The new driving laws coming into force in 2020 every motorist needs to know about

From the way you drive to the way you maintain your vehicle could all be affected with these new laws.

By Alicia Hannah
Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:03 am

Changes to tax and even changes to overtaking cyclists come into effect with the start of the decade.

Car Tax

Drivers could be charged up to an additional £15 with a new law on taxation.

Traffic in Sheffield

You could be affected by the change if your car produces high emissions, alongside those with diesel cars who fail to meet the new mandatory RDE2 emissions standard who will continue to pay higher taxes. New car buyers could also face an extra £65 on their first year’s car tax.

New drivers

New drivers already face harsher penalties for offences like using a mobile phone whilst driving, but a whole new range of restrictions could come into effect for 2020.

The RAC say these are likely to focus on things like curfews, the amount of passengers you can carry, and the amount of alcohol you can consume and drive.

Smart motorways

Those who ignore red X lane closures could be stung with fines up to £100.

New laws for driving on smart motorways will be enforced from June this year, meaning drivers who ignore closures could be automatically fined and given three points in line with the new rules.

Driving permits and green cards

If you’re planning to drive in the EU as a visitor, you will have to spend £5.50 on an international permit if the UK were to leave without a Brexit deal. This will be available to purchase from the Post Office.

Holidaymakers planning on driving their own vehicle abroad will also need to carry a motor insurance green card in the EU and EEA. Motorists can get one of these by contacting their insurance provider a month before travel.


Drivers who park on the pavement could be in trouble, with potential legislation being rolled out to deter them.

Pavement parking has been banned across the city of London since 1974, but successes could see a new law being applied to the rest of the country. Though, due to the opposition the rule faces, this may take some time to eventually enforce.

Overtaking cyclists

Campaigners for road safety have called for clarification, as they say legislation does not do enough to explain how drivers should treat cyclists on the road.

Drivers may soon be encouraged to use the "Dutch reach" when opening their car doors. This means rather than using your hand closest to the door, you use your far hand to reach the handle, allowing you to look out of the window and ensure you refrain from hitting a passing cyclist.