Driving in the EU as a UK driver after Brexit

    After Brexit there are a number of legal requirements that you may need to take into consideration before heading off in your car to the EU from the UK.Add a GB sticker to your car

    Add a GB sticker to your car

    If you have  GB signifier on your registration plate, you are already covered. However, if your number plate simply has an EU national identifier, you may need to add a GB sticker in order to show that your registration is a UK one.Ensure you are insured

    Ensure you are insured

    The motoring Green Card is your motor insurance evidence, used in countries outside of EU and the Green Card-free zone (including Switzerland and Serbia). In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK may leave the Green Card-free zone, meaning you will be required to carry your Green Card in order to prove your motor insurance is valid.

    Keep your vehicle registration documents handy

    If you’re travelling outside of the UK for less than 12 months and the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may be required to carry your vehicle registration documents with you. Read this page on vehicle registration documents to find out more.

    Are you a bus, lorry, goods vehicle or coach driver?

    If you drive between the UK and the EU for work, there is specific information available to you to help understand what may be needed after Brexit. The UKGov website has specific pages relating to drivers who travel between the UK and the EU for work, so please check out the official information for more:

    What to do if you are a UK national living in the EU

    According to the UKGov website, if you are a UK licence holder living in the EU or EEA you should exchange your UK driving licence for a local EU driving licence before 29 March 2019.

    If you don’t exchange your license you may experience delays or setbacks such as:

    • Having to pass a required driving test in the country you live in
    • Longer processing times and delays closer to the Brexit period

    Remember: You can use your EU driving license in the UK, and you can exchange your EU license for a UK one should you wish to do so. Restrictions may apply based on where you passed your test.

    If you need to exchange your UK driving licence for an EU or EEA driving licence, the official advice is to do so as soon as possible to avoid any delays. You can apply to exchange your licence here.

    Keep up-to-date

    We’ve tried to give you as much information as we can on what the laws will be around driving from the UK and the EU after Brexit, however this information is subject to change. This is because different deals or a no deal Brexit will alter the regulations and laws brought in as Brexit develops.

    The government’s Brexit updates website is regularly updated with any changes for your reference and we advise referring to the official UKGov website for in-depth information on any of these developments.

  2. Motoring in 2019 – New Fines and New Ways to Fail Your MOT!

    Leave a Comment

    The Department for Transport has made major updates to the Highway Code, in changes that could land motorists in hot water if they aren’t fully clued up on the laws around driving on UK roads.

    Covering some of the most common dangers on our roads such as passing cyclists and motorway driving, the DfT say that these new regulations and fines have been put into place to help improve safety on our roads, keep drivers alert to their fellow road users, and help to keep motorways less congested.

    New Rules for Passing Cyclists

    If you cycle as well as drive a vehicle, you will already be aware of the dangers faced on a daily basis. Drivers can easily misjudge the distances between themselves and the cyclists sharing the road, causing serious accidents.

    New rules mean that drivers will be forced to give more space to cyclists on the road, or else be slapped with a £100 fine. The newly-updated Highway Code now states that there should be a 4ft 11in (1.5 meter) gap between car and cyclist – about the width of your car door.

    Learner Drivers

    Learner drivers are now allowed by law to use motorways, if it is part of their lesson. They must be accompanied by an instructor, in a car with dual controls.

    There are also plans to introduce a graduated licence for learner drivers, to encourage them to build up their road-using experience slowly.

    Changes to Smart Motorway Rules

    If you’ve used a Smart Motorway recently, you may have noticed that lanes marked with an “X” are sometimes used by drivers choosing to flout the rules of the road.

    Starting this year, any motorist using lanes marked with an “X” on the electronic signage above the Smart Motorway can be given an automatic fine of £100, as well as three points on their license.

    It’s important to remember that lanes on Smart Motorways are closed for many reasons such as collisions, congestion control and to avoid further accidents. Using closed lanes can be dangerous and may even impede your progress.

    MOT Regulation Changes

    If your car is due for an MOT in 2019, there are new categories to take into consideration that may change the outcome of your test.

    The categories are:

    • Dangerous – Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
    • Major – Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
    • Minor – No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible.
    • Advisory – Could have an effect in future.
    • Pass – Meets the current legal standards.

    New legal requirements have also been introduced to the MOT, which could see cars failing when in previous years they may have passed with an advisory notice.

    These legal requirements include:

    • Under-inflated tyres
    • Contaminated brake fluid
    • Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs
    • Reversing lights (for vehicles newer than September 2009)
    • Daytime running lights (for vehicles newer than March 2018)

    As with all legal restrictions, there can be grey areas that can catch individuals out unfairly. Our expert lawyers are well-read on these updated regulations and can tell you immediately if you have a case. If you’d like to speak to our expert lawyers about road traffic offences, fines or other vehicle-related charges, please call 01282 433 241 today.