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New year, new changes.

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New year, new changes.

Motorists across the country are facing several changes in 2024, and with new driving rules around safety and fuel, it is best to know about them ahead of time. Changes include the introduction of low-emission zones in Scotland, updates to DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) services, and possible changes to the driving test eyesight.

IAM RoadSmart has the low down on the changes.

Car tax changes

Vehicle Excise Duty, sometimes also known as car tax, is set to rise on April 1, 2024. HM Revenue and Customs has previously confirmed the new VED charges will be based Retail Price Index inflation from the spring. How much motorists will pay will depend on how ‘green’ their vehicle is. The measures will affect motorists who drive a car, van, or motorcycle.

Low-emission zones

Three Scottish cities will see enforcement begin in 2024 in a bid to improve air quality. Under the rules, vehicles must meet certain emission standards or face a hefty penalty. In Aberdeen and Edinburgh, enforcement will kick off on June 1; in Dundee, it will be on May 30. Unlike England’s Clean Air Zones where non-compliant vehicles pay a daily fee, Scotland’s low emission zones prohibit non-compliant vehicles, and the fine is substantially more than a daily charge.

Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate (ZEV)

As of January 1, 2024, car manufacturers will need at least 22% of their car sales and 10% of their van sales to be fully electric. The UK government’s planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 has now been pushed back to 2035.

Eyesight Test Changes

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is holding a consultation on possible changes to eyesight requirements for 2024. Currently, during the test, the driver must read a number plate from 20 metres to pass. The DVSA is currently consulting with a team of medical experts on how the procedure should look and asking drivers and experts for better ways to conduct the test.


The 2024 spring budget will take place on March 6, with drivers keeping a keen eye on what the Chancellor announces. There is expected to be an update on fuel duty. The 5p cut on the cost of fuel duty will run out at the end of March, and many drivers are calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to extend the measures.

Policy and Standards Director Nick Lyes said, “The new year will bring additional challenges for drivers and riders to be aware of. Most notably, motorists in Scotland heading into some cities must check their vehicle meets emission standards or they could face a hefty fine if their vehicle is non-compliant. All eyes turn to the Chancellor in March with the current 5p cut in duty possibly being re-added to the current 52.95p rate, which will increase costs for drivers at the pumps.”

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Nicholas Lyes

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At IAM RoadSmart we make better drivers and riders. As the UK’s largest road safety charity, formed in 1956, we’ve spent more than 60 years making our roads safer by improving driver and rider skills through coaching and education.

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