Driving law changes needed to fix 'major issues' with licence rules, car tax hikes and EV chargers

Driving law changes needed to fix 'major issues' with licence rules, car tax hikes and EV chargers

WATCH: Driving rule changes - Five KEY road changes that could affect YOU

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/04/2024

- 09:52

'This election, more so than any in recent history, is one where we need to put motorists in the driving seat'

The AA is calling for a range of motoring law changes to meet the demands of British people and ensure driving is safe for all road users.

New data from the motoring organisation has found that drivers are looking for the Government and local authorites to focus on five "critical areas of action".

This includes supporting drivers with low costs, providing incentives to help drivers switch to zero emission vehicles, making journeys smoother, having safer roads and providing funding for greater investment into the motoring industry.

The AA has more than 14 million members across the UK and research has revealed that a staggering 96 per cent of people want the Government to prioritise road maintenance as the top transport issue.

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Driving licence application and car tax reminder

Drivers are in favour of major proposals to make motoring more affordable and safer


A further 81 per cent want smart motorways scrapped and have called for a return of hard shoulders, while two-thirds of members want better infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Drivers have also put their support behind new graduated licence measures, which would see learner drivers adhere to stricter conditions including not carrying passengers for 12 months after they pass their test in a bid to boost road safety.

Edmund King, AA President, said: "One of the major issues that needs to be addressed is the needless deaths of young drivers, their passengers and others caught up in these crashes.

“Most people don’t realise, until it is too late, that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults."

Almost seven in 10 drivers believe motoring taxes will continue to increase, just weeks after Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) was hiked, with some drivers now paying up to £140 more per year.

Car tax changes are guaranteed for April 2025 for electric car owners, with drivers expected to pay the lowest rate of tax. Many are also assuming that inflation will cause other VED prices to increase, adding more pressure on Britons.

Jakob Pflauder, CEO of the AA, said a number of issues were negatively affecting the driving public, namely the cost of living crisis and the uncertainty around the upcoming general election.

He said: "Those changes and pressures have been felt acutely by drivers. From the way they power and pay for their cars, to where and how they use them, the cost and complexity of driving has increased. As a nation, we rely on our roads to connect our communities, grow our economy and keep families functioning.

"And drivers are looked to, to make a significant contribution to the public purse – as well as play a major part in the transition to net zero. With so much asked of our motorists, it’s vital we understand their asks in return."

British motorists are also keen to see the development of the EV charging network to ensure all drivers are able to switch in the coming years, with calls for more installations to meet the Government's target of 300,000 chargers.

Zapmap data shows there are 59,590 devices around the UK, with 2,300 new chargers installed in March alone. This is a 47 per cent increase in the total number of charging points since March 2023.

Experts have called on the Government to deliver more funding to the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure drivers without suitable charging facilities are still able to make the switch.


Electric vehicle charging

There are hopes that the UK will meet the Government's 300,000 EV charger goal by 2030


Pflauder added: "This election, more so than any in recent history, is one where we need to put motorists in the driving seat.

"We call on all political parties to consider the needs of the hardworking families and commuters, the couriers and tradespeople, the first-time learners and the long-time retirees who keep this nation moving and hope this manifesto helps to shape a better road ahead."

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