Major Legal Changes Happening in 2022 for Drivers

For the UK government to achieve its zero emissions goal, authorities need to stay true to their promise of implementing stricter laws and regulations to both car manufacturers and owners. While the public has seen several projects, such as the Clean Air Zone, a lot of work still needs to be done, especially since the effects of the 2015 Dieselgate emissions scandal continue to be felt throughout the country.. 

This year the UK government is stepping up its game by instituting several changes, starting with four new laws aimed at drivers and vehicles that emit toxic air. Some of the laws are already in effect while the others will be implemented in the coming months.

What are the four new laws?

Generally, the laws in question have mostly been around for years. What’s new for car owners and drivers are the changes that authorities have started implementing.

  1. The increase in VED or Vehicle Excise Duty was applied last April 1st. This change affects a particular group of road users – those who own or drive diesel and petrol vehicles. Drivers whose vehicles were registered after the implementation of the changes will be paying higher car tax compared to those who registered their vehicle in March. 

To determine how much car tax increase a driver has to deal with, one has to measure the volume of CO2 emissions that their vehicle releases. The higher the CO2 emissions are, the more the increase will be. For example, if your vehicle produces around 90g/km of CO2, your first-year car tax would be £120, an increase of £5. If your vehicle’s CO2 emissions are over 255g per kilometre travelled, you’re bound to suffer an increase in fees from around £2,245 to £2,365 for the first year. 

  1. The second change concerns the expansion of the ULEZ or Ultra Low Emission Zones in London that covers the ring roads of the North and South Circular. Any vehicle producing high CO2 or NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions that enters the zone will have to pay £12.50 per day to drive within the area, in addition to congestion charges. If the driver or car owner refuses to pay the charges, they will be fined £160. If the charges are paid within 14 days, the fine will be reduced to £80.

Beginning May 30, 2022, more Clean Air Zones (CAZ) will be operational. Zones will be set up in Stockport, Greater Manchester, Bury, Bolton, Salford, Wigan, Oldham, Trafford, Rochdale, and Tameside. However, the CAZ is intended only for buses, taxis, coaches, PHs (private hire vehicles), LGVs (light good vehicles), and HGVs (heavy goods vehicles). The policy is currently being reviewed in Greater Manchester.

CAZs are also set for Newcastle, Bristol, and Sheffield sometime in July 2022. 

A ZEZ or zero-emission zone is currently in the works in Oxford. This will be in the city centre and charges will range from around £2 to £10 a day, depending on the class or type of vehicle. If implemented successfully, the Oxford ZEZ will be the first of its kind in the country.

  1. Using mobile phones while driving is dangerous and has led to serious accidents over the years. As such, UK authorities have made changes to the law concerning mobile phone usage while driving. Drivers can only use their mobile phones while driving if they use the hands-free feature. The rule applies for both satnav purposes and answering calls. 
  1. Starting July 6, 2022, any new car should have a speed limiter. This does not apply to vehicles that are currently on the road, though. 

The 2022 speed limiters are described as having a forward-facing camera that drivers have to mount on their vehicle. Speed limits will be identified using the car’s satellite navigation system. Once the vehicle starts to exceed the legal speed limit, fuel flow to the engine will be restricted and will only normalise once the vehicle follows the required speed limit.

Although the driver can easily override the system, the police will be able to collect data from it in case of an accident. The speed limiter records valuable information, such as steering and braking positions and speed. 

Any driver caught speeding can pay a minimum fine of £100 in addition to their licence receiving three penalty points.  The maximum fine is £1,000, which becomes £2,500 if the driver was caught speeding on a motorway. Certain cases may result in driver suspension and their licence being taken from them.

Adhering to the law

The only way to adhere to the changes in car/driving laws in the UK is to ensure that your vehicle is CO2 or NOx emissions-free. If your vehicle was affected by the Dieselgate emissions scandal, you can file an emissions claim against your manufacturer. Aside from removing the defeat device from your vehicle, they are also required to compensate you for the inconvenience they caused you when they lied about selling a clean and safe vehicle.

How do I make my diesel claim? It’s simple; you only have to look for a reputable, experienced, regulated, and committed panel of emissions solicitors. The panel of solicitors at have experience in bringing forward claims against manufacturers , so working with them should be your priority. Whether you’re filing a Mercedes emissions claim or own an affected car from another manufacturer, they will help you every step of the way.