April will be a very important month for drivers across the country because several new laws are coming into force, including a more severe mobile phone ban.
While it goes without saying that touching a phone while behind a wheel is dangerous, and strongly discouraged, the laws will now properly reflect this, and drivers will be fined £200 and get six penalty points on their licence for using or even holding their phones while driving.
This new ban replaces a loophole which allowed drivers to take pictures and videos while driving without being penalised.
We have some good news for learner drivers. Driving lessons can begin again from 12th April, with practical driving tests returning 10 days later on 22nd April 2021.
Fuel duty will be frozen for the new tax year, which means it has stayed at the same rate for 10 consecutive years. The fuel duty tax is currently 57.95p per litre of petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol.
In a bid to support the environment, a number of cities across the UK will also begin charging drivers to commute to increase the number of local clean air zones.
Bath currently has a Class C Clean Air Zone, while Birmingham will launch a Class D zone on 1st June, charging drivers up to £8 per day to drive in the city centre.
More cities are expected to implement clean air zones in the coming year.
Many of the new laws aim to make the streets more eco-friendly. A new purchase tax has been proposed by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) which will be aimed at petrol and diesel car owners to make cars with lower emissions more affordable.
If you have a car that emits more than 225gCO2/Km could be required to pay a 50 per cent purchase tax starting from this year.
Non-resident drivers heading into London could face having to pay a Greater London Tax to cross the boundary - which has been drawn up to follow the line of the M25 - into the capital.
You will have to pay £5.50 - or £3.50 if you have a car with low emissions - to cross the border. And that charge only covers London's outer boroughs. If you driver further towards the centre, you will have to pay the £12.50 ULEZ pollution charge and £15 if you enter the congestion charge zone.
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