2023 driving rules: 8 changes for British motorists

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Fuel duty
TfL scrappage grant
Number plates
HGV levy
Speed limits

Happy new year! 2023 looks set to be a big year for British drivers, with a whole host of changes coming.

Here’s what to expect this year 👇

Fuel duty ⛽️

Last spring, fuel duty was cut by 5p per litre. This was to help with rising prices and the cost of living crisis. 

This March, the Government will announce what’s next. They could keep the 5p cut, they could increase or decrease it, or they could scrap it all together.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has suggested that the Government will increase fuel duty. This could hit drivers in the pocket at a time when the cost of living is already sky-rocketing.

If you’re struggling, we’ve got a guide on how to save fuel.

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ULEZ and Clean Air Zones 🌳

London’s ultra-low emissions zone (known as ULEZ) is expanding again this year. From August 29, it will expand from mostly-central London to cover all 33 boroughs.

The change will impact thousands of drivers, with those who drive cars that don’t meet the requirements facing a £12.50 daily charge every time they hit the road in the ULEZ.

The zone intends to help improve air quality in the capital, as well as encourage drivers to consider electric cars.

We’ve written a guide with a little more about the ULEZ boundaries and requirements.

Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are also being introduced in Glasgow, Tyneside and Sheffield.

Electric cars are exempt from ULEZ charges
Electric cars are exempt from ULEZ charges
Time to go electric? ⚡️
Is it still worth buying a petrol or diesel car as the UK's 2030 ban looms? Learn more.

TfL scrappage grant 💰

If you’re a low-income driver, or on benefits, and are set to be impacted by the ULEZ expansion, Transport for London (TfL) has introduced a £110m scrappage scheme.

This means you can scrap your car if it doesn’t meet the requirements and get a grant payment from TfL for a car that does meet them.

Drivers who are receiving certain low-income or disability benefits can apply for the scheme.

You can find out more about the TfL scheme here.

Number plates 🚗

New number plates are introduced twice per year in the UK.

The first change in 2023 will come in March, with a new ‘23’ reg plate for all new cars.

The second change of the year will come in September, with a ‘73’ reg.

Here’s a separate guide where you can learn a little more about number plate, including new rules introduced last year regarding the visibility and durability.

Pavement parking 🅿️

It’s not confirmed yet, but there’s a chance that Scotland’s planned ban on pavement parking could finally come into force in 2023.

It was first announced in 2019 and expected to be introduced before now, but Covid delayed matters.

Parking on pavements can block people with mobility issues and ensuring a clear pathway could soon become law - possibly by December.

It’s already banned in London and could soon be banned in Wales, too, by the way.

HGV levy 🚛

This one won’t impact everyone, but drivers of heavy duty vehicles (HGVs) are also facing changes in 2023.

HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes will face a return of the levy they previously paid to help the upkeep of roads damaged by their driving.

Because these vehicles are so heavy, they can cause damage to some roads as they drive along - so the levy helps pay for this.

It was suspended during the pandemic but is coming back this year in August. This can cost as much as a tenner per day.

Speed limits 🚦

New 20mph speed limits are being introduced on ‘restricted roads’ across Wales. These are roads in residential or built-up areas, and currently have a 30mph limit.

The Welsh Senedd believes this will help the climate, prevent accidents and encourage a safer pedestrian and cycling environment.

The new limit will come into place in September.

The fuel duty cut could be scrapped in March this year
The fuel duty cut could be scrapped in March this year

E-scooter trials 🛴

E-scooter trials are being held across parts of Britain as the Government attempts to regulate them.

The trials are being held in Bournemouth, Poole, Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Chester, Copeland, Derby, Basildon, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Great Yarmouth, Liverpool, some London boroughs, Milton Keynes and Newcastle.

E-scooters are allowed to use the roads in these locations, but only if they meet strict requirements on speed and power.

Car insurance

A lot is changing on British roads this year but one thing remains constant: you must be insured to drive.

Cuvva offers temporary car insurance from as little as an hour to 28 days, with no nasty hidden fees, interest, deposits or tie-ins.

Whatever you’re after, you can get a quote in just minutes.

Updated on 30th March 2023