It seems that both the DVLA and Government have brought in a number of changes to driving laws and regulations in recent months. However there hasn’t been a great deal of press surrounding these changes, putting many drivers at risks of fines and even clamping.
In our latest blog Rapid Exec would like to highlight a few of the most important changes; the ones we are all likely to be affected by in the coming few months.
Don’t Be Fooled By the Scrapping Of Tax Discs
It is likely that you are already aware that you no longer need to display a tax disc on your vehicle. The new changes came in to play back in October 2014 but we are still seeing consequences of these changes now.
Despite the DVLA continuing to send you a V11 or a V85/1 renewal reminder when your tax is about to expire drivers are still being caught out and facing fines. Why?
Well, from the 1st October 2014, whilst most are aware there is no longer a requirement to display a tax disc, many are not up to speed that the DVLA has also brought in an action which means that when you buy a vehicle the tax will no longer be transferred. And you will need to ensure the vehicle is taxed before you use it.
The second-hand car market is huge in the UK and many buyers will be unaware that the old paper documents are now automatically cancelled when a vehicle changes hands. Unfortunately these changes have not been well documented and thousands of drivers have been hit with fines, been clamped, or even had their cars towed away – and with no right to appeal against these fines to any independent body, drivers will have little choice but to pay up and fork out.
So, make sure you tax your new vehicle using either the:
- 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C) if the vehicle is registered in your name
- 12 digit reference number on your New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) if you’ve just bought the vehicle or the vehicle is not registered in your name.
If you are selling a car you can no longer transfer the remaining tax. However, if you notify the DVLA you will automatically get a refund for any full remaining months left on the tax.
Holiday Car Hire Chaos
The DVLA are to scrap the paper counterpart of UK issued driving licences from 8th June 2015. This means that holiday makers are likely to be caught in a scene of chaos when heading to Europe and picking up a hire car on arrival. With the paper documents no longer legally valid all endorsements will be held electronically on a web-based service called “Share Driving Licence”.
These muddled introductions and unclear rules will more than likely cause disruption throughout the summer. Especially since so many car hire companies insist on examining the paper document to check on any endorsements or bans.
Instead, holidaymakers will have to log on to the DVLA website the day before they leave and input their driving licence and National Insurance number. The system then generates a one-time pass-code which you give to the hire company when you arrive at their desk. However, be aware that the code is valid for 72 hours only. Therefore those hiring a car in the second week of a foreign trip will have to ensure internet access in order to log onto the DVLA website whilst abroad. For the foreseeable future it may be a wise idea to keep your paper counterpart and take it with you if you intend to hire a car abroad.
Smoking in the Company of Children Banned
From 1st October 2015 drivers in England will be banned from smoking in their cars if they are carrying children as passengers. The new law follows a similar ban in Wales which is aimed at protecting those under the age of 18 from second hand smoke and will likely result in a £50 fine.
Did you know, that according to the British Lung Foundation, more than 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars each week, causing an increase in the risk of asthma and meningitis.
Keeping Up To Date with Travel News
Keep an eye on our blog for the latest changes to travel laws and regulations and make sure you don’t get caught out.
For more information on any of our services look here. You can also give the team a call on 01179 000709