UK motorists warned of driving law changes in December

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Over the course of the last year, motorists have seen an enormous number of driving law changes being introduced including fuel rules and Clean Air Zones. In the last month, E10 petrol was rolled out in Northern Ireland, Bristol launched its emissions-based charging zone, with December set to see more changes.

Electric car charging regulations

The latest Schedule 1: Security compliance regulations that are being applied from December 31, 2022 are in addition to the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations that came into force in June 2022. 

These latest additional requirements cover cybersecurity and tamper-protection of the charging devices.

It will seek to ensure that any charge point should provide appropriate protection to the electricity system, the relevant charge point and the personal data of the owner.

Any installers wishing to fit non-compliant EV chargers from December 31, 2022, will have to seek prior approval from the Office for Product Safety and Standards

David Watson, CEO of Ohme, said: “Whether you’re an electric vehicle driver looking to buy a new smart charger, an electrical retailer offering them for sale or an installer, from the end of this year all new EV chargers are legally-bound to meet these regulations.

“For total peace of mind, drivers, retailers and installers should ensure that they’re buying a product that meets the latest regulations and ask to see the Statement of Compliance for the charger to confirm that.”

People also need to ensure that the charge point has a unique passport and is not set by owner, in a bid to protect people’s personal information.

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Spain driving licences

Since May, Britons living in Spain have been banned from using their UK driving licences on Spanish roads, much to the dismay of expats.

Speaking in a video on the Brits in Spain consulate page, Hugh Elliott, Ambassador of the UK to Spain, said: “I can tell you that we have now made a very significant step forward. 

“You will recall that we have been in discussions with the Spanish for some weeks over two outstanding, complex issues, and I’m pleased to tell you that we have now reached an agreement on those two points.

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“So we will now take forward the remaining steps including legal checks, securing ministerial approval on both sides, which for Spain is by the Consejo de Ministros (The Spanish Cabinet), and the necessary treaty processes and formal exchanges.

“What I can’t tell you today is exactly how many weeks those final steps will take. But I can tell you that the process is already underway.

“At that point, you will then have six months to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one and during that time you will be able to drive using your existing valid UK licence.”

He acknowledged how it has not been a difficult time for expats and that he would keep updating the page to keep drivers informed of any vital changes.

Fuel rates

HMRC has published new Advisory Fuel Rates (AFRs) for company car drivers claiming back fuel costs from their employer.

Petrol rates have been reduced, after the average cost of the fuel fell from 174.2-164.4p per litre (ppl), while diesel AFRs remain unchanged, despite the average cost of a litre of diesel increasing from 185.2-188.9ppl. 

As a result, the rates for petrol company cars have all been cut, with the AFR for petrol vehicles up to 1,400cc now 14p per mile (ppm), down from 15ppm.

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